What: Brampton Battalion (12-14-0-5) at Erie Otters (16-15-1-1)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Tullio Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Players to watch
Erie – C Greg McKegg (24 goals, 26 assists, 50 points), RW Shawn Szydlowski (17-14-31), RW Anthony Luciani (13-17-30), G Ramis Sadikov (16-11-1-1 record, 2.95 goals-against average, .911 save percentage, 2 shutouts), C Phil Varone (12-13-25)
Brampton – LW Ian Watters (17-10-27), RW Michael Santini (10-10-20), RW Scott Tanski (8-12-30), D Spencer Abraham (3-14-17), LW Barclay Goodrow (8-9-17)
Erie – The Otters conclude the opening half of the OHL season with consecutive home games against Central Division teams. They have a 3-2 record against that division, including a season-opening 5-1 win in Brampton Sept. 24. … The Otters have a 3-2 record in December after posting a 9-3 mark in November. … They are 13-6-0-1 since acquiring Varone from London Oct. 26. … The Otters have five hat tricks in the past eight games (McKegg 2, Szydlowski 2, Varone). That’s more than the team recorded in a season seven of the past eight years. … Szydlowski has tied the franchise record of three hat tricks in one season (Tim Connolly 1998-99, Brad Boyes 1999-2000, Cory Pecker 2001-02 and Luciani 2009-10). … McKegg is fourth overall in goals – three behind Saginaw LW Josh Shalla (27) and Ottawa RW Tyler Toffoli (27) and one behind Owen Sound LW Garrett Wilson (25). … McKegg also is fourth in points – four behind Ottawa LW Shane Prince (54), two behind Kitchener RW Jason Akeson (52) and one behind Toffoli (51). … McKegg is on pace to be the first player in franchise history to top 100 points in a season. Pecker set the mark of 99 in 2001-02. … If Sadikov starts tonight, he will set a franchise mark with 24 consecutive starts. He currently shares that mark with Josh Disher (23 from Sept. 28-Nov. 27, 2003). … Sadikov has played 1,772 minutes this season, which leads the league by 251 (Petr Mrazek, Ottawa – 1,521). … C Mike Cazzola (9-16-25 in 19 games), who has missed the past six weeks with a broken wrist, began skating with no contact or shooting this week. Yet he won’t rejoin the lineup until sometime after the Christmas break. D Tyler Hostetter (broken hand) and LW Andrew Yogan (shoulder) continue rehabilitating at their respective homes in Lititz, Pa., and Boca Raton, Fla.
Brampton – The Battalion’s roster has changed since they played the Otters in September. They traded former Otter Sean Jones, their leading scorer last season, to Kingston last month. They also traded D Kyle Pereira to Guelph and G Jacob Riley to Sudbury. … The Battalion have lost seven of their past 11 games. … They rank near the bottom of the league with 96 goals scored but in the top 10 in goals against (112). … They are 14th on the power play (18.2 percent) but fifth on the penalty kill (82.6). … They lead the league with five shootout losses and are tied for the lead with five overtime/shootout defeats.
Up next: vs. Sudbury (Saturday, 7 p.m.), at Plymouth (Dec. 28, 2 p.m.)
– Victor Fernandes