Erie, Pa. – The Niagara IceDogs doubled up the Erie Otters with a 6-3 score in Ontario Hockey League action Wednesday night at Erie Insurance Arena.
The IceDogs took a 3-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of play on goals from Ryan Strome, Shayne Rover and Trevor Petersen.
J.P. Labardo jump-started the Otters offense in the second period after he took advantage of an Aaron Haydon turnover. Labardo took the loose puck from the Niagara line and came in for a breakaway, sneaking the puck through the right pad of Chris Festarini at 2:20 for his 19th goal of the season.
The Otters struck again a minute and 12 seconds later, as Kyle Pettit prevented a clear from the IceDogs at the right point and fed the puck to Nick Betz. The right wing drove hard to the net and roofed a backhand over the right shoulder of Festarini for his third goal of the season at 3:32.
Although the Otters were pushing for the equalizer, the IceDogs answered back with three straight goals to take a 6-2 lead into the third. Anthony DiFruscia, Aaron Haydon and Strome each scored in the second for the visitors.
Connor McDavid scored the only goal of the third period as he fired a one-timer pass from Labardo for his 23rd goal of the season at 9:01. Hayden Hodgson picked up the secondary assist on the goal, giving the rookie a point in his fourth straight game.
The Otters host the London Knights Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The first 500 kids 12-and-under receive a set of Otters trading cards courtesy of the Erie Federal Credit Union. For tickets, call 814-452-4857 or go to OttersHockey.com.
Locastro-Bonini Insurance Three Stars of the Game
No. 1 Star – Ryan Strome, Niagara – two goals, one assist
No. 2 Star – Shayne Rover, Niagara – one goal, two assists
No. 3 Star – J.P. Labardo, Erie – one goal, one assist