Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario – With a day of rest and preparation clearing the minds for the Erie Otters of a tough loss in Flint on Friday, they would make the trek to the GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie to take on one of the Ontario Hockey League’s top teams, the Soo Greyhounds. Cooling off from their 5-2 start, the Greyhounds and Otters would prepare for their first of back-to-back games in their only series of the season. With a 10 hour road trip back to northwest Pennsylvania looming for Erie, the Otters would be looking to bookend their weekend with a statement win.
A slow Sunday start would see the Otters with just one shot through the first 17 minutes of the first period. The Greyhounds would come out with suffocating offensive zone pressure and not allow Erie time to set anything up in their own offensive end. Caeden Carlisle (1,2) would be responsible for both the goals from the Soo side – his first Ontario Hockey League goals – 9:11 and 17:17 into the period. Despite being down 2-0, the Otters offense would start to find its rhythm, accumulating four shots in the final few minutes. With a hooking from Carlisle, the Otters would take 1:54 of power play time into the second period down 2-0.
The Otters would waste no time in finding their first goal of the night on the power play, as a Christian Kyrou rebound would be put away by Brendan Hoffmann (6) :61 into the second period to make it 2-1. From that point on, the Greyhounds would go on to fire 22 shots on Nolan Lalonde in the Otters net – with the rookie goaltender sending 21 aside. 6:42 into the second, on the power play, Tanner Dickinson (7) would score a turn-and-fire puck. After a called-off goal in favor of the Greyhounds, the Otters would start to find rhythm again. Erie’s offense would put together just seven shots in the second period, but they’d find two goals as a result as Cameron Morton (2) would fire a moving shot from the left circle would pass the Soo tender. Despite being outshot 22-7 in the second, the Otters would head to the third in a 3-2 deficit.
Nolan Lalonde would be the difference-maker for the Otters all-game-long, finishing the night with 34 saves. He’d have to make more than his fair-share of saves in the third, as the Greyhounds would look to put the pesky Otters away. Erie would have other plans though, looking to cap off their weekend with a big-time win. Unfortunately for Erie, an early goal from Jordan D’Intino (2) would make it a two-goal game again for the Greyhounds. 3:12 later, Noah Sedore (4) would score the second power play goal of the night on their second opportunity, and the Otters would make it a 4-3 game halfway through the period. On an unexpected penalty kill, the Otters would suffer another power play goal against as Rory Kerins (10) would give the Greyhounds their fifth of the night. With the net empty on the Erie end, and fantastic cycling of the puck, Christian Kyrou (2) would rip a one-timer from the blue line to the back of the net, and make it a one-goal game again with 1:46 to go. Erie would empty their net again with under a minute to go, and maintain offensive pressure until the last tolling of the horn, coming just a bounce away from knotting it up. Erie would fall in one of its best played games of the season, 5-4.
For just the second time in the month of November, the Otters will play in front of the hometown fans on Thursday night for the annual Thanksgiving Night game, hosting the Soo Greyhounds for the final meeting of the regular season between the two. The Otters will have a rest day on Friday, before hosting the Guelph Storm on Saturday night for the annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears (and all stuffed animals) in massive quantities to throw on the ice after the Otters first goal. Bears will be collected, cleaned, and donated to the Salvation Army to be given to less-fortunate children in the Erie Community during the holiday season. The weekend and month of November will close on Sunday with Erie’s eighth road game of the month, traveling up to Guelph for a Midwest Division showdown.