Mississauga, Ontario – Erie Otters first year goaltender Aidan Campbell stopped 29 shots to shutout the Mississauga Steelheads 4-0 Monday afternoon, extending Erie’s lead over the Soo Greyhounds to four points for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
The first period got off to a penalty riddled start with the Otters heading to the power play three times in the frame. Despite unsuccessful tries, Erie pressured Mississauga starting goaltender Kai Edmonds forcing him to make ten saves in the frame. That was matched by Campbell’s perfect first period where the Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania native made eight stops of his own for a scoreless tie in the intermission.
The Otters broke the game open in a matter of a minute and 21 seconds with a pair of goals to break the scoreless tie in the second period. First it was a cycle play that saw Brendan Sellan feed Daniel D’Amato in the front of the net for a quick strike on his 17th goal of the season. Shortly after Erie rushed into the offensive zone with Chad Yetman feeding Kyen Sopa on the right circle, who wired home his 19th of the season to the top corner to hand Erie a 2-0 lead. During the second, Aidan Campbell was tested on his first penalty shot stare down. Cole Schwindt was given the chance after a slashing call negated a breakaway. Schwindt carried the puck in and tested the far post of Campbell’s net, only to be denied by the Erie netminder.
Erie struck again in the third period for another pair of goals in under two minutes. Brendan Hoffmann matched his career high with his 12th of the season when his shot ricocheted off the end glass to deflect back towards the crease, where it bounced off the backside of Edmonds and into the back of the net. Another end board bounce after a Max Golod shot trickled to the front of the net a minute and 33 seconds later where Yetman potted his 33rd of the year for a 4-0 Otters lead. Campbell took care of the rest, stopping 15 shots in the final frame as the Steelheads poured on the pressure. The rookie tender put his own stamp to seal the deal, denying Charlie Callaghan on a cross-zone pass one-time shot at the right circle, with Campbell sliding across the crease to kick out the shot with half a minute remaining in regulation.
Campbell’s first shutout also marked his tenth victory of the season. Erie’s penalty kill unit went a perfect five for five on the afternoon.
The Otters begin the final month of the season with the first of three straight three-games in three-days weekends, beginning with the Kitchener Rangers Friday, February 21st at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Single game tickets for the 2019-20 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, visit www.ottershockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters) and Instagram (@ErieOtters).