Erie, Pennsylvania – Inches and seconds away from forcing overtime in Guelph on Friday night against the #4 team in the Ontario Hockey League, the Erie Otters would ready themselves on Saturday night for a rivalry battle against their most bitter foe, the London Knights. Coming in at #1 in the OHL and #2 in the Canadian Hockey League, the Knights would be looking to continue their seasonal success against a Midwest Division rival. The Otters would take the ice in special military-inspired jerseys, with the organization and corporate partners working to donate over 1100 tickets to active-duty and retired military in the community.
Erie looked like a team with something to prove in the first period, as they came in taking an early lead in shots over the London Knights. Penalty trouble would look to be the story again for the Otters in the first period, as Cameron Morton would head to the box for a high-sticking double minor. The penalty kill would be shortened for the Otters, as Luke Evangelista would sit in the middle of the period for an interference. Both penalties would be killed off, and we’d return to five-aside. 8:44 into the first period, Brody Crane would score on a one-timer from Denver Barkey, and the London Knights would find a 1-0 lead. After serving in the penalty box earlier, Alternate Captain Cameron Morton would find the back of the net on a strange bounce from a left-wing circle shot to knot things up. Late stages of the first period, Antonio Stranges would find an open net from a blocked-shot off Cody Morgan’s stick, and after one, the Knights would lead 2-1, with shots even at 10.
With the second period underway, and a game still to be played for the Otters, they would make their mark known, scoring early and often with two goals in the first 3:30 from Brendan Sellan and Brett Bressette. Erie would find themselves in a 3-2 lead over the top team in the OHL, and would build upon it on a Connor Lockhart breakaway. Lockhart’s third of the year would give the Otters a 4-2 lead, which would stick through the end of the period. After 40 minutes of play, Erie would hold a 4-2 lead.
After the late goal from London to end the third, the Knights would wholly and fully take over in the third period, flexing their muscles as the #1 team in the Ontario Hockey League. On 11 shots in the period, the Knights would see four goals come across the goal line from Brody Crane, Cody Morgan, Antonio Stranges, and Luke Evangelista. The four-goal outburst period would give the Knights a 7-4 win over Erie. The Otters will have a short rest at home, before they head back on a long western-conference weekend, starting on Thursday, November 18th in Windsor, a stop up in Flint on Friday night, and a travel day that finds them in Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday afternoon.
Erie will then return back to the EIA for the greatest hockey tradition in NWPA, as they ready for the Thanksgiving Night on Thursday, November 25 at 7 P.M. against the Greyhounds. After a rest day for Black Friday, the Otters will play host to Guelph on Saturday, November 27 for the Teddy Bear Toss game, benefitting Salvation Army. The Otters will close out the weekend on Sunday afternoon in Guelph, looking to finish the month of November strong.