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 ‘Travis Dermott’
Posted: April 18th, 2014

Western Conference finals, Game 1
Erie Otters vs. Guelph Storm

Starters in bold italics




Scratches: Felker (healthy), Raddysh (healthy), Maksimovich (healthy), Wood (healthy)




Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden

Posted: April 17th, 2014

GUELPH, Ontario – Even in a game with nine goals, five lead changes and four ties, Dane Fox – the OHL’s leading goal scorer in the regular season – was seemingly non-existent offensively in the Erie Otters’ Game 1 loss to Guelph tonight.
Fox never found his rhythm offensively, because he wasn’t his usual aggressive self. When Fox is at his best, he works relentlessly to get into open ice, puts constant pressure on defenses and utilizes on one of the league’s quickest shots.
But on this night, he seemed stagnant. He didn’t move his feet as well as he ordinarily does. At one point, Fox seemed hurt, as he skated to the bench hunched over with what appeared to be a grimace on his face.
He certainly was frustrated as the game progressed. That frustration boiled over in a big way late in the third period, as he vehemently argued a tripping penalty – his third minor penalty of the game – which led to an early trip to the dressing room with a 10-minute misconduct after being given a good bit of leeway from the officials. That left the Otters short-handed for two minutes, and then during a 6-on-4 power play in the closing seconds that included a final faceoff with 4 seconds left.
Fox joins Brendan Gaunce (who took that draw) as the team’s top faceoff guys.
Fox didn’t speak with the media after the game. Instead, he boarded the team bus early. Yet when asked to assess Fox’s late-game outburst, head coach Kris Knoblauch said, “I’m disappointed when anybody on my team loses it like that.”
“Certainly we could have them at the end of the game for that last shift and that last faceoff,” Knoblauch added. “But certainly we have to stay much more composed and focused, because certainly that’s not who we are. This time of the year, obviously emotions run hot. But certainly we have to look forward to our next shift.”
On the bright side, Fox is too good not to bounce back. Expect a much better effort from him in Game 2 Friday night.

*** Knoblauch didn’t want to comment on the controversial tripping penalty against Fox. Then he ended up commenting anyway. “I didn’t think that was tripping at the end,” he said. “Fox was trying to lift his stick. (Fox) was on his hands, and (the Storm player) falls down.”
The officiating was consistent for the most part. But that was a tough spot to call a penalty that was borderline at best.

*** Defenses didn’t struggle as much as the 5-4 score would indicate. Both offenses were simply in top form.
There wasn’t a bad goal all night. Instead, there were deflections and redirects, strong finishes on odd-man rushes, 2 or 3 wicked wrist shots (including Connor Brown‘s power-play goal in the first period) and a slap shot from Tyler Bertuzzi that sailed through D Travis Dermott‘s legs and past G Devin Williams.

*** However, the Otters’ D has to step up Friday, because a Storm club that scored 5 goals on 26 shots in Game 1 gets suspended 40-goal scorer Brock McGinn back in the lineup.

*** Speaking of the Storm’s attack, this game showed how dangerous they are. They have more quality scorers beyond frontline guys like McGinn, Scott Kosmachuk, Zack Mitchell and Kerby Rychel. Bertuzzi had 2 goals tonight, while Ryan Horvat scored the GW goal 6 minutes into the third period.
“The other lines have to be able to chip in and take some of the pressure off the guys,” head coach Scott Walker said.

- Victor Fernandes




Posted: April 3rd, 2014

Travis Konecny

Ottawa 67′s C Travis Konecny was named OHL rookie of the year today after leading all rookies with 70 points (26 goals, 44 assists) in the regular season. Konecny, the first overall pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, earned 91 out of a possible 95 voting points.
London C Mitchell Marner and Barrie LW Andrew Mangiapane, who were second and third, respectively, with 59 and 51 points, finished second and third in voting with 37 and 21 points.
Konecny (91 voting points) and Mangiapane (68) also earned spots on the league’s All-Rookie first team, along with Erie Otters D Travis Dermott (66), Sault Ste. Marie RW Blake Speers (81), Oshawa D Mitchell Vande Sompel (50) and Barrie G Mackenzie Blackwood (72).

OHL All-Rookie Teams
(Voting points in parentheses)
First team
C – Travis Konecny, Ottawa (91)
LW – Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (68)
RW – Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie (81)
D – Travis Dermott, Erie (66)
D – Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (50)
G – Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie (72)

Second team
C – Mitchell Marner, London (56)
LW – Lawson Crouse, Kingston (59)
RW – Nick Magyar, Kitchener (45)
D – Stefan LeBlanc, Mississauga (45)
D – Sean Day, Mississauga (43)
G – Matthew Mancina, Guelph (58)

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 22nd, 2014

The Erie Otters were nervous during Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against Saginaw on Friday night. It nearly cost them.
They looked relaxed in Game tonight – too relaxed down the stretch in regulation. “I think we got a little too comfortable. That happens sometimes,” left wing Dane Fox said. They need to find a happy medium now that the series head to Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., for Games 3 and 4 and, possibly, Game 5.

* Rookies Travis Dermott and Dylan Strome got into the act for the second straight game, this time with an assist apiece. Dermott has three points in the series, while Strome has two. Seems like the pressure of the playoffs hasn’t gotten to these young players.

It will be interesting to see how head coach Kris Knoblauch handles his goaltending situation moving forward in this series and beyond. Traditionally, coaches want one goaltender to get hot and run with the No. 1 job. Devin Williams has played well enough so far, but Oscar Dansk is a quality goaltender who has succeeded in the playoff atmosphere (see the most recent IIHF World Junior Championship)…

Posted: March 21st, 2014

Now that I have a few moments to think about the back-and-forth affair that was Game 1 of the Erie Otters’ Western Conference quarterfinal series with Saginaw, here’s a few random thoughts…

* The Otters are set to stay in Erie through the 2018-19 season. It’s amazing how much has changed in the past 2 years, starting with the on-ice success and remodeled arena. It seemed like all the talk around this franchise was centered on the relocation rumors. There hasn’t been a word of that all season long. And perhaps, we won’t be talking about that for at least the next 5 years.
* Playoff jitters were obvious, but the players that seemed to overcome that really well were the rookies, namely Dylan Strome and Travis Dermott. They seemed to be comfortable in that electrified atmosphere. They also contributed three assists in the win.
Travis Wood isn’t a rookie, but he turned in a solid performance in his first postseason game. He used his speed and physicality to draw a penalty that led to a power-play goal.
* The Otters need to do a more consistent job of starting games faster. As G Devin Williams said, this team has been in that situation before, and they have overcome them multiple times. But that 2-0 first-period deficit will be much more difficult to overcome later in the postseason.
* It’s official (at least in my mind) – Andre

Andre Burakovsky

Burakovsky has the quickest shot in the OHL. As strong as Spirit G Jake Paterson was tonight (44 saves), he had no chance to stop Burakovsky’s quick release and accurate wrist shot on the tying goal early in the third period.
* Kudos to the Spirit, who have been throughout a difficult time off the ice but turned in an effort that was good enough to win, if not for the Otters’ potent power play, capped by Dane Fox‘s game-winner.
* Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch hinted at starting Williams in Game 2 Saturday night. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes with Oscar Dansk.
Knoblauch thinks things through, but he also seems to go off feel and hunches as well. I figured he would start Dansk in Game 1, since Knoblauch often said that Dansk is his No. 1 goaltender. But Dansk was pulled from two games late in the regular season, while Williams played well down the stretch. So Knoblauch went with Williams, and more importantly, stuck with him after the two early goals against.
* I’m not surprised that Knoblauch chose Cory Genovese over Darren Raddysh on defense. Raddysh is an up-and-coming player, but Genovese has past playoff experience. You want to have as much experience on the back end as possible at playoff time.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 13th, 2014

* denotes starters



Oscar Dansk*
Devin Williams

Scratches: D Justin Felker (healthy), LW Travis Wood (healthy), RW Patrick Murphy (healthy), C Quentin Maksimovich (healthy)


Kreis-Maaskant (former Otter)-Pastorious


Daniel Gibl*
Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: D Jake Dotchin, RW Joseph Blandisi, C Mitchell Theoret

Referees: Pat Myers, Darryl Wolfe; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Cory Piche


Barrie Colts (28-22-1-2) at Erie Otters (41-10-2-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Niagara (Saturday, 7 p.m.), at Kitchener (Monday, 2 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters hope to complete a sweep of their four-game home stand before starting a four-game road trip Monday against the Midwest Division rival Rangers. … They have won six of seven games since consecutive home losses to Guelph and Niagara midway through January. … The Otters trail the Storm by one point with 15 games left in the race for the OHL’s regular-season and Western Conference championships, which would secure home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … Erie won 6-5 in Barrie on Jan. 9 in a game in which the Otters built a 5-2 lead early in the second period but squandered that lead by the end of that period. Rookie D Travis Dermott scored the winning goal 7 minutes, 40 seconds into the third. … The Otters need five wins to break the franchise record of 45 set by the 2000-01 club. … The Otters have 24 home wins, three shy of breaking the franchise record of 26 set in 2000-01. They have seven regular-season home games left. … RW Connor Brown (39 goals, 68 assists, 107 points)

Connor Brown

has points in eight straight games and 16 of his last 18 overall. He has a 17-point lead in the league’s scoring race over linemate Dane Fox (55-35-90). … Fox needs 10 points to join Brown as the only players in franchise history to reach the 100 mark in a season. … Barrie, which has won three straight games, ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference, five points behind fourth-place North Bay. The top four teams earn home-ice advantage in the first round. … The Colts are the second-most penalized team in the league (884 minutes). The Otters have the No. 1 power play (31.6 percent). … LW Andreas Athanasiou (40-39-79) had a career-high five goals and seven points in a 9-2 win at Niagara on Thursday to move into a tie for third in the league. … D Aaron Ekblad (19-24-43) is tied for fifth among all defensemen in scoring. He stands third among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm report for the 2014 draft. … Former Otters D Liam Maaskant has two goals, five points and 47 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Colts this season.

- Victor Fernandes

Click here for this week’s edition of Knoblauch Korner…

Posted: February 12th, 2014

The top three in the CHL top 10 ranking remains the same this week, as the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets (44-8-0-4) and OHL rival Guelph Storm (41-9-2-1) and Erie Otters (41-10-2-0) remain 1-2-3. However, the rest of the list changed somewhat, with the London Knights (36-12-3-6) moving up one spot to eighth and Sault Ste. Marie (36-14-1-4) slipping out of the top 10 and onto the honorable-mention list.

CHL top 10 ranking
Club (league) Record

1. Kelowna (WHL) 44-8-0-4
2. Guelph (OHL) 41-9-2-1
3. Erie (OHL) 41-10-2-0
4. Portland (WHL) 39-12-2-3
5. Edmonton (WHL) 40-13-0-1
6. Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL) 35-10-4-5
7. Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) 37-14-1-3
8. London (OHL) 36-12-1-4
9. Quebec (QMJHL) 32-14-3-6
10. Victoria (WHL) 38-16-1-3
strong>Honorable mention: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 36-14-1-4, Halifax (QMJHL) 34-18-0-3, Calgary (WHL) 36-15-3-3

In other news, Otters rookie D Travis Dermott has

Travis Dermott

been named the Midwest Division’s academic player of the month for January. He has posted As and Bs in a challenging course load at McDowell High School, while posting 23 points in 52 games this season.

Posted: January 18th, 2014

One little backhand left the race to the OHL’s regular-season championship as tight as it has been in a long time.
Ryan Horvat flipped a shot over Erie Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk early in the second period, and Guelph netminder Justin Nichols made it stand up in a 1-0 win in front of 5,643 fans at Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday night. With the victory, Guelph (34-8-2-1) sliced Erie’s lead in the standings to one point with 23 games left in the regular season.
“There’s lots on the line,” said Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch, whose 35-8-2-0 club was beaten at home in regulation for the first time this season (22-1-1-0) and shut out for only the second time – both by the Midwest Division rival Storm. “Now they’re trailing us (by) one point. That’s a huge difference, (between) five and one.”
The Otters lost a 1-0 game for the first time since an overtime defeat to Sarnia on Nov. 22, 2002, and for only the fourth time in franchise history. Head to and Sunday’s edition of the Erie Times-News for complete coverage.
Meanwhile, check out post-game interviews from Knoblauch and rookie defenseman Travis Dermott.

Posted: January 4th, 2014

* denotes starters



Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), TBD




Brandon Hope
Jack Flinn*

Scratches: RW Jaden Lindo, D Chris Bigras (World Juniors – Canada), LW Kyle Hope (suspension)

Referees: Sean Pindar, Scott Ferguson; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Adam Harris

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