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RECAP: FOUR UNANSWERED GOALS EARNS ERIE FIRST WIN OF SEASON

Saginaw, Michigan – With defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory for the Otters on Thursday night in Flint, Erie traveled north to Saginaw for the second of a three game weekend road trip in Michigan. Saturday Night was the season and home opener for the Spirit, looking to capitalize off a downtrodden squad from Pennsylvania. With an 0-2 start to the season, the Otters would look to turn around their streak of lost luck.
 
The Otters would come out flat in period number one, as Saginaw would feed off the nearly-5300 in the crowd to control play in the offensive end. On an intended shot-pass to the blue line, Roberto Mancini would see a wicked redirect off a stick go past Otter goaltender Nolan Lalonde as Saginaw would strike first blood at home. Not even two minutes later, Saginaw’s Pacey Schlueting would be sent for for a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing against Otters captain Daniel D’Amato. D’Amato would head back to the training room for the remainder of the first period, and the Otters would play without their C. In the final minutes of the first, Mitchell Smith would whip one glove-side high past Lalonde, and give the Spirit a 2-0 lead headed to the locker room. Saginaw would lead in shots 11-6.
Without much to build on after 20 minutes of play, two key moments happened in the second period to lift the Otters’ spirits; the return of D’Amato to start the period, and a big momentum swinging fight from first-year Otter Artyom Kulakov. Kulakov would throw fisticuffs with Olivier Savard, and tussle down onto the ice with the Spirit player – in avenging the physical play played against the Otters. Upon rising from the ice, Kulakov would rile up the crowd with cupped-ears, and throw his arms up to the Otter bench. From there, Erie would rally. Halfway through the game, Colby Saganiuk (2) would score his second goal in as-many games as the Otters finally found the board. 4:01 later, Noah Sedore (1) would finally get the scoring-monkey off his back, fighting one through from the mid-slot. Suddenly, all the momentum was shifted Erie’s way in a 2-2 game after 40. 22-17 shots in favor of Saginaw.
Connor Lockhart and Elias Cohen (1) would waste no time in capping off their momentum in the third, scoring the eventual game-winner just 1:42 into the final frame. A mostly clean sheet on the penalty board, the Otters would have to kill a Sellan hold near the end of the game. With Islanders’ prospect and Spirit goaltender Tristan Lennox pulled, Brendan Sellan (1) would avenge his penalty with a forced turnover and empty-netter to seal the deal for the Otters.
Tonight’s win for the Otters gave them their first of the season, their first win against Saginaw in eight games (Feb. 23, 2018), and their first win in Saginaw in six years (Nov. 21, 2015). It also saw rookie goaltender Nolan Lalonde finally earn his first win, after phenomenal efforts in both games in Flint. The Otters advance to 1-2 on the season, and look to close out the road schedule of October with a win on Sunday evening against the Spirit.
For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).

 
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at shawn.bednard@ottershockey.com.
 
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