The Erie Otters continued their hot start to the season and remained the only undefeated team in the CHL with a dominant 7-2 win over the Niagara Ice Dogs at Erie Insurance arena Friday night. Leading the charge were Erie’s Alex DeBrincat, who continued his individual supremacy over the Ice Dogs with four goals on the night, and Dylan Strome, who made his debut for Erie by providing the ultimate helping hand for DeBrincat and other Otters’ goal scorers.
Both teams seemed to be playing on slanted ice in the first period with the Otters going downhill. Erie held the majority of possession in the period and outshot the Ice Dogs 14-6 in the first 20 minutes. One of those shots would be cashed in for Erie on the power play. DeBrincat scored his seventh goal on the early season at with Strome picking up his first point of the season with an assist along with Kyle Maksimovich. The Otters penalty would be tested twice in the period, but Niagara had limited opportunities with the man-advantage and Erie would get through the period leading 1-0.
Niagara would get a couple more chances early on Williams in the second period but Williams locked it down to keep it a one goal lead. Erie has had some impressive play from some its younger players so far this season, and Christian Girhiny is leading the youth surge. He would give the Otters a two-goal advantage at 8:05 in the period for his second of the season, deflecting a Taylor Egan shot past Brent Moran. DeBrincat would tally his second of the game on the two-on-one breakaway off a nice setup from Taylor Raddysh just minutes later making the score 3-0.
Erie wouldn’t be done in the second period, as Jake Marchment would score his third of the year to extend the Otter lead to four. Niagara would finally get one back when Brendan Perlini scored his fifth of the season at 13:48, cutting the lead back to three. Niagara would go to the box soon after when Josh Ho-Sang received a minor penalty for a cross-check, and Erie would make it count. DeBrincat got his hat trick with the power play score. Erie led 5-1 at the break.
The Otters would flex their muscles on defense beginning the third period, when they had to kill Niagara’s two-man advantage after penalties to Mitch Byrne and Brett Neuman. Niagara would come up empty on the five-on-three after some blocked shots by Darren Raddysh and couple saves from Devin Williams. Erie would flip the script and get right back on the power play after Vince Dunn’s high sticking infraction. Erie would stay a perfect 3/3 on the man-advantage as Kyle Maksimovich buried a one-timer to make 6-1.
DeBrincat continued his dominance against the Ice Dogs by netting his fourth of the night to put Erie up 7-1 at 7:56 in the third. DeBrincat has scored nine of his ten goals on the season against Niagara. This was Erie’s second game against Niagara this season. DeBrincat had a five-goal performance in Niagara on October 1.
Newly-appointed captain Dylan Strome picked up right where he left off last year in his season debut for Erie. Strome had five assists on the night. Devin Williams picked up 33 saves and remained undefeated on the season.
Erie (5-0-0-0) will get right back into action tomorrow, October 10, when they host Windsor at Erie Insurance Arena. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Iron Worker’s union No. 3 Ironmen of the Game:
1) Alex DeBrincat – 4 G, 1 A
2) Dylan Strome – 5 A
3) Kyle Maksimovich – 1 G, 2 A