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Otters Narrowly Lose a Close One in the Soo

Matt Mead

 

The Erie Otters narrowly lost to the league-leading Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie this afternoon by the final score of 3-2. Current and former Otters combined for 80% of the total scoring in the matchup.

The Greyhounds put the pressure on early, outshooting the Otters by a factor of two by the end of 20 minutes. The Otters got a power play opportunity just 2:04 in as Jack Kopacka took his first of three penalties in the game, a Checking to the Head call. The Otters only registered a single shot on net with the early man-advantage. The Greyhounds won a faceoff in the Otters’ zone with 5.8 seconds left which resulted in a goal from Kopacka a mere 2 seconds later, sending the Otters to the 2nd period down by one.

Maxim Golod took the first penalty for the Otters 5:40 into the 2nd, for Hooking. The Otters killed the penalty and managed to generate some shorthanded opportunities as well. The Otters gained control at the halfway point of the period, barraging Villalta with a series of shots, but he was able to make some sliding pad saves to keep the Greyhounds up by a goal. Kopacka took a Cross Checking penalty late, but the Otters came out 0/2 on the PP by the end of it. The majority of 2nd period was relatively lackluster, with the Soo only registering 5 shots on goal to the Otters’ 6.

Former Otter Taylor Raddysh scored his first of two 5:34 into the 3rd to give the Soo a 2-0 lead. Three minutes later, Emmett Sproule answered with a goal for Erie to cut the Soo’s lead in half. With just over four minutes left in regulation, Raddysh netted his second of the game, an insurance goal to put the Soo up by two again at 3-1. Kopacka took his third penalty of the game with 2:34 left in the 3rd that allowed the Otters to mount a 6-on-4 with Murphy pulled. Former Greyhound Hayden Fowler scored with 4.2 seconds left to make it 3-2, but there was simply not enough time left to complete the comeback in what was a very tight game between the Otters and Greyhounds.

Daniel Murphy collected third star of the game honors with a 27-save performance for a 0.900 save percentage against the offensively-loaded Soo. The Otters are 2/3 on the first road trip of February. They will be in London this Friday night against the Knights before rematching the Soo on home ice the next day.

 

 

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