Otters Get By Rangers 9-6 in Offense Heavy Afternoon Tilt
Erie, PA – The Erie Otters and Kitchener Rangers combined for 15 goals Tuesday afternoon, with the Otters scoring four in the third, three unanswered, to take a 9-6 decision over the Rangers.
Oscar Dansk returned to the starting lineup for the first time since November 3 in London. Dansk’s first start in five games after sitting with a lower body injury didn’t go as planned as he allowed five goals on the afternoon including the opening tally 65 seconds into the contest on a Darby Llewellyn shot from the left wing circle.
Erie answered with two goals of their own in the first period as Connor McDavid tied the game at one at 5:25 of the first. Spencer Abraham gave the Otters the lead on the power play at 18:27, sending Erie into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
The Rangers scored another quick goal to start the second period as Brent Pedersen tallied 29 seconds into the frame. The Otters would score the next three goals to chase Rangers starting net minder Matthew Greenfield out of the net. Dane Fox scored his pair of goals during that span, taking the league lead with 23 tallies on the year. Michael Curtis scored for the seconds straight game as Erie took a 5-2 lead.
Not to be outdone in the second period, Kitchener would add two more quick goals to come back within one goal. Justin Bailey and Ryan MacInnis scored 31 seconds apart before the second period ended to send the two teams into the break with the Otters leading 5-4.
The third period saw another six goals scored in the 20 minutes of play. Stephen Harper scored his fourth of the year on a wrist shot from the right wing circle that beat relief goaltender Jordan DeKort to the blocker side. Radek Faksa would chase Oscar Dansk out of the cage when he fired a laser over Dansk’s left shoulder to bring the score 6-5. Kitchener then tied the game on a four-on-three power play when Ben Thomson banged home a rebound to beat Devin Williams who came in relief.
With the score tied at six, the Otters took control of the game scoring three goals over the final 3:29 to play. Kyle Pettit scored what would stand to be the game winning goal when Connor Brown dished the puck to the blue paint where DeKort had vacated. Pettit shoveled the puck into the open cage to give the Otters a 7-6 lead.
Andre Burakovsky added in his 16th of the season on the power play, shooting a puck that trickled through DeKort, giving Erie a two goal lead. Connor Brown sealed the deal with an empty net tally at 18:21.
The Otters won for the 13th time at the Erie Insurance Arena, and have yet to drop a game at home. Devin Williams picked up his ninth win in relief for Oscar Dansk, and facing only two shots. Michael Curtis continued his point streak to five games with a goal and an assist on the afternoon. Dane Fox recorded five points on the day extending his point streak to ten games.
The Otters have two days of practice before heading to London for their final visit of the regular season to the Budweiser Gardens Friday night at 7:30. The team then turns around for a game Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Erie Insurance Arena against the Sudbury Wolves.
Locastro-Bonini Insurance Three Stars
1. Dane Fox – Erie Otters – 2G 3A
2. Radek Faksa – Kitchener Rangers – 1G 1A
3. Michael Curtis – 1G 1A