St. Catharines, ON – Two third period goals by the Niagara IceDogs were the difference as the Erie Otters dropped their season opener to the IceDogs, 4-2.
Anthony DiFruscia and Joel Wigle scored in the third period to put the IceDogs in front and give the defending Eastern Conference champions their first win of the season.
Connor Crisp put the Otters on the board during a two-man advantage for the first goal of the OHL season. Crisp deflected a Troy Donnay shot at 8:02 to make it 1-0, Otters.
Steven Shipley tied the game for Niagara with a power play goal from the slot at 13:57. The Otters quickly answered back at 15:03 after Nick Betz banged in a rebound from a Travis Wood shot for his first goal of the season.
The Otters took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play, as they outshot the IceDogs, 15-9.
David Sysala scored the only goal of the second period to tie the game at two. Sysala found a loose puck in front of the net at 6:44 for the equalizer.
The IceDogs then potted home two goals in the final period to take the game. They outshot the Otters, 30-29, for the game.
Oscar Dansk made 26 saves in his OHL debut for the Otters. Connor McDavid also made his highly anticipated debut with several dazzling plays, but did not register on the scoresheet.
Also making their OHL debuts for Erie were Artem Kuleshov, Kyle Pettit and Hayden Hodgson. Overage player J.P. Labardo also made his Erie debut after being traded from Oshawa earlier in the week.
The Otters continue on the road to battle against the defending OHL Champion London Knights Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Fans can listen to all the action starting with the Erie Federal Credit Union Pre-game Show beginning at 7:15 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio AM 1330 The Fan.
The home opener at Erie Insurance Arena is almost here. Welcome back the Erie Otters Friday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m. when they take on the Brampton Battalion. For tickets, call 814-452-4857 or go to OttersHockey.com.