Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Otters rallied in the third period to come from behind and defeat the Mississauga Steelheads in walk off fashion 5-4 in overtime on Erie SeaWolves Night at the Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday.
The night saw the Otters wear jerseys inspired by the Detroit Tigers Double-A Affiliate Erie SeaWolves that will be up for auction through the Live Source app starting Saturday night. Proceeds from the jersey sales will benefit the Chace Numata Scholarship, created in the memory of beloved SeaWolves catcher Chace Numata who tragically lost his life in September. The Otters started the night by making a $5,000 donation to the scholarship that will benefit four Erie area students this spring.
On the ice, the Otters built off the excitement at the start of the night with Brendan Hoffmann opening the scoring at 4:13 of the first period, Erie’s league leading 15th first goal of a game this season. The Steelheads rebounded with a goal of their own midway through the frame from Luca Del Bel Belluz, his first OHL goal, to send the teams tied at one to the intermission.
The Steelheads grabbed control of the game with a three goal second period starting with Cole Schwindt gaining the visitors their first lead of the night. Hayden Fowler and the Otters power play would answer to tie the game at two, but Mississauga netted a pair of goals in a minute and 40 seconds before the period ended to claim a 4-2 lead at the break.
The Otters started to chip away in the third and would outshoot the Steelheads 17-7 in the final frame. Brendan Sellan would draw Erie within one when he snapped home his second goal in as many games at 6:02. The home side kept the pressure on and would take it to the final moments of the game looking for the tie. Erie would pull goaltender Aidan Campbell with 2:01 left looking for the equalizer with the extra attacker. With 1:18 left on the clock, Erie’s Chad Yetman would take a shot from the right circle that would bounce off Steelheads goaltender Kai Edmonds and drop to the top of the crease where Austen Swankler would bang home the rebound to tie the game at four.
Erie found themselves in a third straight overtime situation as the puck dropped looking for a winner. The Otters carried the pace and outshot the Steelheads 6-2 in the extra frame as time winded down to the final seconds. The teams stepped in for one last faceoff in the Mississauga zone where Maxim Golod directed traffic then won the draw back to Jamie Drysdale. The Otters blueliner allowed traffic to develop before he snapped a shot at the net where Austen Swankler deflected home the winner with 7.1 seconds on the clock to give Erie the edge 5-4.
The win marked Erie’s first overtime victory of the season and keeps the Otters in a tie for first place in the Midwest Division with the Guelph Storm at 25 points. Swankler extended his goal scoring streak to a fourth game with his two-goal performance. The Otters head to Mississauga for the back end of the home-and-home series with a 2pm faceoff with the Steelheads Sunday afternoon.
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).