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SOVA, OTTERS EARN POINT IN FINAL 10 SECONDS IN SHOOTOUT LOSS

Erie, Pennsylvania – After back-to-back losses closed out a busy four-in-six week for the Erie Otters, they’d return home for a rivalry Wednesday against the London Knights. 2-0 against London this season, the Otters would hope to continue their historic success on the year against a Knights team with nine wins in their last 10 games. One thing would be guaranteed coming into the game, it would be far from a sleepy midweek battle in the Ontario Hockey League.
After taking the opening shots of the frame, it would be London who would take a massive shots advantage out of the first period, 13-4. Despite the shot disparity, it would be the Erie Otters who would find the game’s first goal, as Christian Kyrou (8) would score in his typical fashion – force a takeaway in the top of the right circle, skate to the slot, and beat the tender with a wicked wrister. This would give Kyrou 18 points in the last 11 games. Erie would go onto the penalty kill thrice in the first period, killing off all three – with the latter lasting just :12. It would be on the ensuing four-on-four that London would find its first goal, as George Diaco (13) would score on a breakaway to make it a 1-1 game after 20.
A scoreless second period would await the Otters and Knights, but the Otters offense would start to formulate more toward form. Erie would outshoot London 8-7 in the frame, and see a fight from Liam Gilmartin with Alec Leonard. The game, regardless, would go into the third period with a 1-1 tie. London would lead in shots 20-12.
A dramatic third period would see Erie fighting to get back into the game in a tied game. Unfortunately for the Otter effort, it would be a turnover forced by Sean McGurn that would give London a 2-1 lead near the halfway mark of the third. In the final minute of the game, Erie would have an empty-net which would lead to a Christian Kyrou goal – that would be disallowed due to a goaltender interference in front. Erie would continue its fight, earning a power play opportunity in the final 20 seconds, and eventually scoring the game-tying goal from Spencer Sova (10) to force overtime from the Erie Insurance Arena.
Overtime would start as unpreferable as possible for Erie, going down a man just seven seconds into the extra frame. Despite incredible pressure from the London offense, Erie would bend-and-not-break to kill off the penalty. The remainder of the period would be played as four-on-four, as Brett Bressette would come out of the box with no stoppages for the rest of the frame. The teams would trade opportunities, but it would not be decided in the extra period of play. Headed into the skills competition, Erie had an 0-2 record in shootouts. The result would not change for the Otters in their third such competition, as they would score just once in the Shootout (Malcolm Spence, Round 3) where it would be grand-opening, grand-closing for the London Knights (George Diaco, Round 1/Mathieu Paris, Round 7) to continue their winning streak to six-straight. This would be their first win against Erie in the 2022-23 season.
The Otters have two more games left in the week, as they travel to Guelph to battle the Storm for the first time this season on Friday night. Erie returns home on Saturday for Mascot Mania Night (pres. by Chick-fil-A), with over 14 of the region’s favorite mascots invading the EIA, taking on the Mississauga Steelheads.
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