The Erie Otters were a shot off the post away from tying a decade-old franchise record.
The Otters scored 12 goals – the second-highest total in their 15-year history – in a 12-3 win against Barrie in front of 2,905 at Tullio Arena Friday night.
Shawn Szydlowski nearly scored No. 13 in the game’s final seconds, which would have tied the mark set in a 13-4 win against Windsor on March 5, 1998. But the shot glanced off the post.
Fifteen different Otters recorded points in the win, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Anthony Luciani (two goals, assist), Mike Cazzola (goal, two assists), Szydlowski (goal, two assists) and Phil Varone (goal, two assists) led the Otters (21-20-1-1) with three points. Greg McKegg reached the 30-goal mark with two scores before taking the third period off to rest some nagging bumps and bruises. Brett Thompson, Brett Cook and Matthew Paton had a goal and assist apiece. Luke Cairns had two assists.
The Otters wasted no time in building a commanding 4-0 lead. They recorded the game’s first two shots on goal. McKegg and Luciani scored on both of them less than 3 minutes apart. McKegg opened the scoring 1:53 into the opening period. Luciani scored on the power play at the 4:09 mark.
McKegg also scored on the power play with two minutes left in the period. In between, rookie Johnny McGuire, who was recalled Thursday, scored his first OHL goal in his second career game. Rookie Mark Gazdic, who moved to wing from forward for the game, had an assist for his career point. The Otters scored all four goals on nine shots.
The onslaught continued in the second period, as the Otters scored six goals on 15 shots
Szydlowski, Macaulay McDonnell and Varone scored 2:19 apart early in the period. John Chartrand replaced rookie Josh Malecki in goal for the Colts following McDonnell’s goal.
Later in the period, Matthew Paton’s goal began a stretch of three straight goals in 4½ minutes. Thompson, acquired from Sault Ste. Marie on Monday, capped the surge with his first goal as an Otter. The Otters scored those 10 goals on 20 shots. They finished with 12 goals on 33 shots. Mackenzie Braid had two points for the Colts (8-29-2-2).
* News and notes: The Otters tied a franchise mark for the largest margin of victory, which was set in the 1998 win against Windsor and tied in a 10-1 win at Toronto St. Michael’s on Jan. 10, 1999. … Veteran defenseman David Shields also sat out the third to rest. … Cook set a new single-season career high with six goals. … Former Otter Jordan Coccimiglio, who was claimed off waivers by the Colts a week ago, was the second-line center. He also played on the power play and penalty kill.
- Victor Fernandes
Otters 12, Colts 3
Barrie 0 0 3 — 3
Erie 4 6 2 — 12
1st Period — 1. Erie, Greg McKegg 29 (Cazzola), 1:53. 2. Erie, Anthony Luciani 14 (Shields, Cairns), 4:09 (pp). 3. Erie, Johnny McGuire 1 (Gazdic), 16:21. 4. Erie, McKegg 30 (Varone, Holden), 18:00 (pp). Penalties — Ashman (B) interference, 2:28; Shields (E) hooking, 12:14; Locke (B) interference, 12:40; Malecki (B) tripping (served by Scheifele), 16:54.
2nd Period — 5. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 21 (Varone, Grant), 5:21. 6. Macaulay McDonnell 6 (Cairns, Paton), 6:19. 7. Erie, Phil Varone 17 (Szydlowski), 7:40 (sh). 8. Erie, Matthew Paton 6 (Grant), 12:08. 9. Erie, Brett Cook 6 (Luciani, Szydlowski), 15:56 (pp). 10. Erie, Brett Thompson 26 (Holden, Cazzola), 16:40. Penalties — Holden (E) tripping, :10; Shields (E) slashing, 6:56; Barrie, too many men (served by Pearson), 9:08; McGuire (E) 5-min. fighting, 11:46; Lepkowski (B) 5-min. fighting, 11:46; Mort (B) holding, 14:37; Mort (B) slashing, 16:59.
3rd Period — 11. Barrie, Tanner Pearson 9 (Devlin, Braid), 4:50 (pp). 12. Erie, Mike Cazzola 11 (Thompson), 8:51 (sh). 13. Erie, Luciani 15 (unassisted), 12:29. 14. Barrie, Mackenzie Braid 5 (Beyers), 13:59. 15. Barrie, Colin Behenna 22 (Bennett), 16:11. Penalties — Crisp (E) delay of game, 3:23; Pelech (E) tripping, 7:08.
Shots on goal — Barrie, 9-8-9—26; Erie, 10-15-8—33.
Goaltenders — Barrie, Josh Malecki 0-1-0-0 (12 shots, 6 saves), John Chartrand (21 shots, 15 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 21-14-1-1 (26 shots, 23 saves).
Power plays — Barrie (1-5), Erie (3-6).
Referees — Darren Price, Joe Celestin. Linesmen — Chris Thornton, Mike Harrington.
Attendance — 2,905.
* Mike Cazzola, Otters (goal, 2 assists) ** Matthew Paton, Otters (goal, assist) *** Kris Grant, Otters (2 assists)