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 ‘Zach Bratina’
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: January 25th, 2013

Erie Otters (15-24-3-5) at Kitchener Rangers (26-14-1-5)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Kitchener Memorial Auditorium – Kitchener, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Saturday vs. Kitchener, 7 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters enter a home-and-home series with the Midwest Division rival Rangers trailing eighth-place Saginaw by 11 points in the chase for the final playoff spot in the OHL’s Western Conference. They are seven points behind No. 9 Windsor. … The Otters play 11 of their 21 games against division opponents – Kitchener (four times), London (three), Owen Sound (twice) and Guelph (twice). Those teams hold four of the top five spots in the conference standings. … The Rangers are third in the division and fourth in the conference. They are 17 points behind frontrunning London and six behind third-place Owen Sound. … The Otters and Rangers have split the first four games of the eight-game season series, with each team winning once at home and on the road. Erie won the past two meetings 6-2 and 4-3 in a shootout Dec. 14-15. … Otters officials are awaiting word from the league today on defenseman Adam Pelech, who could be suspended for his knee-on-knee hit against Saginaw LW Zach Bratina Wednesday night. Pelech received a five-minute kneeing penalty and game misconduct. … G Oscar Dansk (concussion) remains day to day. He hadn’t returned to practice as of Thursday. … Rookie C Connor McDavid has four goals in his last 14 games after totaling nine goals in 13 November games. However, he has 14 points in those past 14 games. He still leads the league’s rookie scoring race with 49 points, eight ahead of Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin. … The Rangers are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. … The Rangers rank 16th in the league with 134 goals scored and 19th on the power play (16.1 percent). But they are third with 118 goals against and second on the penalty kill (85.4 percent). … G John Gibson, a Pittsburgh native, ranks among the league leaders with a 2.41 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. … LW Joshua Leivo ranks among the top 20 scorers with 52 points. … Frank Corrado joins Pelech (34 points) among the top 10 defensemen with 31 points.

- Victor Fernandes