When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: Tullio Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Players to watch
Erie – C Greg McKegg (18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points), RW Shawn Szydlowski (11-11-22), RW Anthony Luciani (8-10-18), G Ramis Sadikov (11-10-1-0 record, 2.77 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, 2 shutouts), D Derek Holden (2-13-15)
Kitchener – RW Jason Akeson (12-35-47), D Ryan Murphy (12-26-38, 10 power-play goals), RW Gabriel Landeskog (19-15-34), RW Tobias Rieder (10-15-25), LW Matthew Tipoff (12-12-24)
Erie – The Otters began this three-game home stand with a 6-0 win against Belleville on Thanksgiving Night. … They have won two straight and seven of their last 10 games. … They have lost 10 straight to the Midwest Division rival Rangers by a combined 57-25 score dating to the start of the 2009-10 season, including the first three meetings this season. Their last two defeats were by one goal (6-5 at home Oct. 9 and 4-3 in Kitchener Oct. 11). … In the Belleville win, McKegg became the sixth player in franchise history to score four goals in a game. He ranks among the OHL’s top 10 in goals and points. … Luciani has goals in three straight games and points in five straight games (four goals, 11 points). He has five goals and 13 points in seven games since returning from a five-week layoff because of a broken wrist. … Sadikov, who has made 16 consecutive starts, posted his second career shutout on Thursday. … D Brady Austin (shoulder) has missed the past five games. … LW Brett Appio (leg) has missed four straight games. … Rookie D Adam Pelech (undisclosed injury) rejoined the lineup after leaving the Nov. 19 loss to Oshawa. … Holden has points in five of the past seven games. … C Phil Varone (5-7-12) has points in three straight games (one goal, five points). … Season-ticket holders can attend the Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team’s 2 p.m. game today against Colgate at Tullio for free.
Kitchener – The Rangers, who are 10th in the CHL ranking, have the league’s third-best record despite losing top offensive performers Jeff Skinner (NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes) and Jeremy Morin (AHL’s Rockford IceHogs) to professional teams. … The Rangers have won nine of their last 10 games. … Akeson leads the league in points and assists. … Murphy leads all defensemen in scoring and is tied for sixth overall. He also leads in power-play goals. … Landeskog ranks among the top 15 in scoring. … The Rangers lead the league on the power play (25.5 percent). … D Ben Fanelli, who suffered serious head injuries from former Otter Michael Liambas’ hit in an Oct. 30, 2009 game, was cleared for full-contact workouts earlier this week, according to the team’s website.
Up next: vs. Guelph (Sunday, 4:30 p.m.), at Kitchener (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
- Victor Fernandes