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 ‘ryan murphy’
Posted: January 25th, 2013

KITCHENER, Ontario – The Erie Otters’ postseason hopes continued to slip away Friday night.
Kitchener’s three-goal second period sent the Otters to a 5-1 loss in front of 7,294 fans at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Meanwhile, Saginaw and Windsor won Friday, leaving the Otters 13 points behind the eighth-place Spirit and nine behind No. 9 Windsor in the race for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot heading into today’s 7 p.m. rematch with the Rangers at Erie Insurance Arena.
The Otters (15-25-3-5), which have 20 games left in the regular season, have lost three straight games and six of their last seven. In the latest defeat, the Otters played the Rangers (27-14-1-5) to a scoreless tie. But rookie Justin Bailey‘s goal 46 seconds into the second period, and Tobias Rieder‘s goal 1 minute, 5 seconds later, sparked Kitchener’s run to a 3-0 lead. Ryan Murphy also scored midway through the period.
The Otters hoped to mount a comeback following J.P. Labardo‘s 16th goal of the season 3:02 into the third period. But Matia Marcantuoni scored at the 7:05 mark to regain the Rangers’ three-goal lead. Derek Schoenmakers capped the scoring with 2:29 left.
Devin Williams stopped 41-of-46 shots in a losing effort for the Otters, while Joel Vienneau made 31 saves on 32 shots for the Rangers.
Luke Cairns had an assist for the Otters. Murphy led Kitchener with a goal and two assists, while Ben Thomson had two assists. Otters defenseman Adam Pelech was given an indefinite suspension for his knee-on-knee hit against Saginaw’s Zach Bratina Wednesday. The league hasn’t issued an official ruling.

Posted: December 3rd, 2012

Erie Otters defenseman Adam Pelech has been invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, which is set for Dec. 11-13 at the Markin MacPhail Centre Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. The third-year veteran ranks among the OHL’s top scoring defensema this season with 24 points in 29 games.
He will be joined by 11 other OHL players – goaltender Malcolm Subban (Belleville), defensemen Cody Ceci (Ottawa), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara), Scott Harrington (London) and Ryan Murphy (Kitchener) and forwards Tom Wilson (Plymouth), Ryan Strome (Niagara), Mark Scheifele (Barrie), Sean Monahan (Ottawa), Boone Jenner (Oshawa) and Lucas Lessio (Oshawa). The team will be coached by Steve Spott, Kitchener coach and general manager.
Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk will participate in Sweden’s National Junior Team camp starting Dec. 15 in Norrtalje, Sweden. He has 7-14-1-3 record, 3.64 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 25 games this season.

Posted: September 18th, 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 Western Conference’s Midwest Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Erie Otters
Coach/GM: Robbie Ftorek/Sherry Bassin
2011-12 finish: 10-52-3-3, 5th division, 10th conference
Playoff finish: Did not qualify
Key players: C Connor McDavid (No. 1 pick in 2012 OHL Priority Selection; 33 goals, 39 assists, 72 points in 33 games with Toronto Marlboros minor midget), G Oscar Dansk (No. 3 pick in 2012 CHL Import Draft; 2.82 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in 28 games with Brynas in Sweden), C Dane Fox (23-31-54), RW Connor Brown (25-28-53; Toronto prospect), LW Stephen Harper (24-11-35)
Key losses: G Ramis Sadikov (6-23-3-2, 4.26, .894)
Outlook: The highly anticipated McDavid era begins in Erie, but this team has other promising players at every position. Now these young Otters have to learn how to win after enduring the worst record in franchise history a season ago.

Guelph Storm
Coach/GM: Scott Walker/Mike Kelly
2011-12 finish: 31-31-2-4, 4th division, 7th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Plymouth 4-2 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: RW Zack Mitchell (37-38-75), G Garret Sparks (27-25-1-3, 3.11, .907, 5 SO; Toronto prospect), RW Cody McNaughton (25-24-49), RW Scott Kosmachuk (30-29-59; Winnipeg prospect), D Andrey Pedan (10-30-40; N.Y. Islanders prospect)
Key losses: C Francis Menard (24-36-60; traded to Peterborough)
Outlook: The Storm are ready to take the next step in this always competitive conference. They play solid defense, led by Sparks in goal and Pedan on the blue line, and they have skill up front in Kosmachuk, Mitchell and McNaughton.

Kitchener Rangers
Coach/GM: Steve Spott
2011-12 finish: 42-24-1-1, 2nd division, 3rd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-0 in conference finals
Key players: RW Tobias Rieder (42-43-85; Edmonton prospect), D Ryan Murphy (11-43-54, +14; signed with Carolina), C Radek Faksa (29-37-66; signed with Dallas), LW Matt Puempel (34-35-69; acquired from Peterborough, signed with Ottawa), G John Gibson (21-10-0-0, 2.75, .928, 1 SO; signed with Anaheim)
Key losses: C Michael Catenacci (25-44-69), C Andrew Crescenzi (24-23-37; signed with Toronto)
Outlook: The Rangers are a perennial contender in the conference, and they made sure this season was no different with the acquisition of Puempel from Peterborough. Expect the Rangers to be near, if not at, the top of the West in 2012-13.

London Knights
Coach/GM: Dale Hunter/Mark Hunter
2011-12 finish: 49-18-0-1; 1st division, 1st conference
Playoff finish: Won league championship, lost to Shawinigan (QMJHL) in Memorial Cup final
Key players: RW Seth Griffith (45-40-85, Boston prospect), D Scott Harrington (3-23-26, +26; signed with Pittsburgh), D Olli Maatta (5-27-32, +25; signed with Pittsburgh; C Max Domi (21-28-49), C Ryan Rupert (17-31-48)
Key losses: Michael Houser (46-15-0-1, 2.47, .925, 6 SO; signed with Florida), C Greg McKegg (31-44-75; former Otter, signed with Toronto), C Vladislav Namestnikov (30-39-69; signed with Tampa Bay), RW Jared Knight (25-45-70; signed with Boston), C Austin Watson (25-43-68; signed with Nashville)
Outlook: Dale Hunter returns behind the Knights’ bench after leading the NHL’s Washington Capitals to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. He has work to do if the Knights are to recapture the success they enjoyed in 2011-12.

Owen Sound Attack
Coach/GM: Greg Ireland/Dale DeGray
2011-12 finish: 32-29-304, 3rd division, 6th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Kitchener 4-1 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: G Jordan Binnington (21-17-0-1, 2.99, .906, 1 SO; signed with St. Louis), C Daniel Catenacci (33-39-72; signed with Buffalo), C Gemel Smith (21-39-60; Dallas prospect), C Cameron Brace (29-27-56), D Keevin Cutting (7-18-25, +20)
Key losses: LW Mike Halmo (40-45-85; signed with N.Y. Islanders), D Jay Gilbert (10-23-33, +8)
Outlook: The Attack lost a 40-goal scorer in Halmo, but they have enough talent from back to front to make a run in the conference. But they need to be more consistent after tailing off late last season and losing in the first round of the playoffs.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 30th, 2012

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League will be hosting a media conference call on Tuesday at 12 pm to announce the 2011-12 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy, awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman.

Finalists for 2011-12 OHL Defenceman of the Year are:
Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers
Scott Harrington, London Knights
Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67’s
Ryan Sproul, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Frank Corrado, Sudbury Wolves

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is voted on by the member teams of the Ontario Hockey League. In a first round of balloting, teams vote for the top defencemen, within their own conference. The top three nominees from both the Eastern and Western conferences are declared as finalists. A second round of voting is then conducted on a league wide basis where teams vote for any of the six finalists. At no time during the voting can a team vote for their own candidate. Defencemen receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Prior to 1969, the Kaminsky Trophy was awarded to the Most Gentlemanly Player. The award is in recognition of Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston and Montreal. After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960. Last season, Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires won the award.

- From OHL news release

Posted: December 3rd, 2011

It’s one month and counting for the Erie Otters.

Their winless streak reached 13 straight games with a 3-1 loss to Kitchener in front of 2,947 at Tullio Arena on Saturday night. The Otters haven’t won since a 3-2 win in Guelph on Nov. 4.

The Otters, which have a CHL-worst 3-24-0-1 record, tied the 1996-97 club for the second-longest winless skid in franchise history. The 2007-08 team holds the record at 16 consecutive games.

The Otters also tied the franchise marks with seven-game home losing and winless streaks.

Nick Betz scored Erie’s lone goal. Brandon Francisco and Ryan Murphy had a goal and assist apiece and Ben Thomson had two assists for the Rangers (19-8-1-0), which avenged a 4-3 overtime loss in Erie on Oct. 9. That was the Otters’ last home win. Franky Palazzese, which lost that game last month, made 41 saves for the Rangers. Ramis Sadikov made 32 saves in a losing effort for the Otters.

The teams combined for 34 shots on goal in the first period, with the Otters netting 21 of them. But the Rangers victimized Erie’s OHL-worst defense for three goals and a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Michael Catenacci scored off an assist from Francisco 3:14 into the period. Betz matched Catenacci’s goal, with assists from Tyler McCarthy and Derek Holden, for the Otters at the 11:34 mark.

But Francisco scored from in front of Sadikov on assists from Murphy and Thomson 50 seconds after Betz’s goal. Then Murphy, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, turned Thomson’s centering pass into his first goal of the season with 6:36 left in the period. Then the offense disappeared for both teams in the second period. Sadikov stopped all eight shots he faced, while Palazzese was 11-for-11 in the period.

The Otters briefly sliced Kitchener’s lead in half with 4:24 left in the game on what appeared to be Jake Evans’ first career goal. But the video replay judge disallowed the goal after a lengthy review. Two minutes later, Kitchener also had a possible goal disallowed after an equally long review.

- Victor Fernandes


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.

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

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)

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: January 17th, 2011

Toronto – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the four events and participants for the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Skills Competition set for Tuesday January 18 at 7:00 pm at Air Canada Centre.

Forty of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft have been divided into four different events including the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy and a Showdown Breakaway Contest.  Following the four events, all participants will have the ability to showcase their skills in a 3-on3 game before fans and scouts in attendance.

The competition opens with the top two ranked OHL defencemen in the Fastest Skater event, including Team Orr’s Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs, who is ranked seventh by NHL Central Scouting and Team Cherry’s Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers who is ranked 10th.

The Hardest Shot contest features a pair of WHL defencemen including Team Orr’s David Musil of the Vancouver Giants who is ranked 26th, and Team Cherry’s Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades who appears 14th on the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings.  Second-ranked forward Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Team Cherry will compete in the Shooting Accuracy along with Saint John Sea Dogs’ sniper Zack Phillips of Team Orr.

This season’s Breakaway Contest competitors include Team Orr’s number three-ranked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels and fourth-ranked Sven Bartschi of the Portland Winterhawks.  They will try and outperform Team Cherry competition that includes internet shootout sensation Tomas Jurco of the Saint John Sea Dogs ranked 24th by NHL Central Scouting, and 19th-ranked Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs who scored arguably the nicest goal in the OHL this season.

The Showdown Breakaway Contest made its debut last season in Windsor and will again feature six players per team taking two attempts on goal before a panel of four judges that will score each attempt based on creativity, originality, degree of difficulty, execution, showmanship, and the ability to score.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 27th, 2010

Injury plagued or not, the Erie Otters are scoring goals.

Behind Phil Varone’s hat trick and Greg McKegg’s two goals, the Otters set a season high in goals in a 7-3 win against Kitchener in front of 3,731 at Tullio Arena on Saturday night.

Erie’s offensive onslaught – the most goals scored in a game since the 2009-10 season finale (8 against London), occurred two nights after scoring six goals in a shutout win against Belleville.

Kitchener entered the game with nine wins in the past 10 games. But the surging Otters (12-14-1-0) jumped on the Rangers, as they built a 3-0 lead in the opening 5½ minutes of the opening period on their way to snapping a 10-game losing streak against their Midwest Division rival. The Otters also have their first three-game winning streak since February.

“That was the best game we’ve played,” said Varone, a former Ranger.Greg McKegg (Contributed/Erie Otters)

Varone scored on assists from Bret Cook and David Broll at the 2:03 to open the scoring. Then McKegg continued his offensive assault with the first of his two straight goals. He fired a rebound of David Shields’ shot past goaltender Brandon Maxwell, a former Otters’ draft pick, for a 2-0 lead.

Fifty-seven seconds later, McKegg scored again – his sixth goal in the past two games – on assists from Shields and Derek Holden for a 3-0 advantage. Ryan Murphy, the league’s highest-scoring defenseman, slipped a shot through goaltender Ramis Sadikov’s pads to move the Rangers within 3-1 with 2:28 left.

The Otters’ lead shrunk to 3-2 just 17 seconds into the second, as Gabriel Landeskog deflected Jonathan Jasper’s shot past Sadikov for Landeskog’s team-leading 20th goal of the season.

But the Otters responded 1:02 later, as Varone scored his second goal of the game and seventh in 14 games as an Otter, for a 4-2 lead. Then Jeremy Gottzmann scored at the 2:44 mark of the period to regain the Otters’ three-goal lead – his first goal since Feb. 13, a span of 46 games.

Kitchener (17-6-0-1) sliced that lead to 5-3 at the 7:14 mark on Cody Sol’s first goal of the season. Landeskog and Jason Akeson assisted on the goal, with Akeson recording his Ontario Hockey League-leading 36th assist and 48th point of the season. But the Otters continued attacking the Rangers’ net.

The Otters finished the second with 25 shots on goal, which tied for the season high (Oct. 22 against Sault Ste. Marie). The teams combined for 39 shots on goal in the middle period. The Otters finished with a season-high 51 shots.

Early in the third, Matthew Paton, who assisted on Gottzmann’s goal, snapped a 16-game goal drought to hand the Otters a 6-3 lead. Jordan Coccimiglio earned his second assist of the game on the play.

Then Varone completed the first three-goal outing in his five-year OHL career – and the team’s second in two games (McKegg) with a power-play goal on assists from McKegg and Luciani 7:43 into the period. Varone and McKegg were the first Otters’ teammates with hat tricks in consecutive games since Justin Hodgman (Dec. 20 vs. Sudbury) and Andrew Yogan (Dec. 28 at Brampton).

Varone and McKegg, who also had an assist, led the Otters’ offense. Shields, Luciani and Coccimiglio had two assists apiece. Paton (goal, assist) also had two points.

“When (role players) chip in,” McKegg said, “you know you’re going to have a good night.”

- Victor Fernandes


Otters 7, Rangers 3

Kitchener  1  2  0  —  3

Erie  3  2  2  —  7

1st Period — 1. Erie, Phil Varone 6 (Cook, Broll), 2:03. 2. Erie, Greg McKegg 19 (Shields, Szydlowski), 4:26. 3. Erie, McKegg 20 (Shields, Holden), 5:23. 4. Kitchener, Ryan Murphy 13 (Maxwell), 17:32. Penalties — Lowry (K) interference, 15:13.

2nd Period — 5. Kitchener, Gabriel Landeskog 20 (Jasper, Catenacci), :17. 6. Erie, Varone 7 (Luciani), 1:19. 7. Erie, Jeremy Gottzmann 1 (Paton, Coccimiglio), 2:44. 8. Kitchener, Cody Sol 1 (Landeskog, Akeson), 7:14. Penalties — Broll (E) 5-min. fighting, 2:47; Randell (K) 5-min. fighting, 2:47; Gazdic (E) 5-min. fighting, 6:00; Thomson (K) 5-min. fighting, 6:00; Szydlowski (E) elbowing, 13:39; Randell (K) interference, 15:10.

3rd Period — 9. Erie, Matthew Paton 4 (Coccimiglio, Grant), 4:47. 10. Erie, Varone 8 (McKegg, Luciani), 7:43 (pp). Penalties — Crescenzi (K) checking to the head, 6:26; Austin (E) tripping, 10:39.

Shots on goal — Kitchener, 11-14-15—40; Erie, 12-25-15—51.

Goaltenders — Kitchener, Brandon Maxwell 12-5-0-0 (51 shots, 44 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 12-10-1-0 (40 shots, 37 saves).

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

Referees — Darcy Burchell, Dave Gauthier. Linesmen — Daryl Wolfe, Mike Harrington.

Attendance — 3,731.

Three stars

* Phil Varone, Otters (hat trick) ** Greg McKegg, Otters (2 goals, assist) *** David Shields, Otters (2 assists)

Posted: November 26th, 2010

What: Kitchener Rangers (17-5-0-1) at Erie Otters (11-14-1-0)

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Tullio Arena

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (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)

Fast facts

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

Posted: October 14th, 2010

What: Erie Otters (3-4-1-0) at Windsor Spitfires (4-4-0-1)

When: Thursday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Greg McKegg (Contributed/Erie Otters)Players to watch

Erie – C Greg McKegg (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Mike Cazzola (4-8-12), RW Shawn Szydlowski (3-6-9), LW David Broll (2-4-6), D Tyler Hostetter (2-4-6)

Windsor – D Ryan Ellis (3-3-6), RW Zack Kassian (3-8-11), C Alexander Khokhlachev (6-5-11), C Zack MacQueen (4-7-11), D Michael MacIntyre (4-4-8)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters play four of the next five games on the road. They are 2-3-0-0 away from Tullio Arena. … McKegg has points in seven straight games (seven goals, nine points). He is tied with Kitchener D Ryan Murphy for the OHL’s scoring lead. McKegg also is third in goals, tied for second in assists and leads with three short-handed goals. … Five of eight games have been decided by one goal (1-3-1-0). … RW Anthony Luciani (undisclosed injury) began skating with the team on Tuesday. He hopes to play this weekend. … D Brett Cook (undisclosed injury) and rookie C Connor Crisp (concussion) still haven’t returned to practice. … The Otters

Zack MacQueen (Contributed/Windsor Spitfires)

have allowed power-play goals in seven of eight games this season. … They rank in the league’s bottom five on the power play and penalty kill. … The Otters have lost eight straight trips to Windsor since a 3-2 shootout win on Feb. 1, 2007. That streak includes two defeats in an opening-round playoff sweep by the Spitfires last season.

Windsor – The Spitfires are rebuilding after losing several members of the two-time defending league and Memorial Cup champions to the pros, headlined by LW Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers), D Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks) and coach Bob Boughner (Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach). … Ellis and Kassian, who recorded his 11 points in the past four games, anchor a young team. Both were recently assigned to the Spitfires by the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators, respectively. … MacQueen, who was traded to the Spitfires by his father – former Otters coach and current Sarnia coach/general manager Dave MacQueen – is tied for the team lead in scoring. … G Jack Campbell, who led the United States to a gold medal in the IIHF World Junior Championship last winter, has struggled in his first OHL season (2-4-0-0, 4.99 goals-against average, .855 save percentage). … Khokhlachev, the 23rd pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, is tied for fourth in goals.

Up next: at London (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), vs. Ottawa (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

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