Windsor, Ontario – The start of a long weekend away from home would bring the Erie Otters to Windsor for a Thursday night affair. 12 days ago, the Otters had a two-goal lead in Windsor over the Spitfires in the third period, before a pair of goals in :12 would give the home team enough momentum to steal a 3-2 win in overtime. Heading into tonight, that was the last game the Otters were able to get a point in the standings, dropping their next three games. With a new energy after a weekend of more positive than negative against two of the Ontario Hockey League’s top four teams, the Otters would look to start their time far from home happy.
Erie would waste no time in getting momentum in their favor in the first period, as Taeo Artichuk would send a perfect backhand feed from the trapezoid to Brendan Hoffmann (5) in point-blank range for the game’s first goal just 1:57 in. With 8:23 gone by, the Spitfires would find the back of the net for the first time in the night, as Kyle McDonald (5) would score from a puck redirected off an Otter body. The Otters wouldn’t be happy about losing the lead, and would respond quickly as Elias Cohen (7) would score his third goal of the season against Windsor from a puck loose in front. Halfway through the first, it’d be a 2-1 game for Erie. After a huge hit against Cohen, Colby Saganiuk would stick up for his teammate and drop the gloves with Nathan Ribau. Windsor would draw momentum off the fight, as leading-scorer Wyatt Johnston (7) would force one underneath the leg pad of goaltender Nolan Lalonde after a terrific save. With the final horn sounding, the Otters and Spitfires would be knotted up 2-2, and an 11-7 shots advantage for the home team.
Windsor would control a majority of the offensive time-of-possession, something that would be retained from the previous period. Both teams would stay out of the box during the middle frame of the game, but the Otters would have no problem finding the back of the net – in milestone fashion. 8:52 into the period, a chaotic play in front of the net would result in Taeo Artichuk (1) scoring his first Ontario Hockey League goal, and be mobbed by his linemates as the 2021 OHL Priority Selection Draft second-rounder would collect his second point of the night. The goal would give the Otters a 3-2 lead, and they wouldn’t be done yet. Less than four-minutes later, the night of firsts would continue for the Otters as Cameron Lowe (1) would be the beneficiary of a tenacious Lucas Ross play for his first Ontario Hockey League goal. Nolan Lalonde would stop all 16 shots that came his way, and the Otters would take a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame – despite being outshot 27-19.
With a two-goal lead in hand, the Otters would look to avoid history repeating itself from their last trip to Windsor. Unfortunately for them, the Spitfires would have other plans, scoring two goals just :26 apart to start the third period with the second goals of the night from McDonald and Johnston. In the remaining first-half of the third period, the Otters would see three-unanswered goals – including two on the power play – for Brendan Sellan (4), Brett Bressette (8), and the first-career OHL goal from Christian Kyrou (1) enroute to their highest-scoring game of the season for Erie. Lalonde would set aside 38/42 shots, and the Otters would take the win out of Windsor, 7-4. This would represent the very first victory in the head coaching career of BJ Adams, who was promoted to Otters bench boss one week ago Thursday. Congratulations to Coach Adams!
The Otters improve to 4-9-1 in the 2021 campaign with the win. Two more games await the Otters this weekend, as they head to Flint on Friday night for their fifth meeting of the season against the Firebirds. Erie is 0-4 against Flint this season, looking to take their first win at the Dort Financial Center. Following the game, the Otters will head far north to Sault Ste. Marie for their only trip of the season against the Soo Greyhounds on Sunday. Erie will host Soo on Thursday for their annual Thanksgiving Night game.