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 ‘mike cazzola’
Posted: October 14th, 2011

LONDON, Ontario – The Erie Otters had plenty of heart against London on Friday night.

The Otters simply didn’t have enough manpower in a 6-4 loss in front of 8,946 at John Labatt Centre. The Otters (1-7-0-0) dressed only 16 skaters, including nine rookies, because of injuries and illness.

Greg McKegg (minor concussion) was the latest veteran added to an injury list that includes Mike Cazzola (hand surgery), Connor Crisp (shoulder surgery) and Adam Pelech (wrist surgery). McKegg didn’t play Friday and also should miss Saturday’s 7 p.m. game against Windsor at Tullio Arena.

The Otters also faced the Western Conference-leading Knights (7-1-0-0) without veteran forward Brett Thompson (flu) and rookie forward Jake Evans (ill).

Johnny McGuire received a game misconduct late in the first period for removing Knights center Jarred Tinordi‘s helmet during a fight, leaving the Otters with 15 skaters for the rest of the game.

Yet the Otters rallied from an early 2-0 hole against the Knights to take a 3-2 second-period lead. Connor Brown scored late in the first, followed by fellow rookie Sondre Olden’s power-play score 2:45 into the second that tied the score. Chris Marchese’s power-play goal snapped the tie less than two minutes later.

London rallied with three straight goals, capped by rookie Bo Horvat’s score with 7:12 left in the second, to take a 5-3 lead into the third. Yet Marchese sliced London’s lead in half 9:08 into the third.

However, Vladislav Namestnikov scored into an empty net with 32 seconds left to seal the Otters’ fate.

Olden led the Otters with a goal and two assists, while Brett Cook and Travis Wood had two assists apiece. Rookie winger Mitchell Eisenberg had an assist for his first OHL point. Namestnikov paced the Knights with two goals and an assist. Michael Houser made 37 saves.

 

Posted: October 12th, 2011

The Mississauga St. Michael’s took advantage of the man advantage Wednesday night.

The Majors scored three power-play goals on six chances – headlined by Dylan DeMelo’s go-ahead goal 8:12 into the third period – to rally past the Erie Otters 4-2 in front of 2,218 fans at Tullio Arena.

DeMelo led the Majors (8-1-0-0) with a goal and two assists, while goaltender Spencer Martin earned the win in his OHL debut after being a late addition to the lineup in place of veteran J.P. Anderson.

Meanwhile, injury woes and third-period struggles led to the Otters’ second straight loss and sixth defeat in seven games to start the season. The Otters allowed three goals in the final period.

Before the game, the Otters added veteran center Mike Cazzola to an injury list that includes defenseman Adam Pelech (wrist surgery) and forward Connor Crisp (shoulder surgery).

Cazzola undergoes surgery today in Erie to repair a small fracture in his hand and will miss the next month. The Otters also were without veteran forward Brett Thompson, a 40-goal scorer the past two seasons, because of the flu.

Yet the surging Majors also were short-handed, as they were without veterans Devante Smith-Pelly (who remains with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks), Joseph Cramarossa, Jordan Mayer and Stuart Percy.

So the teams were evenly matched in the opening period, with the Otters taking a 1-0 lead on rookie Connor Brown’s second career goal. He stole the puck at the Majors’ blue line, raced in on net and fired a shot under the crossbar for a 1-0 lead with 4:06 left in the period.

The Majors tied the score at 1 on the power play, as Sergey Kuptsov scored his sixth goal of the season on assists from David Corrente and DeMelo with 49 seconds left in the period. But the Otters capitalized on a power play early in the second.

Chris Marchese turned rookie defenseman Travis Wood’s point shot into a rebound goal 6:37 into the period. Rookie Sondre Olden also assisted on the goal. The Otters seemed to gain momentum from that goal. They outshot the Majors 15-9 in the period. Erie nearly capitalized on several of them, especially during a 5-minute power play that carried into the third.

However, the Otters didn’t extend their one-goal lead. The inability to finish proved costly for the Otters.

Derek Schoenmakers scored on the power play, with assists from Riley Brace and DeMelo, to tie the score at 2 at the 3:18 mark of the third. Then the Majors turned a 5-minute charging penalty against Otters rookie Tyler McCarthy into their third power-play goal of the game. DeMelo scored on assists from Justin Rasmussen and Corrente with 11:48 left. McCarthy also received a game misconduct.

Spencer Cobbold capped the Majors’ win with his first OHL goal late in the game.

- Victor Fernandes

 

 

Posted: September 30th, 2011

GUELPH, Ontario – The offensive onslaught continued against the Erie Otters on Friday night.

Guelph handed the Otters a 10-2 loss in front of 2,806 at Sleeman Centre. Erie enters today’s 7 pm. home opener against Oshawa having been outscored 21-6 in a season-opening, three-game losing streak.

The Otters’ young defense, which features four rookies and has lost second-year player Adam Pelech to a wrist injury, has allowed 131 shots on goal in those three games.

On this night, Zack Mitchell led the Storm’s offense with three goals and an assist. Francis Menard had a goal and three assists.

Ryan Horvat (two goals, assist), Ben Harpur (goal, two assists), Cody McNaughton (goal, two assists) and Tanner Richard (goal, two assists) had three points apiece for the Storm (2-1-0-1). Chris Festarini allowed all 10 goals on 38 shots for the Otters (0-3-0-0).

The Otters erased nearly all of a 3-0 deficit with goals from Mike Cazzola and Mac McDonnell in the second period. Rookie winger Nick Betz assisted on McDonnell’s goal for his first career point.

But the Storm scored the game’s final seven goals. The start of the game was delayed by 20 minutes because a closure on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Ontario left the team bus stuck in traffic.

 

SUMMARY

 

Storm 10, Otters 2

Erie  0  2  0  —  2

Guelph  3  3  4  —  10

1st Period — 1. Guelph, Ben Harpur 1 (Auger, Garlent), 1:15. 2. Guelph, Tanner Richard 1 (Horvat, Kosmachuk), 2:15. 3. Guelph, Zack Mitchell 1 (Menard, McNaughton), 18:40. Penalties — McKegg (E) checking from behind, 4:01; Foote (G) delay of game, 5:14; Cazzola (E) hooking, 7:42; McKegg (E) goaltender interference, 12:40; Leslie (G) slashing, 13:33.

2nd Period — 4. Erie, Mike Cazzola 1 (unassisted), 1:22. 5. Erie, Mac McDonnell 1 (Betz), 13:25. 6. Guelph, Mitchell 2 (McNaughton), 16:33. 7. Guelph, Ryan Horvat 1 (Richard), 16:45. 8. Guelph, Horvat 2 (unassisted), 19:10 (sh). Penalties — Auger (G) hooking, 7:34; Wood (E) 5-min. fighting, 12:01; Bertuzzi (G) 5-min. fighting, 12:01; Leslie (G) slashing, 18:07.

3rd Period — 9. Guelph, Cody McNaughton 4 (Kosmachuk, Richard), 1:10. 10. Guelph, Kyle Pereira 2 (Leslie, Menard), 2:57. 11. Guelph, Mitchell 3 (Menard, Harpur), 13:42. 12. Guelph, Francis Menard 3 (Mitchell, Harpur), 17:50. Penalties — Cazzola (E) slashing, 3:13; Pereira (G) cross checking, 3:13; McGuire (E) slashing, 10:41; McGuire (E) 5-min. fighting, 10:41; McNaughton (G) 5-min. fighting, 10:41; McGuire (E) game misconduct, 10:41.

Shots on goal — Erie, 15-8-7—33; Guelph, 15-6-17—38.

Goaltenders — Erie, Chris Festarini 0-2-0-0 (36 shots, 26 saves); Guelph, Brandon Foote (4 shots, 4 saves), Garret Sparks 1-1-0-1 (29 shots, 27 saves).

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

Referees — Matt Parlette, Ben Wilson. Linesmen — Tim Steen.

Attendance — 2,806.

 

Three stars

* Zack Mitchell, Storm (3 goals, assist) ** Ryan Horvat, Storm (2 goals, assist) *** Tanner Richard, Storm (goal, 2 assists)

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: August 3rd, 2011

Sherry Bassin, Erie Otters managing partner and general manager, said Wednesday that he’s involved in serious trade discussions involving Andrew Yogan, a 19-year-old forward and four-year OHL veteran.

Bassin declined to name the interested club and the timetable for a completed deal. But an unnamed league source considers an undisclosed Eastern Conference team as the frontrunner ahead of several other Eastern and Western conference teams. A trade could be finalized by the end of the week, the source said.

“I can’t really judge and tell you that it’s imminent or not imminent,” said Bassin, who wants “whatever fits” in return for Yogan – be it players, draft picks or both.

Bassin has made Yogan aware of the trade talks. He expects Yogan would waive his no-trade clause if a deal is completed.

“It’s a numbers game,” Bassin said, referring to Yogan. On Tuesday, Bassin alluded to having Mike Cazzola and Brett Thompson, who combined for 63 goals and 151 points this past season, for a full season. Cazzola missed two months in 2010-11 with a broken wrist. Thompson was acquired in January from Sault Ste. Marie. That likely would leave the final OA spot on defense for Brett Cook or Derek Holden. Bassin said trade talks involving other undisclosed players besides Yogan are ongoing.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out this story on Yogan from the New York Rangers’ website.

 

 

Posted: March 31st, 2011

What: No. 5 Erie Otters at No. 4 Windsor Spitfires

When: Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters need a win to avoid being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight season. They haven’t won a first-round series since beating Sarnia in 2004. … The franchise is 0-5 in series when trailing 3-1 in games. The Otters lost Game 5 three times. … The Otters have lost three straight for the first time since October. … G Ramis Sadikov (1-2-1 record, 3.81 goals-against average, .906 save percentage) has allowed 10 goals on his last 70 shots (7.05 GAA, .875 save pct.). … Rookie backup G Chris Festarini has allowed three goals on 18 shots in 35 minutes of play (5.12 GAA, .833 save pct.). … The Otters were 1-for-6 on the power play in their Game 4 loss Monday to fall to 3-for-27 in the series. … C Mike Cazzola (3 goals, 2 assists for 5 points) and RW Shawn Szydlowski (2-3-5) have points in the past three games. … C Phil Varone (1-3-4) has points in three of four games. … Coach Robbie Ftorek said F Andrew Yogan missed Game 4 because he was ill and banged up. “We’ve got to see how that works its way out,” Ftorek said.

Windsor – LW Tom Kuhnhackl (2-3-5) rebounded from a leg injury in Game 3 by totaling two goals and two assists in Game 4. … RW Jake Carrick (3-3-6) has more goals and points in this series than in his previous 19 playoff games (1-2-3 with Sault Ste. Marie in 2008 and 2010). … C Stephen Johnston (3-3-6), RW Zack Kassian (1-4-5) and D Adrian Robertson (0-5-5) also lead the offense. … Six different players recorded at least two points in the Game 4 win. … The Spitfires have recorded 40 or more shots on goal in all four games (44.5 per-game average). … The power-play unit has capitalized on 4-of-14 chances in the past two games after failing on 16-of-17 opportunities in the first two games. … G Jack Campbell has a 3-1 record, 2.44 GAA and .920 save pct. in the series.

Up next: Game 6 at Erie (Sunday, 4:30 p.m.), Game 7 at Windsor (Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.)*

* If necessary (both games)

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 30th, 2011

The Windsor Spitfires have taken command of their series with the Erie Otters.

The Spitfires exploded for seven goals on 42 shots in a 7-4 win against the Otters in Game 4 of their best-of-seven quarterfinal series, played in front of 3,316 at Tullio Arena on Wednesday night.

The Spitfires, which lead 3-1 in the series, can eliminate the Otters with a win in Game 5 on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario. Seven Spitfires contributed multiple points in the win.

Tom Kuhnhackl led the way with two goals and two assists. Alexander Khokhlachev (two goals, assist) and Jake Carrick (goal, two assists) had three points apiece. David Shields had two points for the Otters.

The shootout many expected from two of the OHL’s top offenses finally erupted in the first period.

The teams scored five goals on 15 shots, with the Spitfires building a 3-2 lead. Windsor scored on their first two shots to chase Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov from the game for the second straight outing.

Kuhnhackl, who left Game 3 early on Monday with an apparent leg injury, beat Sadikov for a 1-0 lead 1:27 into the opening period. Khokhlachev scored from in front at the 3:52 mark.

Tyler Hostetter scored less than five minutes later to slice the Otters’ deficit to 2-1, only to have Stephen Johnston score on the power play against rookie backup Chris Festarini with 7:06 left in the period to regain the Spitfires’ two-goal lead. Windsor scored its first three goals on four shots.

Then with 4:15 left in the period, Shields slipped a shot past Spitfires goaltender Jack Campbell to send the Otters into the first intermission trailing 3-2. The Otters scored twice on nine shots.

But Zack Kassian’s first goal of the series 47 seconds into the second period, which handed the Spitfires a 4-2 lead, forced Otters coach Robbie Ftorek to send Sadikov back into the game.

Greg McKegg pulled the Otters within a goal again at 4-3, as he fired a rebound of Shawn Szydlowski’s shot off the post past Campbell 4:56 into the period. But McKegg’s goaltender interference penalty led to Kuhnhackl’s power-play score – his second goal of the game and series – that extended the Spitfires’ lead to 5-3 with 11:27 left in the period. Carrick scored five minutes later for a 6-3 lead.

The Spitfires scored those six goals on 18 shots. The Otters moved within 6-4 at the 5:01 mark of the third period, as Mike Cazzola poked in a rebound late in a 5-on-3 opportunity. But Khokhlachev scored his second goal of the night less than 2 minutes later to extend Windsor’s lead to 7-4. Windsor outshot the Otters 22-7 in the third to finish with a 48-26 advantage.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Windsor 6, Erie 2

Game 4 – Windsor 7, Erie 4

Game 5 – Friday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 7 – Tuesday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Windsor leads series 3-1

* If necessary

SUMMARY

Spitfires 7, Otters 4

Windsor  3  3  1  —  7

Erie  2  1  1  —  4

1st Period — 1. Windsor, Tom Kuhnhackl 1 (Duininck), 1:27. 2. Windsor, Alexander Khokhlachev 1 (Robertson, Kuhnhackl), 3:52. 3. Erie, Tyler Hostetter 1 (Festarini), 8:27. 4. Windsor, Stephen Johnston 3 (Kassian, Duininck), 12:54 (pp). 5. Erie, David Shields 1 (Luciani, Holden), 15:45. Penalties — Rychel (W) tripping, 4:11; Cook (E) checking from behind, 12:16; Carrick (W) hooking, 14:08; Thompson (E) tripping, 15:31.

2nd Period — 6. Windsor, Zack Kassian 1 (Ryan, Johnston), :47. 7. Erie, Greg McKegg 2 (Szydlowski, Shields), 4:56. 8. Windsor, Kuhnhackl 2 (Carrick, Khokhlachev), 8:33 (pp). 9. Windsor, Jake Carrick 3 (Kuhnhackl), 13:34. Penalties — McKegg (E) goaltender interference, 8:24; Kassian (W) roughing, 15:51.

3rd Period — 10. Erie, Mike Cazzola 3 (Szydlowski, Varone), 5:01 (pp). 11. Windsor, Khokhlachev 2 (Carrick, Robertson), 6:50. Penalties — Luciani (E) 4-min. roughing, 2:04; Khokhlachev (W) roughing, 2:04; Robertson (W) roughing, 2:04; Varone (E) slashing, 2:04; Ellis (E) slashing, 3:04; Johnston (W) tripping, 4:21; Carnevale (W) holding, 9:37; Luciani (E) roughing, 13:09; Szydlowski (E) slashing, 14:44; Kassian (W) roughing, 14:44; Crisp (E) slashing, 17:00.

Shots on goal — Windsor, 9-17-22—42; Erie, 6-13-7—26.

Goaltenders — Windsor, Jack Campbell 3-1-0 (26 shots, 22 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 1-2-1 (37shots, 32 saves), Chris Festarini (11 shots, 9 saves).

Power plays — Windsor (2-6), Erie (1-6).

Referees — Craig Spada, Mike Cairns. Linesmen — Darryl Wolfe, Matthew Traub.

Attendance — 3,316.

Three stars

* Tom Kuhnhackl, Spitfires (2 goals, 2 assists) ** Alexander Khokhlachev, Spitfires (2 goals, assist) *** Mike Cazzola, Otters (goal)

Posted: March 27th, 2011

What: No. 4 Erie Otters vs. No. 5 Windsor Spitfires

When: Monday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)

Fast facts

Erie – The Game 2 loss to the Spitfires on Saturday at Tullio Arena snapped the Otters’ nine-game overall winning streak and five-game home winning streak. … The Otters won Game 1 in Windsor on Thursday. … C Mike Cazzola had a goal and two assists on Saturday. He has four goals and nine points in 11 career playoff games. … Cazzola and C Phil Varone lead the Otters with a goal and three points in the series. … F Andrew Yogan had an assist in Game 2 – his first point in seven career playoff games. But he spent most of the third period and both overtimes on the bench after dropping from the No. 1 line to the fourth line. Coach Robbie Ftorek said rookie RW Macaulay McDonnell provided a better matchup on home ice in the game. “We’ll see what happens,” Ftorek said. “We just have to move the lines around.” … The Otters are third on the penalty kill in the playoffs (94.1 percent) after finishing second in the regular season (83.2). … G Ramis Sadikov has stopped 85-of-90 shots in the series.

Windsor – G Jack Campbell followed a strong performance in the Game 1 loss (35 saves on 37 shots) with 40 saves on 43 shots in Game 2. He also had an assist on Saturday. … D Ryan Ellis, who had 100 points in the regular season, had a goal and assist for the Spitfires after being shut out in Game 1. … Overage RW Jeff Brown scored his first two career playoff goals in the Game 2 win, including the winner in the second overtime. He had no previous playoff experience before this series. … RW Zack Kassian, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, has no goals and one point in the series.

Up next: Game 4 at Erie (Wednesday, 7 p.m.), Game 5 at Windsor (Friday, 7:05 p.m.)

– Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Monday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Game 4 – Wednesday at Erie, 7 p.m.

Game 5 – Friday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 7 – April 5 at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Series tied 1-1

* If necessary

Posted: March 26th, 2011

The longest game in Erie Otters’ history also was the most frustrating.

Windsor’s Jeff Brown scored 11 minutes, 9 seconds into the second overtime to seal the Spitfires 4-3 win against the Otters in front of 4,818 at Tullio Arena on Saturday night.

The Spitfires evened the series at a game apiece heading back to WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, on Monday at 7:05 p.m.

After combining for three goals in the Otters’ 2-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday, two of the league’s top three offenses in the regular season found their rhythm in the first period on Saturday.

The Otters opened the scoring by capitalizing on a 5-on-3 opportunity, as Mike Cazzola scored in front on assists from Shawn Szydlowski and Phil Varone with 9:31 left in the period. The Otters nearly scored again moments later, but Andrew Yogan’s shot glanced off the crossbar.

The teams then finished the period with three goals in the final four minutes. Jake Carrick tied score at 1 with 3:43 left on an assist from Alexander Khokhlachev. Otters captain Greg McKegg snapped the tie by turning Cazzola’s pass into his first goal of the playoffs 1:19 later.

But Ryan Ellis’ shot from the point slipped past Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov with 1:08 left in the period to send the teams into the second period tied at 2. Then the Spitfires took a 3-2 lead – their first lead of the series – on Brown’s goal 4:47 into the second period.

Meanwhile, the Otters had a penalty-shot opportunity overturned midway through the period. A referee pointed to center ice after apparently calling Spitfires defenseman Ryan Ellis for covering the puck in the crease. But after a lengthy discussion, Ellis received a two-minute minor for delay of the game.

The Otters earned a brief 5-on-3. Yet they failed to score. They also squandered several other scoring chances despite finishing the period with only six shots on goal.

But 6:23 into the third, the Otters tied the score at 3, as Cazzola’s second assist and third point of the game led to Szydlowski’s first goal of the playoffs. Then it was on to an entertaining first overtime that featured a combined 25 shots on goal and two power plays apiece.

Brown finally ended it with a rebound from the left wing.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Monday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Game 4 – Wednesday at Erie, 7 p.m.

Game 5 – Friday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6 – April 3 at Erie, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 7 – April 5 at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Series tied 1-1

* If necessary

SUMMARY

Spitfires 4, Otters 3 (2OT)

Windsor  2  1  0  0  1  —  4

Erie  2  0  1  0  0  —  3

1st Period — 1. Erie, Mike Cazzola 1 (Szydlowski, Varone), 10:29 (pp). 2. Windsor, Jake Carrick 1 (Khokhlachev), 16:17. 3. Erie, Greg McKegg 1 (Cazzola, Yogan), 17:36. 4. Windsor, Ryan Ellis 1 (Johnston), 18:52. Penalties — McKegg (E) high sticking, 3:20; Vail (W) goaltender interference, 6:03; Hostetter (E) roughing, 6:03; Brown (W) roughing, 6:03; Kuhnhackl (W) hooking, 8:47; Ellis (W) hooking, 9:52; Paton (E) interference, 12:04; Ryan (W) goaltender interference, 12:30.

2nd Period — 5. Windsor, Jeff Brown 1 (Ellis, Campbell), 4:47. Penalties — Posa (W) interference, :14; Szydlowski (W) checking from behind, 3:54; Carrick (W) boarding, 4:03; Cook (E) instigator, 4:03; Cook (E) 5-min. fighting, 4:03, 4:03; Carrick (W) 5-min. fighting, 4:03; Cook (E) 10-min. fighting, 4:03; Rychel (W) hooking, 7:16; Ellis (W) delay of game, 8:55; Cazzola (E) roughing, 8:55; Robertson (W) roughing, 8:55; Robertson (W) tripping, 19:51.

3rd Period — 6. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 1 (Cazzola), 6:23. Penalties — Luciani (E) roughing, 9:35.

Overtime — None. Penalties — Szydlowski (E) tripping, 2:30; Varone (E) tripping, 4:13; Kuhnhackl (W) goaltender interference, 8:39; Campbell (W) delay of game (served by Carrick), 11:46.

Second Overtime — 7. Windsor, Brown 2 (Carnevale, Rychel), 11:09. Penalties — None.

Shots on goal — Windsor, 9-11-10-11-8—49; Erie, 10-6-9-14-4—43.

Goaltenders — Windsor, Jack Campbell 1-1-0 (43 shots, 40 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 1-1-0 (49 shots, 45 saves).

Power plays — Windsor (0-6), Erie (1-10).

Referees — Jason Goldenberg, Sean Reid. Linesmen — Jesse Wilmot, Mike Harrington.

Attendance — 4,818.

Three stars

* Mike Cazzola, Otters (goal, 2 assists) ** Jeff Brown, Spitfires (2 goals) *** Shawn Szydlowski, Otters (goal, assist)

Posted: March 17th, 2011

SARNIA, Ontario – The Erie Otters needed one more goal to regain fourth in the Western Conference.

Brett Appio made it happen, as his goal with 8 minutes, 47 seconds left in the third period snapped a tie and handed the Otters a critical 7-6 win in front of 4,110 at RBC Centre on Thursday night.

With their season-high, seventh straight win, the Otters (39-26-1-1) moved into a tie with Windsor for fourth place, a spot that guarantees home-ice advantage in the first round of the OHL playoffs.

The Otters also secured a first-round series with the Spitfires. Windsor lost 5-0 at home to Saginaw on Thursday, leaving the Spitfires and Otters with 80 points apiece.

Windsor has a game in hand on the Otters, which complete the regular season tonight in Saginaw. The Spitfires travel to Sault Ste. Marie tonight and to Saginaw on Saturday. Sixth-place Plymouth (76 points), which didn’t play Thursday, plays at Kitchener tonight and hosts Guelph on Saturday.

Sarnia (24-35-5-2) made the Otters work hard for their latest win.

The Otters trailed 2-1 midway through the first period before scoring five unanswered goals in a 16½-minute span of the first and second periods to build a 6-2 lead. But the Sting rallied to tie the score at 6 with four straight goals, capped by Nail Yakupov’s power-play goal 8:28 into the third.

Yet Appio’s unassisted goal snapped the tie less than three minutes later. Appio has 12 goals in 54 games this season, one more than he scored in 114 games the past three seasons.

Shawn Szydlowski led the Otters with two goals – his 40th and 41st of the season – and an assist.

Brett Cook, David Shields, Phil Varone and Connor Crisp also scored for the Otters. Anthony Luciani and Mike Cazzola had two assists apiece. Ramis Sadikov earned the win despite allowing six goals on 32 shots. Rookies Yakupov (goal, four assists) and Alex Galchenyuk (three goals, assist) led the Sting with a combined four goals and nine points.

- Victor Fernandes

SUMMARY

Otters 7, Sting 6

Erie  4  2  1  —  7

Sarnia  2  1  3  —  6

1st Period — 1. Erie, Connor Crisp 5 (McDonnell), 6:09. 2. Sarnia, Alex Galchenyuk 29 (Yakupov, Peters), 8:04. 3. Sarnia, Joe Rogalski 7 (Galchenyuk, Yakupov), 9:14. 4. Erie, David Shields 6 (Luciani), 9:27. 5. Erie, Phil Varone 32 (Luciani, Thompson), 12:08. 6. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 40 (Cazzola), 16:37 (sh). Penalties — Appio (E) high sticking, 8:22; Hottot (S) slashing, 8:22; Crisp (E) holding, 15:10; Flemington (S) hooking, 18:36.

2nd Period — 7. Erie, Brett Cook 8 (Hostetter, Szydlowski), :34 (pp), 8. Erie, Szydlowski 41 (McKegg, Cazzola), 5:52. 9. Galchenyuk 30 (Yakupov), 7:54. Penalties — Holden (E) hooking, 11:00; Ritchie (S) hooking, 11:57; Flemington (S) hooking, 14:52; McDonnell (E) unsportsmanlike conduct, 18:51; Yakupov (S) high sticking, 18:51.

3rd Period — 10. Sarnia, Galchenyuk 31 (Yakupov, Peters), 3:47. 11. Sarnia, Brett Ritchie 21 (Flemington, Chiarlitti), 4:36. 12. Sarnia, Nail Yakupov 48 (Kerbashian, Chiarlitti), 8:28 (pp). 13., Erie, Brett Appio 12 (unassisted), 11:13. Penalties — Varone (E) roughing, 1:14; Yakupov (S) roughing, 1:14; Luciani (E) holding, 6:37; Yogan (E) roughing, 6:37; Flemington (S) roughing, 6:37; Szydlowski (E) roughing, 11:43; Flemington (S) roughing, 11:43; Hottot (S) interference, 11:43; Yogan (E) cross checking, 14:25.

Shots on goal — Erie, 14-9-9—32; Sarnia, 8-12-12—32.

Goaltenders — Erie, Ramis Sadikov 35-17-11 (32 shots, 26 saves); Sarnia, Troy Passingham 17-15-3-2 (32 shots, 25 saves).

Power plays — Erie (1-5), Sarnia (1-5).

Referees — Ryan Hutchison, Joe Monette. Linesmen — Glenn Anderson, Matt Prozaki.

Attendance — 4,110.

Three stars

* Nail Yakupov, Sting (goal, 4 assists) ** Alex Galchenyuk, Sting (3 goals, assist) *** Shawn Szydlowski, Otters (2 goals, assist)

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