The Erie Otters snapped their nine-game losing streak tonight by the final score of 3-0 over the North Bay Battalion. Anand Oberoi recorded his first OHL shutout, making 28 saves. Kyle Maksimovich extended his point streak to ten games with two goals tonight.
It was a bit of a slow start for Erie, but the Otters found themselves up 1-0 over the Battalion by the end of 20 minutes. The Otters took an early penalty just 1:19 in as Chad Yetman went to the box for tripping. Ivan Lodnia finally recorded the first SOG for the Otters just past the 7 minute mark of the 1st. Shortly thereafter, two North Bay players (Kyle Potts, Brandon Coe) were sent to the box for a cross check and hooking call, giving Erie a 5-on-3. Kyle Maksimovich scored on the power play, going down on one knee and roofing a rebound to give the Otters a 1-0 lead at the halfway point of the period. Max Golod picked up the primary assist on the goal, currently filling in for Taylor Raddysh on the 1st line while he’s with Canada’s World Junior team, and Ivan Lodnia picked up the second assist. Lodnia took a tripping penalty with just over 5 minutes left in the 1st to put the Battalion on the power play, but the Otters were able to not only kill the penalty but even get some shorthanded chances, as Propps had to make a big glove save on Cade Robinson shorthanded to keep them within one. The Battalion were able to generate some offense late in the period and climb in SOGs to outshoot the Otters 13-8 by the end of 20 minutes as Oberoi had to make some big saves with under 2 mins left, but the Otters led on the scoreboard 1-0 after the 1st.
We got to see some firewagon hockey in the Erie Insurance Arena for the 2nd period. It was very back-and-forth, with scoring chances from both sides, but the goaltenders stole the show, stopping everything that came their way in the 2nd. Oberoi had to make a big glove save just three and a half minutes into the period on a hard North Bay shot. The Otters got some serious scoring chances 7 minutes in, but Propps was somehow able to weather the storm and keep the puck out of his net. A bit of a scrum at the halfway point of the period resulted in a pair of Roughing penalties: Kurtis Henry went to the box for Erie and Alex Robert for North Bay, giving us some 4-on-4 play for a minute 59. With a second left on Henry’s penalty, Mitchell Byrne was sent to the box for holding with 7:56 left in the 2nd. The Otters were able to kill the back-to-back penalties and keep the score at 1-0. Oberoi again made some big stops late, but the Otters were able to control the puck in North Bay’s zone for the full final minute of play. Propps was up to the task, however, and kept the Otters from taking a 2-goal lead heading into the 3rd.
The shots on goal were tied at 17 each after two periods in Erie.
North Bay’s Luke Burghardt took a Delay of Game penalty 5:31 into the 3rd to put the Otters on the PP. The Otters rang a shot off the crossbar that was decidedly not in. Three minutes later, Lodnia made a drop pass back to Sambrook who ripped a shot home to take a 2-0 lead. With 6:40 to go, Poddubnyi took a hooking penalty that gave the Battalion a man-advantage. Girhiny and Fellows both had great shorthanded scoring opportunities during Poddubnyi’s penalty. The Otters were determined to hold on to their lead in the 3rd and even the forwards pitched in, fearlessly blocking shots. North Bay pulled Propps for the extra attacker with under three minutes remaining in regulation. Maksimovich got the puck with just over a minute left, was tripped up by a North Bay defenseman, yet still managed to score the empty net goal while falling down and careening into the net himself. The Otters won by the final score of 3-0, with two goals from Maksimovich and 28 saves made by Oberoi.
The Otters now have a break for the holidays and will be back on the 28th of December in Oshawa.