The Erie Otters are close on the scoreboard. But they are falling behind in the standings.
The Otters fell to Oshawa 4-2 in front of 2,865 at Tullio Arena Saturday night, their second straight loss and ninth in the past 10 games. Erie (4-11-1-0) also has nine times by two goals or fewer.
“At least we’re in every game,” winger Shawn Szydlowski said. “At least we’re not getting blown out.”
The Generals (8-3-1-2), the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference and second highest overall, wasted little time in gaining the lead. Andy Andreoff scored his seventh goal of the season, off an assist from Lucas Lessio, to take a 1-0 lead 1:49 into the opening period. Meanwhile, the Otters’ power play, which ranks among the league leaders, failed on all three chances with the man advantage in the period.
The Otters finally solved Generals backup goaltender Kevin Bailie midway through the second period, as the No. 1 line of Mike Cazzola, Greg McKegg and Szydlowski combined to tie the score at 1. The Generals regained the lead at 2-1 on Andreoff’s second goal of the night 1:05 after Szydlowski’s goal. But rookie Macaulay McDonnell tied the score at 2 with 5:10 left in the period.
In the period’s waning moments, the Otters failed to capitalize on a puck in the crease. On Oshawa’s ensuing rush down ice, Jeff Brown pushed a rebound in the crease past Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov for Brown’s first goal of the season and a 3-2 Generals’ lead.
That lead stood up in the third period, as Bailie faced only six shots he faced to earn his first win of the season. The Otters failed on three power-play opportunities in the third, including an early 5-on-3 for nearly two minutes, and finished the game 0-for-7.
With Sadikov on the bench for an extra attacker during a 6-on-4 power play late in the game, Generals winger Alain Berger sealed the Otters’ fate with a short-handed, empty-net goal.
Andreoff and Berger (goal, assist) led the Generals’ attack. Sadikov made 27 saves for the Otters.
* News and notes: Otters winger Anthony Luciani will have the cast on his injured right wrist removed on Tuesday. He hopes to learn a return date on that day. … The Generals played without leading scorer Christian Thomas (11 goals, 19 points), who was suspended because of a match penalty for slew footing on Friday against Belleville. … Aaron Beaton, a longtime Otters and Mercyhurst College fan who died Sept. 25 because of complications from a stroke, was honored in a pregame ceremony. Members from local youth, high school and college teams, including Lakers forwards Meghan Agosta and Brandon Coccimiglio, formed a circle at center ice and raised their sticks in the air during a moment of silence.
- Victor Fernandes
Generals 4, Otters 2
Oshawa 1 2 1 — 4
Erie 0 2 0 — 2
1st Period — 1. Oshawa, Andy Andreoff 7 (Lessio), 1:49. Penalties — Sabourin (O) hooking, 3:13; Lessio (O) cross checking, 10:30; Szydlowski (E) hooking, 12:40. Penalties — McKegg (E) no goal, 11:02; Valentine (O) hooking, 17:04.
2nd Period — 2. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 7 (McKegg, Cazzola), 10:40. 3. Oshawa, Andreoff 8 (McDowell, Jensen), 11:45. 4. Erie, Macaulay McDonnell 3 (Holden, Broll), 14:50. 5. Oshawa, Jeff Brown 1 (Jenner, Berger), 18:53. Penalties — Cook (E) 5-min. fighting, 2:44; Clark (O) 5-min. fighting, 2:44; Valentine (O) slashing, 5:28; McKegg (E) holding the stick, 5:37.
3rd Period — 8. Oshawa, Alain Berger 7 (Labardo), 18:39 (sh-en). Penalties — Clark (O) tripping, 6:19; Valentine (O) checking from behind, 6:29; Suellentrop (O) hooking, 17:30.
Shots on goal — Oshawa, 8-11-12—31; Erie, 10-11-6—27.
Goaltenders — Oshawa, Kevin Bailie 1-1-0-1 (27 shots, 25 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 4-8-1-0 (30 shots, 27 saves).
Power plays — Oshawa (0-2), Erie (0-7).
Referees — Joel Washkurak, Dave Lewis. Linesmen — Mike Harrington, Sean Pindar.
Attendance — 2,865.
* Andy Andreoff, Generals (2 goals) ** Macaulay McDonnell, Otters (goal) *** Adam Pelech, Otters (defense)