MISSISSAUGA, ON – The Erie Otters struggled to find any sustained offensive effort in a 6-1 losing effort at the hands of the Mississauga Steelheads.
The Otters arrived in Mississauga trying to build off of a 12-1 win in their home opener against the Flint Firebirds six days ago. The first period was filled with heavy offensive presence, including an early shorthanded goal from Edmonton Oilers prospect Owen Tippett. However, the Otters fell just short on a powerplay scoring chance from a Hayden Fowler slap shot that rang off the crossbar. In the second half of the period, a James Hardie shot snuck past Erie rookie goalie Noah Battaglia to put the Steelheads up 2-0 to end the second period.
The second period of the game began a little more even than the first. The Otters showed promise on a few short chances, but their spirits were quickly broken by two Owen Tippett goals coming just 41 seconds apart. After a timeout from Erie coach Chris Hartsburg, the Otters gathered their emotions and began an effort to chip away at the substantial Mississauga lead. A duo of successful penalty kills showed a promising effort from the unit, and the period concluded with neither team scoring.
The third frame began with the Otters looking for some offense in a night that chances were few and far between. The two sides traded chances with similar bouncing pucks in front of the net, but the Steelheads eventually broke through to add two back-to-back tallies (including one on the powerplay) to make it 6-0. Chad Yetman found himself with possibly the best chance the Otters had seen all night, but was ultimately robbed by MIssissauga goalie. Erie followed this chance with a Kyle Maksimovich goal from a beautiful set up from Hayden Fowler. The Otters earned a powerplay at the hands of Ryan McLeod, but this, like the two chances before, ended without result to make the Otters 0/3 on the powerplay for the night.
Erie rookie Noah Battaglia made his first OHL start in net, saving 31 of 37 shots.
The Otters will look to rebound tomorrow night at home against the Kingston Frontenacs.
Single game tickets for the 2018-19 season are on sale now. Erie Otters season tickets and flex packages are also available and can be purchased in person at the Erie Otters front office located at 201 E. 8th Street in Erie, or by calling 814-455-7779. For the latest Otters news, visitwww.ottershockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters) and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
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