LALONDE STOPS 25, TERRANCE SCORES 50TH CAREER POINT IN TIGHT LOSS
Sarnia, Ontario – The road-tripping Erie Otters would continue their pursuits away from home ice on Friday night, as the team would prepare for the final road battle against the Sarnia Sting. Looking to grab not only their first win of the weekend, but first win of the season against the Sting too, Erie would see Nolan Lalonde lead the team from the net.
The first half of the first period would see offensive momentum swings, with the teams combining for 10 total shots 10 minutes in. Both teams’ goaltenders would step up and stop everything there way early, but with an Erie power play due up, the Otters would strike. Elias Cohen (14) wouldn’t initially get to celebrate, thinking he’d struck off the goal post. After a whistle and review, it was assessed as a good goal, and Erie would lead 1-0. With Alex Messier dropping the gloves, Erie would have to serve for an instigating penalty – this penalty would result in a power play goal for Nolan Burke (25) 2:08 later. With :13 left in the period, Ethan Ritchie (7) would sneak one past Lalonde, and Sarnia would take a 2-1 lead after 20 – leading in shots 12-7.
A proverbial tide shift would take place early in period two, as the Otters would come out with a fire in the belly. The Otters would control a majority of the offensive time of possession, but be unable to beat Ben Gaudreau through most of the period. Late in the frame, Colby Saganiuk would force his way into the offensive end, dish to Ondrej Molnar, who would give it back to Taeo Artichuk (6) who would be denied once, but score on his second shot. This would give Artichuk four goals in 2023, and his golden goal. After a challenge, the goal would be confirmed as good. On a late kill, the Erie Otters would force a turnover at center ice that would spring Carey Terrance (18) loose. Hooked on his way to the net, Terrance would get a no-time-remaining penalty shot – and he would not throw away his shot. An impressive between-the-legs backhand would give Terrance his 18th goal of the season, and put Erie ahead with 0:00 on the clock 3-2.
An early penalty killed off would lead to a power play opportunity for the Erie Otters, but it would be the Sarnia Sting who would convert down a man. Nolan Dillingham (3) would strike from the right circle to knot things up in the third just under two minutes into the new period. From there Sarnia would start to take over, outshooting the Otters 13-5 down the stretch of the period. With a tie game past the halfway mark of the period in a physical contest, Christian Kyrou (12) would strike from the blueline to give the Sting a 4-3 lead. Sarnia would hold off Erie’s comeback efforts late and take the win. Erie drops to 0-3 on the season against Sarnia.
The Erie Otters weekend road trip comes to a close on Sunday afternoon in Flint, Michigan as the team takes on the Flint Firebirds for the second time this season. Erie will play its final road game of January on Thursday evening in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, before returning home for a weekend set.