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.
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Posts tagged ‘seth griffith’
Posted: February 17th, 2013

Erie Otters at (17-32-3-5) at London Knights (39-12-2-2)
When: Today, 2 p.m.
Where: Budweiser Gardens – London, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Thursday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.; Friday at Sarnia, 7:05 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters have split the first four games of the six-game season series with the Midwest Division rival Knights, including a 4-3 win at Erie Insurance Arena Friday night. They meet for the final time March 13 in Erie. … The Otters are five points away from being officially eliminated from playoff contention. Any combination of Otters losses and Saginaw wins/overtime losses totaling five points will end Erie’s postseason hopes. … The Otters are on pace to earn the No. 2 pick in the OHL Priority Selection. They have the second-worst record in the league, behind only Ottawa (15-37-0-4). Peterborough stands third worst at 20-29-3-4. … C Connor McDavid (24 goals, 30 assists, 54 points) holds a three-point lead over Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin (24-27-51) in the league’s rookie scoring race. Brampton LW Blake Clarke (18-25-43) trails McDavid by 11 points. … RW Connor Brown set a new single-season career high with his 26th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to Kitchener Saturday night. He already has new career highs with 40 assists and 66 points. … C J.P. Labardo needs one goal for the first 20-goal season of his five-year OHL career. His 34 assists and 53 points nearly equal his totals from the previous four seasons. … C Luke Cairns (10-28-38) has set a new career best in assists and points. … F Dane Fox (12-16-28 in 28 games) has averaged a point per game since returning from a foot injury. He had two goals and an assist Friday against the Knights, his former team. … D Jimmy McDowell has 12 goals this season, four more than in his previous three seasons. He ranks among the league’s top goal-scoring defensemen. … G Oscar Dansk stopped 75-of-81 shots the past two games after allowing 16 goals on his previous 106 shots. … Rookie D Darren Raddysh has played 14 games as an affiliated player, although nine count toward the total of 10 allowed by league rules. He has been a healthy scratch the past two games. … The Knights snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win at Niagara Sunday. … They remain nine points ahead of Barrie by in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Knights are playing without RW Seth Griffith (33-49-82), who is reportedly out with a broken hand. … Rookie G Anthony Stolarz stopped 40-of-41 shots against the IceDogs after making 29 saves on 31 shots in relief of starter Jake Patterson Friday in Erie. … The Knights are 8-9 since posting a 24-game winning streak, which fell one shy of tying the CHL record. … They lead the league with 229 goals scored.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 14th, 2013

London Knights (39-11-2-2) at Erie Otters (16-31-3-5)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Saturday vs. Kitchener, 7 p.m.; Monday at London, 2 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters have lost nine of their last 10 games to fall 18 points behind eighth-place Saginaw in the chase for the final playoff spot in the OHL’s Western Conference with 13 games left in the regular season. … Any combination of Otters losses and Spirit wins totaling nine points officially will eliminate the Otters from playoff contention. … The Otters have lost five straight home games by a combined 27-9 score. They have the league’s third-worst home record (9-12-1-5). … Ottawa (15-36-0-4), which lost 10-1 at home to Eastern Conference-leading Barrie Wednesday night, remains ahead of the Otters in the race for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming OHL Priority Selection. Peterborough entered Thursday night’s game against Brampton with an 18-29-3-4 record. … F Connor Crisp completes a five-game suspension for a game misconduct incurred Feb. 2 against Sudbury. He was ejected for being the aggressor in a fight with D Charlie Dodero. Crisp is eligible to play Saturday against Kitchener. … C Connor McDavid (23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points) holds a three-point lead over Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin (24-26-50) in the league’s rookie scoring race after Goldobin was held scoreless in an 8-0 loss to Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday. The Sting play in Windsor Thursday night. Brampton LW Blake Clarke (18-25-43) trails McDavid by 10 points. … McDavid leads all rookies with 30 assists and trails Goldobin by one goal. … The Otters face the league-leading Knights three times in the final month of the regular season, including Monday in London and March 13 in Erie. The Otters have lost two of the first three meetings, including a 4-3 shootout loss at home Oct. 16. … London leads Barrie by nine points in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Knights have lost three straight games for the second time in the past month. … They have lost eight of 15 games since posting a 24-game winning streak, which fell one shy of tying the CHL record. … They lead the league with 221 goals scored and fourth with 143 goals against. … RW Seth Griffith ranks among the league’s top five with 33 goals, 49 assists and 82 points. … C Max Domi (33-38-68) also stands among the leaders in all three categories. … G Jake Patterson has a 17-6-1-1 record, 2.46 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and four shutouts in 27 games. … Kitchener (32-15-1-6) stands third in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Owen Sound and four ahead of Guelph. … The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 games. … They have won four of six meetings in the eight-game season series with the Otters. … They are third with 137 goals against.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 6th, 2012

The shootout already had ventured into the ninth round. Yet Erie Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk wanted it to last longer.
After eight failed attempts, Dansk hoped to give his teammates another chance against London Saturday night at Erie Insurance Arena. But Knights rookie Kyle Platzer scored the only goal of the nine-round marathon to hand the Otters a 4-3 loss in front of 2,667 fans.
The Otters (2-3-1-1) settled for one point and three out of four during their two-game weekend homestand. Meanwhile, the Knights (4-2-0-0) earned their second straight win despite squandering a two-goal, second-period lead. Dansk finished with 19 saves on 22 shots in regulation and overtime before his stellar effort in the shootout. His counterpart, Kevin Bailie, had 26 saves on 29 shots through 65 minutes of action and several more quality saves in the shootout.
No. 1 pick Connor McDavid, Connor Brown and Stephen Harper scored for the Otters. Brown added an assist for a two-point outing.
Seth Griffith and Bo Horvat had a goal and assist apiece for the Knights, while Max Domi added a goal.
McDavid continued his impressive start to his rookie season by scoring 1 minute, 55 seconds into the opening period – his third goal in two nights and fourth goal in seven games. He slid past the Knights’ defense and slipped a shot past Bailie to hand the Otters a 1-0 lead. But that lead didn’t last long, as Domi tied the score at 1 at the 6:23 mark with his fourth goal of the season.
Domi escaped a crowd of defenders behind the Otters’ net and squeezed a shot between the right post and Dansk’s left pad. Then Griffith, who burned the Otters for three goals in an 8-2 Knights’ win in London Sept. 21, scored his seventh goal in six games to snap the 1-1 tie with 8:28 left in the period. Griffth tied Oshawa’s Boone Jenner for the OHL lead in goals.
The Otters dominated at the start of the second. They held the Knights without a shot on goal for nearly eight minutes. Meanwhile, the Otters’ offense generated several quality scoring opportunities. Yet while Bailie stymied the Otters, including key saves in close on Johnny McGuire and Luke Cairns, Bo Horvat scored on the Knights’ first shot of the period to build a 3-1 lead at the 7:56 mark.
But the Otters converted their first power play of the game, as Brown turned a fortunate bounce off a defender in front of the net into his fourth goal of the season. His rebound to Bailie’s left with 2:48 left in the period sent the Otters into the third trailing 3-2.
Then the Otters capitalized on their second power play of the game 9:27 into the third to complete the comeback. After Nick Betz stole the puck from a Knights defender, linemate Jake Evans found Harper in front for his fourth goal of the season.
Harper appeared to give the Otters a 4-3 lead on a power play late in regulation. But the officials whistled the play dead for offsides, a call Harper disagreed with but Otters coach Robbie Ftorek defended. Scott Harrington nearly sealed the Knights’ win in overtime, but his shot from the point glanced off the post and into the ground. Then the Otters killed off a power play in the final 1:32 of the extra period, sending the game into the shootout. But the Otters couldn’t beat Bailie, while Platzer slipped a shot through Dansk’s pads
* News and notes: Head coach Dan Bylsma and former forward Bill Guerin headlined a group of Pittsburgh Penguins officials at the game. Knights defensemen Harrington and Olli Maatta are Penguins prospects. … Scott Howson, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ executive vice president of hockey operations and general manager, attended both games this weekend to watch Dansk, the NHL club’s second-round draft pick this past June. … The Otters scratched Anthony Cortellessa (flu) and Dane Fox (broken foot). Liam Maaskant, Justin Felker and Mitch Eisenberg were healthy scratches. Maaskant and Eisenberg haven’t dressed for a game this season.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 24th, 2012

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Seth Griffith of the London Knights is the OHL Player of the Week for the opening week of the 2012-13 OHL regular season ending Sept. 23 after scoring five goals and one assist for six points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Griffith and the Knights opened the season with an 8-2 win over the Erie Otters on home ice Friday night where the defending Robertson Cup champs were honoured with a pre-game ceremony that raised their 2011-12 Championship Banner to the rafters. Griffith recorded his fourth career hat-trick scoring all three goals in the second period and was named first star of the game. On Sunday afternoon he scored a pair of goals and added an assist as third star of an 8-2 win over the Guelph Storm.

Griffith, a 19-year-old from Wallaceburg, ON, is playing in his fourth season with the Knights after leading the club with 85 points in 68 games last season scoring 45 goals and 40 assists. In June, Griffith was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins.

Also considered for the award this week was Cameron Brace of the Owen Sound Attack who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two games, while defenseman Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67’s picked up a goal and four assists for five points in two games. In goal, John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers went 2-0-0-0 with a shutout victory and a goals-against-average of 0.96 and save percentage of .964.

- From OHL news release

Posted: September 21st, 2012

LONDON, Ontario – The Erie Otters experienced a flashback to the 2011-12 OHL season.
They resembled the team plagued by mistakes that allowed a league-worst 338 goals – and on the worst possible night, too.
The defending champion London Knights raised the title banner to the Budweiser Gardens rafters before their season opener, and then celebrated with an offensive explosion that handed the Otters a disappointing 8-2 loss Friday in front of 9,046 fans.
The Otters (0-2-0-0) surrendered 54 shots on goal, which was reminiscent of many games a season ago.
Oscar Dansk seemed helpless at times on the way to seven goals against on 39 shots in two periods, including five goals on 21 shots in the decisive second period. Devin Williams made his season debut with 14 saves on 15 shots in the third.
No. 1 pick Connor McDavid recorded his first OHL goal and assist. Connor Brown had two assists, while J.P. Labardo scored his first goal as an Otter. But they were the team’s few bright spots.
Seth Griffith had his fifth career hat trick for the Knights (1-0-0-0), while Adam Restoule scored twice.

- Victor Fernandes

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: November 12th, 2010

What: London Knights (10-5-2-1) at Erie Otters (7-13-1-0)

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Tullio Arena

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

Players to watch

Erie – C Greg McKegg (11 goals, 16 assists, 27 points), G Ramis Sadikov (7-10-1-0 record, 2.97 goals-against average, .910 save percentage, 1 shutout), RW Shawn Szydlowski (7-11-18), D Tyler Hostetter (4-13-17), RW Anthony Luciani (4-3-7 in 7 games)

London – RW Vladislav Namestnikov (9-15-24), C Daniel Erlich (7-14-21), RW Jared Knight (7-12-19), LW Michael MacDonald (5-11-16), RW Seth Griffith (4-11-15)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters have split the first eight games of a key nine-game stretch that concludes tonight with the last of eight home games. … They are 4-7-0-0 at home, which ranks near the bottom in the OHL, despite outscoring opponents 37-34. … The Otters and Knights split the first two games of their six-game season series. Erie won 5-2 at home Oct. 2 and lost 5-3 in London Oct. 15. … Varone faces his former team for the first time since being traded to the Otters three weeks ago. … Hostetter and the Knights’ Michael D’Orazio (4-13-17) are tied for second overall in scoring by defensemen. Hostetter has multi-point outings in three of his last four games. … Sadikov has started 11 straight games.

London – The Knights have lost six of their last 10 games. But they enter tonight’s game off an 8-1 home win against Barrie on Friday. … D’Orazio completes a two-game suspension tonight. He earned a game misconduct in Wednesday’s overtime loss at Windsor for being in a second fight during the same stoppage. … The Knights have played 12 of their first 18 games at home. They are 2-3-1-0 on the road. … Their once vaunted power play stands 15th in the league at 17 percent (18-for-106).

Up next: at Peterborough (Thursday, 7 p.m.), at Oshawa (Friday, 7:35 p.m.)

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 14th, 2010

What: Erie Otters (3-5-1-0) at London Knights (4-2-0-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: John Labatt Centre – London, Ontario

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

Players to watch

Erie – C Greg McKegg (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Mike Cazzola (4-9-13), RW Shawn Szydlowski (3-7-10), LW David Broll (2-4-6), D Tyler Hostetter (2-5-7)

London – RW Vladislav Namestnikov (3-5-8), RW Jared Knight (4-2-6), RW Seth Griffith (0-6-6), LW Michael MacDonald (2-2-4), C Daniel Erlich (1-2-3)

Fast facts

Erie – A night after losing for the ninth straight time in Windsor, the Otters look to snap an 18-game losing streak and 23-game winless skid in London. The Otters’ last win in London was on Dec. 27, 2002 – their first visit to John Labatt Centre. … They are 2-4-0-0 on the road this season. … They have won two straight overall against the Knights, including a 5-2 home win on Oct. 2. … McKegg’s seven-game point streak ended in Windsor on Thursday. … Szydlowski has points in five straight games (three goals, eight points). … The Otters remain without RW Anthony Luciani (undisclosed injury), D Brett Cook (undisclosed injury) and rookie C Connor Crisp (concussion). Crisp, a second-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, still hasn’t made his OHL debut. … D David Shields and LW Brett Appio also missed Thursday’s game. … Rookie D Mark Gazdic and RW Scott Mitchell (season debut) replaced them in the lineup. … The Otters have allowed power-play goals in eight of nine games this season.

London – The Knights have scored a league-low 19 goals, but are third best in goals against (18). … They followed their loss to the Otters with a 3-0 home win against Belleville and 5-4 shootout win in Windsor last weekend. … G Michael Houser, who backed up rookie Igor Bobkov in the loss to the Otters, earned his first OHL shutout in the win against Belleville. Houser has a 4-1-0-0 record, 2.29 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in five games this season. … C Phil Varone, who missed half of last season with a shoulder injury, has missed the past two games since reportedly injuring his knee against the Otters. … The Knights have a league-low 99 penalty minutes.

Up next: vs. Ottawa (Saturday, 7 p.m.), at Sault Ste. Marie (Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.)

- Victor Fernandes