KULAKOV SCORES IN 100TH GAME IN LOSS TO GUELPH
Erie, Pennsylvania – A celebration of the hometown heroes in our community took place on Saturday night as the Erie Otters celebrated First Responders Night (pres. by Plyler Entry Systems). The penultimate meeting of the season against the Guelph Storm would be elevated to the Canadian Hockey League’s Game of the Week on CHL TV. With Erie looking to snap a six-game skid, the team hoped that homecooking would play in their favor.
After a good start in the previous night’s game, Erie would hope to do the same on home ice by earning the first goal. In the 100th game of his Ontario Hockey League career, it would be Artyom Kulakov (4) with his fifth-career goal in the league to score the only goal of the period, 7:36 in. Kulakov’s rocket of a slapshot from the blueline would be assisted by fellow Import Pick Ondrej Molnar. Erie would dominate both ends of the ice the rest of the way in the period, holding Guelph to just three total shots enroute to a 13-3 shot advantage and 1-0 lead after 20.
The script would be fully flipped in the second period to the favor of the Guelph Storm, who would control the first eight shots of the period enroute to knotting the game up. The game-tying goal would come four-on-four from leading-scorer Matthew Poitras (16) just 4:51 into the frame. Erie would finally start to get a limited number of shots together as the period would go on, but be handicapped near the end of the frame as Pano Fimis would receive a match-penalty for slewfooting. As a top-six power play unit, the Guelph Storm would strike for back-to-back opportunities on the man-advantage, seeing Braeden Bowman (31) and Jett Luchanko (5) score in just :50. Erie would be outshot 13-5, and trail 3-1 after 40 – ending the period with a man-advantage to start the third.
Much like the second period would end, the third period would begin with a goal in favor of the Guelph Storm. Chandler Romeo (9) would score the fourth-unanswered goal for the Storm as the team’s power play would come to a close, 4:57 into the final frame. On the power play :32 later, it would be Sam Alfano (18) for his fourth PPG of the season to put Erie back in the conversation in a 4-2 game, but a late empty-netter from the Storm and captain Cooper Walker (19) would seal Erie’s fate in a 5-2 loss. The loss moves Erie to seven-straight games without a win.
The final week of the Ontario Hockey League season is nigh! The Erie Otters will host the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday night for Women’s Empowerment Night, before making the final road trip of the season on Friday night to the Guelph Storm. The season concludes on Saturday, March 25 for Fan Appreciation Night as the Sarnia Sting come to town.