Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘mark visentin’
Posted: September 17th, 2012

This week, I’ll break down all 20 OHL clubs division by division and unveil my predictions for the 2012-13 season. Today, let’s look at the Eastern Conference’s Central Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Barrie Colts
Coach/GM: Dale Hawerchuk/Jason Ford
2011-12 finish: 40-23-3-2, 2nd division, 3rd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Ottawa in conference semifinals
Key players: LW Tanner Pearson (37 goals, 54 assists, 91 points; signed with Los Angeles), C Mark Scheifele (23-40-63 in 47 games; signed with Winnipeg), G Mathias Niederberger (29-14-1-2 record, 2.68 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, 3 shutouts), C Zach Hall (19-40-59), D Ryan O’Connor (8-28-36)
Key losses: C Colin Behenna (26-48-74), C Ivan Telegin (35-29-64; signed with Winnipeg)
Outlook: The continued emergence of standouts like Pearson and Scheifele, and the play of Niederberger in his first season, sparked the Colts to a 25-game improvement in the win column. Now these Colts could be tough to contend with this year.

Brampton Battalion
Coach/GM: Stan Butler
2011-12 finish: 36-22-3-7, 3rd division, 4th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Niagara 4-0 in conference semifinals
Key players: RW Barclay Goodrow (26-26-52; Carolina prospect), G Matej Machovsky (24-13-0-4, 2.36, .902, 5 SO; Ottawa prospect), D Dylan Blujus (7-27-34), D Cameron Wind (2-19-21, +16), LW Brandon Robinson (15-9-24)
Key losses: C Sam Carrick (16-23-39; signed with Toronto), LW Ian Watters (16-14-30)
Outlook: Defense is the name of the game in Brampton, which has featured one of the league’s top defenses the past several seasons. Machovsky anchors this year’s unit, while a defense led by Blujus and Wind provide plenty of help.

Mississauga Steelheads
Coach/GM: James Boyd
2011-12 finish: 33-28-1-6, 5th division, 6th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Barrie 4-2 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Riley Brace (33-49-82), D Dylan DeMelo (7-40-47; signed with San Jose), C Kristoff Kontos (15-32-47), D Stuart Percy (4-30-34, plus-50; signed with Toronto), D Trevor Carrick (6-13-19)
Key losses: G Brandon Maxwell (33-22-1-3, 2.92, .913, 6 SO), LW Jamie Wise (31-17-48)
Outlook: This club has a new owner – Mississauga, Ontario, businessman Elliott Kerr, and nickname. But the Steelheads’ new goaltending tandem of Spencer Martin and former Otter Tyson Teichmann will have the biggest impact on this team’s success.

Niagara IceDogs
Coach/GM: Marty Williamson
2011-12 finish: 47-18-0-3, 1st division, 1st conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-1 in league finals
Key players: C Ryan Strome (30-38-68 in 46 games; signed with N.Y. Islanders), D Dougie Hamilton (17-55-72, +37; signed with Boston), D Jesse Graham (4-37-41, +25; N.Y. Islanders prospect), RW Brett Ritchie (24-21-45; signed with Dallas), G Chris Festarini (16-10-0-0, 2.85, .904, 2 SO; former Otter)
Key losses: G Mark Visentin (30-9-0-2, 1.99, .926, 10 SO; signed with Phoenix), C Andrew Agozzino (40-48-88), LW Freddie Hamilton (35-51-86; signed with San Jose), C Alex Friesen (26-45-71; signed with Vancouver), RW David Pacan (29-35-64)
Outlook: Festarini faces serious pressure as Visentin’s replacement in net. But Festarini has plenty of experienced talent – led by Strome and Hamilton – in front of him that will help keep the puck out of the net as well as score a lot of goals.

Sudbury Wolves
Coach/GM: Trent Cull/Blaine Smith
2011-12 finish: 36-26-4-2, 4th division, 5th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Brampton 4-0 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Joshua Leivo (32-41-73), D Justin Sefton (3-16-19, 143 penalty minutes; San Jose prospect), LW Nathan Pancel (23-21-44), D Frank Corrado (3-23-26, +26), C Matthew Campagna (8-23-31 in 45 games)
Key losses: C Michael Sgarbossa (36-46-82; signed with San Jose), D Josh McFadden (19-53-72; signed with Florida), G Johan Mattsson (23-11-2-1, 3.16, .910), LW Andrey Kuchin (25-40-65), RW Derek Schoenmakers (26-24-50; traded to Windsor)
Outlook: The Wolves spent little time in the playoffs the past two seasons, as they were swept both times. But the departure of skilled leaders like Sgarbossa, McFadden, Mattsson and Kuchin might keep these Wolves out of the playoffs entirely.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: May 2nd, 2012

London, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Michael Houser of the London Knights is the 2011-12 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

Houser played an incredible 62 games between the pipes for the first place Knights backstopping the club to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team. Also named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year, Houser posted a record of 46-15-0-1 tying the OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender set by Andrew Engelage of the OHL Champion Windsor Spitfires in 2009.

“It’s a huge honour,” said Houser. “There are a lot of great players in the league, especially this year, and it is nice to be recognized. It’s an award that I couldn’t have won without the teammates in front of me. They play hard every night and they make my job a lot easier. A lot of thanks go out to them.”

Houser is just the fifth goaltender to receive the prestigious Red Tilson Trophy following Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 2000), Bill Harrington (Kitchener 1952), Glenn Hall (Windsor 1951), and Gil Mayer (Barrie 1949). He is also the fifth member of the Knights to win the award following Corey Perry in 2005, Jason Allison in 1994, Dave Simpson in 1982, and Dennis Maruk in 1975. The 19-year-old native of Wexford, PA, is also just the third American-born player to win the award following David Legwand (Plymouth 1998), and Pat Peake (Detroit 1993).

“We’re honoured to have had Michael on our team once again this season,” said Knights General Manager and Head Coach Mark Hunter. “He’s a leader both on and off the ice and is definitely one of our hardest workers setting an example for the rest of the team. Houser is one of the biggest reasons we finished first overall and have made it all the way to the Rogers OHL Championship Series and we’re pleased to see him receive the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year.”

Undrafted into the OHL, Houser joined the Knights prior to the 2009-10 season and has already played in 141 regular season contests. His 62 games played led all OHL goaltenders this season while his 1862 saves was also the league’s top mark. He finished second with six shutout victories while his goals-against-average of 2.47 was third-best in the league, and his save percentage of .925 ranked fourth overall.

In this year’s Western Conference Coaches Poll, he appeared in three categories and was considered the Best Shootout Goalie, the second Hardest Worker, and the third Best Puckhandling goalie. This season Houser stopped at least 30 shots in 36 different games including six games with 40 or more saves.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League. Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees representing all 20 member clubs. Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.

In the 80 ballots collected, Houser received 182 points in the voting process and was listed as the number one selection on 30 of the submitted ballots. OHL Top Scorer Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves finished in second place with 164 voting points, ahead of Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s who received 106 voting points, and Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs who received 104 voting points.

The trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Other winners of the Red Tilson Trophy include Frank Mahovlich (Toronto 1957), Mike Foligno (Sudbury, 1979), Doug Gilmour (Cornwall 1983), Eric Lindros (Oshawa 1991), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1999), Brad Boyes (Erie 2001 & 2002), Corey Locke (Ottawa 2003 & 2004), John Tavares (Oshawa 2007), Cody Hodgson (Brampton 2009), Tyler Seguin (Plymouth 2010), and Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2011).

Houser will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony during the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Shawinigan.

- From OHL news release

Posted: May 1st, 2012

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that a media conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 12 pm at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, to announce the winner of the Red Tilson Trophy presented to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented annually by the league to the Most Outstanding Player in the Ontario Hockey League during the regular season schedule of games as voted by sports writers and broadcasters in the OHL. The award is in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals. Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires captured the award last season.

2011-12 Red Tilson Trophy Nominees
Barrie Colts – Tanner Pearson
Belleville Bulls – Brendan Gaunce
Brampton Battalion – Sam Carrick
Erie Otters – Adam Pelech
Guelph Storm – Matt Finn
Kingston Frontenacs – Darcy Greenaway
Kitchener Rangers – Tobias Rieder
London Knights – Michael Houser
Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors – Riley Brace
Niagara IceDogs – Mark Visentin
Oshawa Generals – Kevin Bailie
Ottawa 67’s – Tyler Toffoli
Owen Sound Attack – Mike Halmo
Peterborough Petes – Andrew Yogan
Plymouth Whalers – Stefan Noesen
Saginaw Spirit – Brandon Saad
Sarnia Sting – Nail Yakupov
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Nick Cousins
Sudbury Wolves – Michael Sgarbossa
Windsor Spitfires – Kerby Rychel

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 18th, 2012

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Michael Houser of the London Knights is the 2011-12 recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award.

Houser posted a 46-15-0-1 record backstopping the Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team, and tied an OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender. He becomes the third member of the Knights to win the award following Adam Dennis in 2006, and Steve Mason in 2007.

“I am proud to receive this award, it was a great season individually and most importantly from a team standpoint we were successful,” said Houser. “I was fortunate to have a good group of defencemen in front of me that made my job easy.”

Houser, a 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, is just the second American goaltender to win the award following Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson of Park Ridge, IL, who claimed the honour in 2001 with the Guelph Storm. This season Houser played in 62 games to lead all goaltenders, also leading the way with 1862 saves while finishing second with six shutout victories.

His goals-against-average of 2.47 was third-best in the league, and his save percentage of .925 ranked fourth overall. Houser opened the season with a shutout victory and five straight wins to claim the season’s first Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award. He also recorded a season-high winning-streak of nine games from December 30 through January 22, and finished the season as the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for March. In total, Houser stopped at least 30 shots in 36 different games this season including six games with 40 or more saves.

“Michael has been a winning goaltender since he joined the team three years ago,” said Knights Goaltending Coach Bill Dark. “He has a high standard of work ethic and is a true leader of this team. Often times the more respected a goalie is among his teammates, the better the guys play in front of him, and that was certainly the case this year.”

The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club. Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Houser received 74 points in the voting process while last year’s winner Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs finished in second place with 46 voting points. John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers finished in third place with 30 voting points.

The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 1999-00), Ray Emery (Sault Ste. Marie 2001-02), and Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls who is the only goaltender to win the award twice in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Houser will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Tuesday, June 5 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He is also the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Goaltender of the Year.

- From OHL news release

Posted: April 18th, 2012

The OHL will announce the recipient of the Goaltender of the Year award on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
The finalists are Igor Bobkov (Kingston), John Gibson (Kitchener), Michael Houser (London), Petr Mrazek (Ottawa), Mark Visentin (Niagara) and Scott Wedgewood (Plymouth).

Posted: January 20th, 2012

The Erie Otters had a chance to beat the short-handed Niagara IceDogs on Friday night.

But the Otters mustered only 21 shots on goal in a 3-2 loss in front of 2,469 at Tullio Arena, which extended their second-longest losing streak of the season to nine straight games.

Even without several key veterans, including NHL first-round picks Ryan Strome (facial fractures) and Dougie Hamilton (10-game suspension), Niagara dominated the Otters from the outset.

The IceDogs built a 20-7 advantage in shots in the opening period. They also built a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes on goals from Alex Friesen and David Pacan 40 seconds apart midway through the period.

Friesen turned Andrew Agozzino’s centering pass into his 16th goal of the season at the 9:13 mark. Then Pacan redirected Myles Doan’s cross-ice pass past Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov, who had 43 saves.

The IceDogs controlled the play to start the second period as well. But a fortunate bounce allowed the Otters to slice Niagara’s lead in half at 2-1. Goaltender Mark Visentin stopped Dane Fox’s shot, but the rebound caromed to Connor Brown. The rookie winger scored into an empty net 6:45 into the period.

Jimmy McDowell also earned an assist on the goal for his first point as an Otter. Niagara regained a two-goal lead at 3-1 on Agozzino’s rebound – his 24th goal of the season – with 10:53 left in the period. But Fox scored on the power play on an assist from McDowell to pull the Otters within 3-2 just 3 minutes later. The Otters were within a goal despite being outshot 36-17 through two periods.

Yet the Otters couldn’t find their offense in the third. They recorded one shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes of the third. They finished with four shots on goal in the period. Their best chance to tie the game – Anthony Cortellessa’s shot from the right wing – caromed off the post behind Visentin.

Agozzino had a goal and assist for the IceDogs (27-13-0-3), which has won six straight and 10 of their past 11 games. Fox (goal, assist) and McDowell (two assists) paced the Otters (5-36-1-1).

- Victor Fernandes

 

SUMMARY

 

IceDogs 3, Otters 2

Niagara  2  1  0  —  3

Erie  0  2  0  —  2

1st Period — 1. Niagara, Alex Friesen 16 (Agozzino), 9:13. 2. Niagara, David Pacan 20 (Doan, Verhaeghe), 9:53. Penalties — Fox (E) hooking, 2:51; Agozzino (N) goaltender interference, 12:00.

2nd Period — 3. Erie, Connor Brown 15 (Fox, McDowell), 6:45. 4. Niagara, Andrew Agozzino 24 (Ritchie, Doudera), 10:53. 5. Erie, Dane Fox 16 (McDowell), 13:46 (pp). Penalties — Graham (N) interference, 12:48.

3rd Period — None. Penalties — Kuhnhackl (N) high sticking, 3:11; McDowell (E) interference, 10:14.

Shots on goal — Niagara, 20-16-10—46; Erie, 7-10-4—21.

Goaltenders — Niagara, Mark Visentin 15-7-0-2 (21 shots, 19 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 3-17-1-1 (46 shots, 43 saves).

Power plays — Niagara (0-2), Erie (1-3).

Referees — Joe Celestin, Garrett Rank. Linesmen — Adam Harris, Mike Harrington.

Attendance — 2,469.

 

Three stars

* Andrew Agozzino, IceDogs (goal, assist) ** Dane Fox, Otters (goal, assist) *** Ramis Sadikov, Otters (43 saves)

Posted: November 28th, 2011

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced Monday that 41 of Canada’s top junior-aged players (born in 1992 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, Dec. 10-14, 2011 at the WinSport Canada Athletic & Ice Complex in Calgary.

Goaltenders
Tyler Bunz (Medicine Hat Tigers)
Louis Domingue (Quebec Remparts)
Mark Visentin (Niagara IceDogs)
Scott Wedgewood (Plymouth Whalers)

Defensemen
Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Cody Ceci (Ottawa 67’s)
Mathew Dumba (Red Deer Rebels)
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (Rimouski Oceanic)
Brandon Gormley (Moncton Wildcats)
Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs)
Scott Harrington (London Knights)
Brenden Kichton (Spokane Chiefs)
Joseph Morrow (Portland Winterhawks)
Ryan Murphy (Kitchener Rangers)
Ryan Murray (Everett Silvertips)
Jamie Oleksiak (Saginaw Spirit)
Alex Petrovic (Red Deer Rebels)
Mark Pysyk (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Forwards
Michael Bournival (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Brett Bulmer (Kelowna Rockets)
Phillip Danault (Victoriaville Tigres)
Michael Ferland (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Brendan Gallagher (Vancouver Giants)
Freddie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs)
Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Boone Jenner (Oshawa Generals)
Mark McNeill (Prince Albert Raiders)
Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts)
Zack Phillips (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Max Reinhart (Kootenay Ice)
Ty Rattie (Portland Winterhawks)
Brad Ross (Portland Winterhawks)
Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts)
Ryan Spooner (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mark Stone (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Ryan Strome (Niagara IceDogs)
Christian Thomas (Oshawa Generals)
Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67’s)

Posted: September 3rd, 2011

The Erie Otters dropped their preseason opener 2-0 to Niagara at Tullio Arena on Saturday night.

But Otters coach Robbie Ftorek said he was “pleased with what they did on the ice.”

The Otters featured a lineup filled with young players, nine of which made their OHL debut. They faced a veteran-laden IceDogs club that included NHL first-round picks Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome and Mark Visentin.

But the Otters battled the IceDogs from start to finish.

Chris Festarini and Tyson Teichmann, who are vying for the No. 1 goaltending job, allowed a goal apiece while splitting time in net. Festarini stopped 17-of-18 shots while Teichmann had seven saves.

Mitch Bennett snapped the scoreless tie 7 minutes, 35 seconds into the second period on the IceDogs’ first power-play chance of the game. The IceDogs finished 1-for-2 compared to the Otters’ 0-for-5. David Pacan capped the scoring with 4:32 left in the game.

The Otters scratched several veterans from the lineup – goaltender Ramis Sadikov, defensemen Brett Cook, Derek Holden and Kris Grant and forwards Mike Cazzola, Greg McKegg and Brett Thompson.

Left wing Sondre Olden, the club’s highly regarded top pick in the CHL Import Draft, also was scratched because the International Ice Hockey Federation hasn’t officially approved his paperwork. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, expects that to happen Tuesday or Wednesday. Bassin also announced the signings of several prospects – 2011 draft picks Nick Betz, Patrick Murphy and Travis Wood, 2010 pick Connor Brown and 2009 pick Johnny McGuire.

SUMMARY

 

IceDogs 2, Otters 0

Niagara  0  1  1  —  2

Erie  0  0  0  —  0

1st Period — 1. None. Penalties — Niagara, too many men (served by Desautels), 5:17; Shipley (N) hooking, 15:28.

2nd Period — Niagara, Mitch Bennett (Strome, F. Hamilton), 7:35 (pp). Penalties — D. Hamilton (N) elbowing, :50; McCarthy (E) roughing, 6:51; Cairns (E) hooking, 9:33; Verhaeghe (N) hooking, 9:40; Beukeboom (N) slashing, 17:53.

3rd Period — 2. Niagara, David Pacan (F. Hamilton), 15:28. Penalties — McGuire (E) 5-min. fighting, 2:57; Desautels (N) 5-min. fighting, 2:57; McGuire (E) game misconduct, 2:57; Desautels (N) game misconduct, 2:57; Cairns (E) delay of game, 6:25; Windsor (N) delay of game, 6:25; D. Hamilton (N) cross checking, 6:54.

Shots on goal — Niagara, 10-11-5—26; Erie, 11-6-9—26.

Goaltenders — Niagara, Mark Visentin (13 shots, 13 saves), Mike Gallardi (13 shots, 13 saves); Erie, Chris Festarini (18 shots, 17 saves), Tyson Teichmann (8 shots, 7 saves).

Power plays — Niagara (1-2), Erie (0-5).

Referees — Craig Spada, Keith Kaval. Linesmen — Ray King, Mike Harrington.

Posted: April 27th, 2011

The Erie Otters’ Ramis Sadikov is among six finalists for the OHL’s goaltender of the year award, which will be announced Thursday.
Here are the finalists:

Ramis Sadikov, Erie Otters
JP Anderson, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Mark Visentin, Niagara IceDogs
Petr Mrazek, Ottawa 67’s
Scott Wedgewood, Plymouth Whalers
Mavric Parks, Saginaw Spirit

Posted: January 5th, 2011

The Erie Otters are back above the .500 mark.

Shawn Szydlowski’s power-play goal with 5:04 left in regulation snapped a tie and handed the Erie Otters a 4-2 win against Niagara in front of 2,712 at Tullio Arena Wednesday night.

With their second straight win, the Otters improved to 19-18-1-1 on the season and moved from eighth into a tie for fifth with Plymouth in the Western Conference standings.

They were bolstered by the return of rookie defenseman Adam Pelech, who played a night after joining teammate Chris Marchese on Ontario’s gold medal-winning team at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Marchese was scratched from the lineup.

Pelech helped the Otters stymie the IceDogs (23-10-2-2) during a four-minute power play in the opening minutes of the first period. Less than two minutes after that man advantage expired, Otters captain Greg McKegg turned defenseman David Shields’ seemingly innocent dump-in with the game’s opening goal.

An IceDogs defender stopped the dump-in attempt. But McKegg grabbed the loose puck and flipped a backhand past goaltender Dalton McGrath at the 7:32 mark. McGrath replaced regular No. 1 Mark Visentin, who started in goal for his native Canada against Russia in the IIHF World Junior Championship’s gold-medal game in Buffalo Wednesday night.

The Otters outshot Niagara 11-6 in the second period. But the IceDogs managed the only goal, as Freddie Hamilton redirected the puck past goaltender Ramis Sadikov with 1:42 left in the period.

The Otters appeared to snap that tie on McKegg’s deflection early in the third. But the officials ruled no goal because McKegg played the puck with a high stick. The ruling was upheld by the video replay judge.

But McKegg wasted little time in scoring again. He turned defenseman Brett Cook’s cross-ice pass into his 27th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead 6:39 into the period. Yet IceDogs center Ryan Strome, who joins McKegg among the OHL’s top five scorers, slipped past the Otters’ defense and then slipped a shot past Sadikov to tie the score at 2 at the 8:39 mark.

But Szydlowski snapped the tie in the closing minutes.

The Otters recorded a season-low in shots allowed (22). … Szydlowski also had an assist. … Derek Holden and Niagara’s Darren Archibald had two assists apiece. … The Otters presented a check for $1,312 to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Erie County in a pregame ceremony. The funds were raised at the inaugural Guns & Hoses Charity Hockey Game at Tullio Dec. 18.

- Victor Fernandes

SUMMARY

Otters 4, IceDogs 2

Niagara  0  1  1  —  2

Erie  1  0  2  —  4

1st Period — 1. Erie, Greg McKegg 26 (Shields), 7:32. Penalties — Luciani (E) 4-min. checking from behind, 1:32; Pelech (E) tripping, 11:40.

2nd Period — 2. Niagara, Freddie Hamilton 16 (Archibald, Strome), 18:18. Penalties — MacEachern (N) hooking, 6:43; McKegg (E) tripping, 10:15; Archibald (N) checking to the head, 19:17.

3rd Period — 3. Erie, McKegg 27 (Cook, Szydlowski), 6:39. 4. Niagara, Ryan Strome 23 (Archibald), 8:39. 4. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 19 (McKegg, Holden), 14:56 (pp). 5. Erie, David Broll 7 (Holden, Shields), 17:58. Penalties — Mercer (N) holding, 14:50.

Shots on goal — Niagara, 9-6-7—22; Erie, 10-11-14—35.

Goaltenders — Niagara, Dalton McGrath 5-2-0-0 (35 shots, 31 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 19-14-1-1 (22 shots, 20 saves).

Power plays — Niagara (0-4), Erie (1-3).

Referees — Seth Ferguson, Mike Cairns. Linesmen — Fraser McIntire, Ray King.

Attendance — 2,712.

Three stars

* Greg McKegg, Otters (2 goals) ** Shawn Szydlowski, Otters (goal, assist) *** Brett Cook, Otters (assist)

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