Erie, Pennsylvania – The Ontario Hockey League announced the 2022 preseason schedule for all 20 member teams earlier today. Preseason games mark the formal start of the 2022-23 season across the OHL, with the Erie Otters kicking off the league’s exhibition schedule.
For the first time in team-history, the Otters will play in six preseason contests spanning the month of September.
Exhibition hockey returns to the Erie Insurance Arena on Friday, September 2 at 7:00 P.M. as the team hosts the 2022 OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs for the first preseason game across the league. Erie closed out its 2021-22 season at home against Hamilton, who went on to represent the OHL in the Memorial Cup as runner-ups. Hamilton stays in town on Saturday, September 3 at 2:00 P.M. for a ‘neutral-site’ game against the Saginaw Spirit.
The home portion of the preseason schedule closes out on Sunday, September 4 at 2:00 P.M. as the Otters take on the Spirit in a familiar matchup from the 2021-22 season. In the preseason alone, Erie and Saginaw met three times, with a 2-1 series win for Erie. The newfound rivalry budded in the schedule-adjusted regular season, where the two American foes met a all-time high of 12 times – with Erie going 6-5-0-1 against Saginaw. An interesting dynamic of the 2022-23 edition of this contest is the teams’ additions of the top two picks in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Exceptional Status player Michael Misa (1st Overall) for Saginaw, and projected first-overall Malcolm Spence (2nd Overall) for Erie. Misa and Spence were teammates for the 2022 OHL Cup winning Mississauga Senators U16 AAA of the Greater Toronto Hockey League prior to being drafted into the OHL, and will get their first chance to meet in opposing jerseys. The two teams will meet four times in 2022-23.
In an all-new partnership, the Erie Otters and Erie-based non-profit Community Access Media will team up to bring a live, cable-access broadcast of one of Erie’s two preseason home games. Fans in Erie will be able to watch the game live on Spectrum Cable (Channel 1021) and/or VNET Fiber (Channel 2), as well as streaming on-demand on the Apple TV and Roku Apps. Game date and broadcast details will be announced at a later date. For more information on Community Access Media, head to the organization’s website.
As part of the newly-launched ‘Elevate Voices Program’ by the Otters, the organization is proud to introduce the College Radio Kickoff initiative. This new initiative invites college and university radio stations to apply for the chance to live broadcast one of Erie’s home preseason games on their airwaves with their student broadcasters on the call. Applications and more information for the College Radio Kickoff can be found on OttersHockey.com/Elevate-Voices-Program.
Erie hits the road to Ontario for their first exhibition game over the border since 2019, as they take on the geographic rival Niagara IceDogs on Friday, September 9 at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, September 10 at 7:00 P.M. This will be the first-ever meeting between the cross-conference foes in the preseason. The first of the two meetings will be played at the ‘neutral-site’ Meridian Credit Union Arena in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON – home to the Niagara Minor Hockey Association’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Wolves, who will be ‘hosting’ the game. Saturday’s contest will take place at the home of the IceDogs, the Meridian Centre in St. Catharine’s, ON. Erie and Niagara met six times in the 2021-22 season, with the Otters taking a 4-2 record out of the season series. The two teams will meet six times in 2022-23.
The final preseason series is a precursor to the long-awaited October 8 home opener for the Erie Otters, as the team once again crosses the border to take on their bitter rival, the London Knights. This series – the first preseason meeting between the two since 2019, and 11th and 12th all-time exhibition games – will take place on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, September 24 at 7:00 P.M. The Friday battle between the two will take place the historic Budweiser Gardens in downtown London, with the final preseason game for Erie being played at ‘neutral-site’ Eastlink Arena in Clinton, ON – home of the Western Ontario Athletic Association Senior Hockey League’s Clinton Radars. This will be Erie’s third-ever trip to the Central Huron’s Eastlink Arena, after the Otters and Knights played in front of a sold-out crowd of 1400 in the 2016 preseason (Erie won 5-2) and a crowd of nearly 1000 in the 2019 preseason (Erie won 7-2). These rivals will meet six times in the 2022-23 season, with the most notable contest being Erie’s home opener on Saturday, October 8.
General Manager Dave Brown spoke with excitement about the ever-approaching return of hockey, headlined by the month of September’s preseason excitement.
“Entering the 26th season is truly a testament to the perseverance and passion the Erie Otters fans provide, and something we don’t take for granted.” said Brown, “We are excited and looking forward to increasing our fan following to all new highs and entertaining everyone with a young, energetic group that reflects the values of our Erie community and fans.”
Single Game Tickets for Erie’s two preseason games will go on-sale in the coming weeks. The Otters organization is ecstatic to return hockey to downtown Erie for the 26th season starting with exhibition action, and reignite the best fan base in the OHL in pursuit of a return to the playoffs.
The full promotional schedule, including day-specific themes, theme nights, and giveaways will be released in the coming weeks by the organization. Information on the team’s forthcoming Training Camp will be announced soon.
Don’t miss a single moment of the new year of Otters Hockey; 2022-23 Full Season Tickets are on sale now for as low as $11/game.
For the complete 2022-23 Otters schedule, head to OttersHockey.com/schedule or on OntarioHockeyLeague.com.
For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at firstname.lastname@example.org.