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CAMPBELL SHINES IN SEASON DEBUT, OTTERS DOWN STORM 4-1

Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Otters came into a Saturday night at home looking to expel the demons of a winless road trip, and reignite their 3-1-1 home record from their last time at the Erie Insurance Arena. With the Guelph Storm in town, the Otters would also hope to exorcise the troubles they’ve had against their Midwest Division foe. For the first time in two years, Erie goaltender Aidan Campbell would make his return, starting in net.
It would be a busy first period back for Campbell, as the second-year goaltender would set-aside eight of eight shots faced from the Storm, and helping to kill two power play opportunities. On the Erie side, the power play would prove fruitless as well, going 0/2 on their opportunities. With both defenses stepping up and preventing additional opportunities, it would be a scoreless first period, with an 8-4 shot advantage to the favor of Guelph.
A second period surge would see the Otters outshoot the Storm 9-6, and ignite a crowd of over 4100 to a pair of goals. With the Otters on a penalty kill late in the second period, Brendan Sellan would force a turnover that would give Daniel D’Amato a breakaway. D’Amato would be interfered with on the breakaway, and be awarded with a penalty shot. On the penalty shot, Daniel D’Amato (21) would roof the shot over Bennett, and electrify the crowd with a victory lap celebration. 1:20 later, Carey Terrance (9) would work tenaciously on a loose puck in front, and give Erie a 2-0 lead after 40. Erie would trail in shots, 14-13.
With a 2-0 lead heading into the third period, and halfway into the frame, the Otters would find themselves on the man-advantage. With a rip of a shot from Elias Cohen (22), the Otters would find themselves up 3-0 – with Christian Kyrou and D’Amato grabbing assists. A power play goal minutes from Sasha Pastujov (31) would end the shutout for Campbell, and make it a 3-1 game. With the net-empty on the opposite end, Brendan Hoffmann (20) would fire one from center ice, and put the game on ice for a 4-1 Erie victory – their first of the season over Guelph. Aidan Campbell would earn first star honors for his season debut 19/20 save night.
Erie closes out the weekend on Sunday afternoon for the team’s final meeting of the season with the Niagara IceDogs – Erie is 4-1 against Niagara this season. Sunday is Sensory Friendly Day, with specialty Autism Awareness warmup jerseys being worn and auctioned to benefit Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania. The homestand continues for the Otters the following weekend with a three-in-three from Friday, April 1 until Sunday, April 3 against Hamilton and Kitchener (x2).
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