Erie, Pennsylvania – The annual Erie Thanksgiving Day hockey game went the distance as the Otters came from behind to collect a point in overtime, but ultimately fell to the Kitchener Rangers 5-4 in a shootout at the Erie Insurance Arena.
It was Kitchener who opened the scoring Thursday night with Simon Motew scoring his first OHL goal as he slid the puck past Aidan Campbell at 5:21 of the first for a 1-0 lead. Erie would answer on the power play with Maxim Golod snapping home a rebound from a Chad Yetman shot to even the game at one. The Rangers would escape the frame with the lead on Declan McDonnell’s shot off a draw that beat Campbell on the glove hand for a 2-1 lead at the break.
Greg Meireles would add insurance early in the second period with his fifth of the season at 1:56 of the frame. Erie’s power play would once again respond with Yetman hooking up with Golod for his second goal of the game to cut the lead to 3-2. The night of firsts would continue with Noah Sedore netting his first OHL goal when Jamie Drysdale found the first-year man on the back door for the game tying goal.
The Rangers never trailed in the hockey game and the trend would continue with Ryan Stepien on the doorstep knocking home his fifth of the season. Erie would grind out the tying goal with Elias Cohen forcing a turnover at the right-wing circle then setting up Emmett Sproule who would sneak the puck past Jacob Ingham on the short side to tie the game at four.
The game would need overtime to decide a winner, Erie’s league leading tenth overtime game on the season. The goaltenders shined in the three-on-three period with Campbell and Ingham each stopping four quality chances. The winner would be decided in a shootout where Liam Hawel scored the only goal to snap Kitchener’s four game losing streak with a 5-4 decision.
Emmett Sproule skated in his 150th OHL game. Erie’s power play has scored goals in five of it’s last six games. The Otters next host the Peterborough Petes Saturday night for the annual Teddy Bear Toss game to benefit the Salvation Army.
Single game tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now. Erie Otters season tickets and flex packages are also available and can be purchased in person at the Erie Otters front office located at 201 E. 8th Street in Erie, or by calling 814-455-7779. For the latest Otters news, visit www.ottershockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters) and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
Photo Courtesy: Matt Mead Photography LLC