ERIE, PA – The Erie Otters returned home Wednesday night after a 3-game road trip. The Otters started the night off with a quick goal from rookie Jamie Drysdale, giving the team an early lead and the defensemen the first tally of his OHL career. This was followed with some sustained pressure from the home team, as Hayden Fowler netted his second goal of the year to put the Otters ahead by two. This trend continued, as just minutes later a Luke Beamish shot from the point trickled through and found the back of the net for the Otters’ third goal of the opening period. Near the end of the frame, Maxim Golod was taken down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot, which he came up unsuccessful on, and the Otters headed into the locker room with a 3-0 lead.
The second period began a little more even than the first. The offensive pressure began to level out, with both teams showing solid possession inside their opponent’s zone. Maxim Golod saw a replica of his first period penalty shot when the puck trickled through the defense and left him alone on a breakaway, but he was left scoreless again. Late in the period, Erie was awarded a powerplay when Niagara defensemen Johnathon Schaefer lifted the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, but the Otters came up short on the opportunity and left the second period scoreless from both sides
The third period began with the Otters capitalizing on their first opportunity, with Christian Girhiny shooting a rebound into an open net off of a Petr Cajka shot. The game began to slow down for the majority of the period, until Akil Thomas took advantage of some open ice and sped through the Otters’ defense to score, followed by another late tally by Matthew Philip. After a Kyle Maksimovich slashing call, the Ice Dogs capitalized on a 6-on-4 opportunity (empty net) when Kirill Maksimov put one in to cut the lead to one goal with only a minute remaining.
Erie forward Kyle Maksimovich recorded his 152nd and 153rd assists of his OHL career, elevating him to 6th all-time in the Otters’ record books.