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 ‘Oscar Dansk’
Posted: April 22nd, 2014

Now that looked like the Erie Otters club that won 52 games in the regular season.
The Otters finally played their game for the first time in this best-of-7 Western Conference championship series against Guelph in a game they had to win – Game 4 tonight at Erie Insurance Arena. It took facing playoff elimination and the end of their season to bring that out of this team. But they needed something after losing three straight in disappointing fashion.

* Goaltending - Devin Williams shook a subpar Game 3 – 5 goals on 27 shots before being pulled early in the third period – and two first-period goals (including one on the game’s first shot for the second straight night) to make 26 saves tonight.
Williams made the saves he needed to make – and a few more he had to make to keep momentum in the Otters’ favor. He (and Oscar Dansk, for that matter) didn’t make those saves in the first three games.
But tonight, Williams stymied the Storm on a couple of break-ins and a few odd-man rushes to maintain the two-goal lead.

* Responsible defense - The Otters allowed an early goal for the second straight game, but that wasn’t too alarming, even in that must-win situation. This team gave up early goals at times throughout the season, and they responded in typical fashion – blocking shots, clearing out the front of the net and limiting rebounds. They were finally back at it on D tonight.

* Puck possession & hard drives to the net - The Storm didn’t score over the final 2 periods. The D deserves credit, so do a group of forwards who helped out the D with puck possession and patience on the offensive end. And credit linemates Connor Brown and Dane Fox for looking like the players that led the OHL with 128 points (Brown) and 64 goals (Fox).
Brown had 2 goals and an assist. Fox had his first goal of the series and assist. And both had more chances to score.

But now comes the bigger test – Game 5 in Guelph on Friday night. The Otters are 0-5 in Sleeman Centre this season, including 5-4 and 7-2 losses in the first two games of the series. Storm captain Matt Finn said they were a bit overconfident because of the 3-0 series lead. Head coach Scott Walker said his team didn’t match the intensity that they expected to see from the Otters. I can’t imagine that will happen again Friday. The Storm want to close it out that night, because if they lose then it’s a brand-new series heading back to Erie for Game 6 on Saturday.

- Victor Fernandes

 

Posted: April 22nd, 2014

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS
(starters in bold italics)

 

ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Curtis-Strome-Burakovsky
Wood-Gaunce-Wigle
Evans-Pettit-Murphy

Defense
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Williams
Dansk

Scratches: Felker, Raddysh, Maksimovich, Betz

GUELPH STORM
Forwards
Rychel-Fabbri-Mitchell
Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
McGinn-Horvat-Auger
Bauman-Suter-Pierog

Defense
Finn-Trojanovic
Leslie-Ebert
Baltisberger-Harpur

Goaltenders
Nichols
Mancina

 Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden
 

Posted: April 21st, 2014

My colleague, John Dudley, describes the Erie Otters’ troubles well in his column today – “The question isn’t who will be in net for the Erie Otters” for Game 4 Tuesday. “The question is whether it matters.”
Devin Williams and Oscar Dansk had another tough night in goal against Guelph.
The tandem in net allowed seven goals on 41 shots, and have surrendered 19 goals on 97 shots in the first three games of the series. But as the Otters face a 3-0 series deficit, they face face more glaring issues.

Here’s just a few thoughts on that…

* The No. 1 line of Connor Brown, Dane Fox and Connor McDavid have been nearly non-existent in the series. The Storm have given McDavid (0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points) no time and space by taking away time and space and using a physical style. Without McDavid at his playmaking best, Brown (2-0-2) hasn’t enjoyed as many quality scoring chances as he did all season long. Fox (0-1-1) hasn’t played an active role on the offensive end throughout the series. Meanwhile, his frustration level has grown with each passing game – to the tune of 10 penalty minutes and a 10-minute misconduct that ended his evening early in Game 1.

* Puck possession was a huge key to success in the regular season, and in the first two series against Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie. But aside from the start of Games 1 and 2, the Otters haven’t consistently sustained pressure in the offensive end. The more they have the puck, the less opportunity the Storm have to score.

* The Otters haven’t been mentally tough — letdowns after strong starts, allowing goals moments after scoring goals of their own, one bad penalty after another (13 short-handed situations overall in Game 3 tonight). And the Storm seemingly have taken advantage of every mistake.

* The Otters haven’t been aggressive on defense, which have given the Storm plenty of time and space. You can’t give that team any time and space and expect to win. But in the first three games, it seems like the Otters showed too much respect to the Storm from a defensive perspective. That has made life difficult for Williams (who will start Game 4 Tuesday) and Dansk. Perfect example – the Otters allowed only seven quality chances in the first two periods of Game 2 on Friday. The Storm scored on five of them.
 

Here’s what head coach Kris Knoblauch and D Adam Pelech had to say in the post-game news conference… 

Posted: April 20th, 2014

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 3
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream), Image Sports Network
Series update: Guelph leads 2-0 (5-4 win in Game 1, 7-2 win in Game 2)
Players to watch
Erie – G Devin Williams (8-1-1 record, 2.11 goals-against average, .922 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points), C Connor McDavid (4-12-16), C Brendan Gaunce (6-9-15), RW Connor Brown (5-9-14), LW Andre Burakovsky (10-3-13), D Adam Pelech (2-3-5, plus-7 rating), C Dylan Strome (2-6-8); Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (7-12-19), LW Jason Dickinson (5-12-17), G Justin Nichols (10-2-0, 2.81, .916, 1 SHO), LW Kerby Rychel (5-12-17), RW Scott Kosmachuk (8-9-17), LW Brock McGinn (2-1-3 in 4 games), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (7-6-13), D Matt Finn(2-4-6, +8)
Fast facts: The Otters play the next two games at home, where they are 34-3-1 this season – including 4-0 in the playoffs. … They were 2-1 against the Storm at home in the regular season. … Nichols shut out the Otters 1-0 at EIA on Jan. 18. … Guelph has outscored the Otters 12-6 despite being outshot 63-56 in the series. … Williams could get the start tonight after Oscar Dansk allowed seven goals on 30 shots in Game 2 Friday night. Williams allowed five goals on 26 shots in the Game 1 loss. … Gaunce had an eight-game playoff scoring streak snapped in the Game 2 loss. … The Otters’ No. 1 line of Brown, Fox and McDavid, who finished among the league’s top four scorers in the regular season, has been held to a combined one goal and three assists in the series. … Mitchell leads the league in playoff scoring. Fox, Kosmachuk, Dickinson and Rychel are tied for second. … The Otters, which lead the league on the power play this season, are 1-for-7 with the man advantage and have alllowed a short-handed goal.
Outlook: The Otters have said they won’t be in trouble in this series until they play at home. Now they’re at home, and they have to win.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner here
Western Conference finals and check out what D Kurtis MacDermid has to say about moving forward in this series.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph
Storm lead series 2-0
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Guelph 7, Erie 2
Game 3 – Today at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 28 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

Posted: April 18th, 2014
Oscar Dansk

GUELPH, Ontario – Oscar Dansk‘s struggles in net continued tonight, but he had plenty of help in allowing seven goals on 30 shots in a 7-2 loss to Guelph tonight in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
The OHL’s stingiest scoring defense in the regular season has been unable to handle wave after wave of attacks from the league’s highest-scoring offense this season. The Otters succumbed to a series of 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s, especially in the third period. The Storm deserve lots of credit, because they capitalized on scoring chances with their speed, pinpoint passing and even better shots. But the Otters need to slow down the Attack in a pair of must-win games in Erie on Monday and Tuesday.
“We’ve got to be better,” D Spencer Abraham said. “We know we can’t give them much. They have so much talent up front, much like us. Their top 6 is amongst the best in the league. … Everyone just has to tighten up. One mistake here and there, and it’s been ending up in the back of our net.” 

That begins with better puck possession, which was a staple through the Otters’ success in the regular season and through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Otters started strong for the second straight game, to the tune of a 13-1 advantage in shots. “They capitalized on their opportunities. We didn’t,” head coach Kris Knoblauch said.
He needs more consistent play from the team’s top line of OHL goals leader Dane Fox, OHL scoring leader Connor Brown and second-year phenom Connor McDavid. They were held to one point in Game 2 – McDavid’s assist on D Cory Genovese‘s goal – and four points (including one goal) in the first two games. They were arguably the league’s best line in the regular season, and were on fire against Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie. It’s time to raise their game again.

*** As expected, Knoblauch didn’t reveal whether Dansk or Devin Williams will start in goal for Game 3. Yet he did say he started Dansk tonight because Williams needed rest. Williams allowed five goals on 26 shots in a Game 1 loss. But before that, he and the Otters had nine days off after eliminating Sault Ste. Marie in a four-game sweep. So how was he tired?

*** The Otters deserved a better fate early in the game for the second straight night. Shots were 13-1 Otters at one point in the first period. Yet the Storm scored first on their 2nd shot. The Otters built a 16-9 shot advantage in the period, but were still down 3-0. It just shows strong how dangerous the Storm really are.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph
Storm lead series 2-0
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Guelph 7, Erie 2
Game 3 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 26 at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 28 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
No. 1 Oshawa vs. No. 2 North Bay
Battalion lead series 1-0
Game 1 – North Bay 1, Oshawa 0
Game 2 – Sunday at Oshawa, 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Tuesday at North Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Wednesday at North Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Oshawa, 7:05 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 26 at North Bay, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 28 at Oshawa, 7:05 p.m.*

* If necessary

 

Posted: April 18th, 2014

GUELPH, Ontario – The turning point in the Western Conference finals will occur tonight in Game 2.
Erie Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch is starting Oscar Dansk in net, a night after Devin Williams allowed 5 goals on 26 shots in a 5-4 Game 1 loss – but more importantly, after Williams played so well through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Knoblauch has gone down this road once before this postseason – Game 3 against Saginaw in the first round. Dansk allowed five goals on 25 shots and was replaced by Williams in what became a 7-6 OT loss. That momentarily gave the Spirit life in the series after they lost the first two games in Erie. And that move could have changed the overall series.
I’m not 100 percent surprised by the move. Williams wasn’t bad – average but not bad – in Game 1. But it seemed like the time Knoblauch would consider making the switch. Williams also hasn’t enjoyed a ton of success against the Storm this season – 21 goals against on 182 shots (.884 save percentage) in 5 games this season.
If this move produces a win tonight, the Otters will gain more than home-ice advantage. They will gain added confidence and mometum as they head back to Erie for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Tuesday. If it doesn’t work, the Otters are in trouble.

- Victor Fernandes
 

 

Posted: April 16th, 2014
 

Posted: April 11th, 2014

Erie Otters C Kyle Pettit was back on the ice for a full practice for the first time since having his left calf slashed by a skate blade in Game 4 of the opening-round series against Saginaw. He’s expected to rejoin the lineup for the start of the Western Conference finals. For now, he will focus on regaining his game shape.
“It’s pretty exciting again. It’s been a slow process, but it’s getting a lot better, ” said Pettit, who skated on his own twice earlier in the week without pain. “That was really surprising to me,” he said. “Maybe I’m a little hesitant, but it’s going to take some time just to get back to normal. … It’s what the practice is for.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Some players watched the webcast Game 4 in the Guelph-London series on their off night Thursday. Some enjoyed a second day away from hockey. But the coaching staff was hard at work, as they traveled to London, Ontario, to watch the Storm’s 6-3 win at Budweiser Gardens. They are familiar with the Storm and Knights, as the Otters faced their Midwest Division rivals six times apiece in the regular season. But the Otters have tinkered with their strategy from series to series, head coach Kris Knoblauch said. Those teams have done that as well.
“They’re always changing their game a little bit, and they’ll change their game when they play us,” Knoblauch said before Friday’s practice at Erie Insurance Arena, the team’s first time back on the ice since completing a four-game sweep of Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday in the conference semifinals. “You can watch games on video, but you only see a third of the ice. (Watching games live) gives you a better idea of what’s going on. It gives you a little bit better perspective of what they’re doing.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Looks like the Otters will have a full week of practice before starting the conference finals. Knoblauch said he expects the best-of-seven series to begin next Friday. So he will need to keep practice fresh to keep his players sharp.
“This time of year you can only practice so much,” he said. Pettit is happy about the long break, though. “I’m getting a lot of rest and working on (my leg),” he said. ”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Oscar Dansk

Oscar Dansk seems like a more confident goaltender these days. He’s still adjusting to what he called a “new experience” – life as a backup to Devin Williams. But Dansk has worked hard in practice to regain the form that made him one of the league’s top goaltenders in the regular season. He also has returned to the old pads he used in the regular season.
“I just have to learn how to handle this kind of situation myself,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get my feel back, getting back in the groove. I’ve felt really good in practice.”
Posted: April 1st, 2014

Finalists for the OHL’s seven major awards:

Red Tilson Trophy (Most Outstanding Player of the Year)
Barrie – D Aaron Ekblad (23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points, +7 rating)
Belleville – LW Remi Elie (29-39-68)

Connor Brown

Erie – RW Connor Brown (45-83-128)
Guelph – LW Brock McGinn (43-42-85)
Kingston – C Sam Bennett (36-55-91)
Kitchener – RW Justin Bailey (25-18-43)
London – LW Max Domi (34-59-93)
Mississauga – C Bryson Cianfrone (17-27-44)
Niagara – LW Brendan Perlini (34-37-71)
North Bay – RW Barclay Goodrow (33-34-67)
Oshawa – C Scott Laughton (40-47-87)
Ottawa – G Philippe Trudeau (22-32-3-3 record, 4.03 GAA, .900 save %, 1 SHO)
Owen Sound – D Chris Bigras (4-22-28, -11)
Peterborough – LW Nick Ritchie (39-35-74)
Plymouth – G Alex Nedeljkovic (26-27-0-7, 2.88, .925, 1 SHO)
Saginaw – LW Dylan Sadowy (27-9-36)
Sarnia – RW Nikolay Goldobin (38-56-94)
Sault Ste. Marie – G Matt Murray (32-11-1-0, 2.57, .921, 6 SHO)
Sudbury – RW Nick Baptiste (45-44-89)
Windsor – D Slater Koekkoek (15-38-53, +44)

Matt Leyden Trophy (Coach of the Year)
Bob Boughner, Windsor (37-28-3-0 record, 1st round of playoffs)
Stan Butler, North Bay (38-24-4-2, 1st round of playoffs)
Todd Gill, Kingston (39-23-3-3, 1st round of playoffs)
Kris Knoblauch, Erie (52-14-2-0, 2nd round of playoffs)
D.J. Smith, Oshawa (42-20-0-6, Eastern Conference champion, 2nd round of playoffs)
Scott Walker, Guelph (52-12-2-2, OHL regular-season champion, 2nd round of playoffs)

Goaltender of the Year
Daniel Altshuller, Oshawa (31-13-0-3, 2.56, .917, 2 SHO)

Oscar Dansk

Oscar Dansk, Erie (29-9-1-0, 2.39, .909, 6 SHO)
Matt Murray, Sault Ste. Marie (32-11-1-0, 2.57, .921, 6 SHO)
Alex Nedeljkovic, Plymouth (26-27-0-7, 2.88, .925, 1 SHO)
Franky Palazzese, Sudbury (27-23-2-7, 2.97, .916, 5 SHO)
Jake Smith, North Bay (23-12-3-1, 2.52, .904, 4 SHO)

Defenseman of the Year
Trevor Carrick, Sudbury (22-29-51, -6)
Aaron Ekblad, Barrie (23-30-53, +7)
Slater Koekkoek, Windsor (15-38-53, +18)
Roland McKeown, Kingston (11-32-43, +38)
Adam Pelech, Erie (9-45-54, +52)

Adam Pelech


Nikita Zadorov, London (11-19-30, +30)

Emms Family Award (Rookie of the Year)
LW Lawson Crouse, Kingston (15-12-17)
D Travis Dermott, Erie (3-25-28, +35)
C Travis Konecny, Ottawa (26-44-70)
LW Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (24-27-51)
C Mitchell Marner, London (13-46-59)
RW Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie (19-21-40)

Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy (Overage Player of the Year)
C Cameron Brace, Belleville (31-26-56)
LW Dane Fox, Erie (64-43-107)
C Tyler Gaudet, Sault Ste. Marie (26-35-61)
RW Barclay Goodrow, North Bay (33-34-67)
RW Eric Ming, Niagara (33-17-50)
RW Zack Mitchell, Guelph (31-52-83)

William Hanley Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year)
LW Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (39-56-95, 34 PIM)
LW Jason Dickinson, Guelph (26-52-78, 42 PIM)
C Stephen Harper, Belleville (13-35-48, 37 PIM; former Otter)
C Connor McDavid, Erie (28-71-99, 20 PIM)
C Chris Tierney, London (40-49-89, 12 PIM)
RW Spencer Watson, Kingston (33-35-68, 16 PIM)

Posted: March 24th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – Tonight’s wild back-and-forth between the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit has left the Otters with a 2-1 series lead in this Western Conference quarterfinal series heading into Game 4 on Wednesday at Dow Event Center.
Head coach Kris Knoblauch wasn’t happy with his team’s subpar defense, while Oscar Dansk wasn’t happy with his performance in his OHL playoff debut – five goals against on 25 shots.
Dansk doesn’t warrant all of the blame. The Otters had breakdown after breakdown against the Spirit, which got more production from the No. 1 line of Kristoff Kontos (2 assists), Eric Locke (goal) and former Otter Luke Cairns (assist) and also had big nights from Jimmy Lodge (2 goals, assist), Dylan Sadowy (2 goals) and OT hero Cody Payne.
The Otters were in rhythm offensively, led Brendan Gaunce (2 goals, assist) and Andre Burakovsky, who scored two more goals to give him five in three games.
Dylan Strome had another solid game with two assists.
But their offensive play wasn’t good enough to overcome the Otters’ play at the other end of the ice. Now they to get back to work at practice Tuesday.
They have plenty work on…

- Victor Fernandes

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