Erie, Pennsylvania – Thursday night would see the Erie Otters play just their second home game in the month of November; more importantly, it would represent he 46th Annual Thanksgiving Night Game in Erie hockey history. With the Soo Greyhounds in town after a Sunday afternoon affair in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario the Otters would look to finish the job they started earlier in the week. The Greyhounds were just able to defend home ice with a 5-4 win over the Otters.
Things felt a little too familiar in period one for the Otters, as the Soo would control the offensive pace-of-play. Just 4:07 into the frame, the leading-scorer for the Soo, Rory Kerins (11) would find one through the chaos for the first goal of the night. Erie would find its first couple of shots, but be unable to find the back of the net. 15:21 into the first frame, Tanner Dickinson (8) would collect a rebound out in front, and put the biscuit in the basket to give the Soo a 2-0 lead. The offense of the Otters would surge at the end of the period, collecting four total shots, but be shutout after one period of play. 2-0 Soo after one, with an 11-4 shots advantage for the road team.
In the second period, the Otters would come out with a fighting spirit. Despite a 2-0 deficit, the Otters would control the offensive pace-of-play in the period, finding their way to 13 shots to get their game total to 17. However, it would be the Greyhounds who would find the back of the net first, as Rory Kerins and Cole MacKay (9) would race down the ice on a two-on-one to go up 3-0. 3:11 later, the Erie Otters would find themselves on the power play, and continue their hot streak, capitalizing from a fantastic Noah Sedore (5) shot to make it a 3-1 game. The Otters would fire away as the period came to an end, but be unable to find one more in the net. 3-1 Soo after two, with a 19-17 shots advantage.
The third period would be absolutely controlled by the Erie Otters, as Brendan Hoffmann (7,8) would continue his success against the Greyhounds, scoring the second goal of the night for the Otters, and the eventual game-winner. In a span of 10 minutes, the Otters would score four-unanswered, to build upon their five-unanswered total with goals from Hoffmann, Lockhart, and a shorthanded goal from Elias Cohen to put the Otters into the win column in a major way. Erie would take the 5-4 win on home ice, scoring four goals on just 10 shots in the period. Erie would be outshot in the game 29-27, but take the win 5-4 for their fifth of the season.
This win would start the Thanksgiving weekend in a major way for the Otters, downing the #3 team in the OHL. Fans and players alike will be able to use Black Friday as a food-coma day with the team not playing again until Saturday. Despite the day’s lack of action, the Otters will be part of the annual day-of-sales themselves, opening up the Otters’ Den merchandise store to 30 percent off for all fans, with the store open from 10 A.M. until 2 P.M. on Black Friday. On Saturday night, the Otters welcome the Guelph Storm to town for the 13th annual Teddy Bear Toss Night, benefitting the Salvation Army of Erie. All fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears and stuffed animals of all varieties to throw on the ice after the home team’s first goal of the night. Bears will be collected, cleaned, and donated by the Salvation Army to local children in need during the holiday season. What better way to give back to the Erie community, than by getting to throw something on the ice!