TERRANCE SCORES 30TH, SPENCE WITH THREE-POINT IN ST. PATRICK’S OT THRILLER
Mississauga, Ontario – For the final time in the 2022-23 season, the Erie Otters would prepare for battle with an Eastern Conference foe. On Friday night, Erie would travel to Mississauga to finish out the season-series with the Steelheads. Erie fell in a shootout at Mississauga on October 7, but had won the last two meetings on home ice. With an opportunity to help ruin playoff positioning for the Steelheads in their penultimate road game of the season, the Otters would get a test against a team with plenty to play for in the final days of the season.
An exciting first period of play saw both teams find the back of net twice, leaving the score at 2-2 after 20. The Otters would be the beneficiaries of the game’s first goal, despite finding themselves shorthanded. On a truly individual effort, Malcolm Spence (15) would force a turnover at center ice, race it into the offensive end, and score his first-career shorthanded goal to put Erie ahead 1-0 6:09 into the game. Down a man once again, the Otters would now see a goal against them on the penalty kill, as Zander Veccia (19) would strike on the power play just past the halfway mark of the game. It would be just :35 later that Carey Terrance (29) would put a second-shot away after a Malcolm Spence effort in the offensive end. The period would close knotted up at two thanks to the first-career Ontario Hockey League goal of Quinn Binnie (1). Erie would trail in shots 11-9, looking to retake the lead in the second.
A more defensive-focused second period would finish off the first half of the game, as the Steelheads and Otters would battle to a scoreless opening 12 – including no penalties for either side. Following the media timeout, Erie and Mississauga would each send a man to the box and play four-on-four. As the final minutes of the period would wind down, Erie would start to pepper the net, and be rewarded with an opportunity on the man-advantage. As Erie’s offensive pressure would continue, Malcolm Spence would collect his third point of the night by feeding Carey Terrance (30) for his 13th PPG of the season with six seconds left. With the goal, Terrance became the first 30-goal single-season scorer for Erie since Chad Yetman (19-20). Erie would snag a 3-2 lead to close the second period, leading in shots 21-19.
Back-to-back power play opportunities for the Otters would go unrealized to start off the third period, holding onto a one-goal lead. It would be just past the halfway mark of the period that Kasper Larsen (6) would score the game-tying goal to make it a 3-3 game. Additional power play opportunities would present themselves for either side, but a game destined for overtime would have exactly that occur. Each team would grab a point, but the Otters wouldn’t be content without taking the win. Erie would have a tremendous opportunity to take the win as Malcolm Spence would get a penalty shot in the extra frame. Unable to convert, it would be Adam Zidlicky (9) with his first game-winning goal of the season 2:45 into overtime to give the Steelheads a 4-3 overtime final.
The Erie Otters return to the Erie Insurance Arena for a Saturday night showdown with Midwest Division foe Guelph for the CHL TV Game of the Week. The game night will be the team’s First Responders Night (pres. by Plyler Entry Systems), with all First Responders receiving a free ticket to the game by showing their I.D. or Badge at the EIA Box Office. The Otters will take the ice in pregame in their final specialty jersey of the season, a First Responders tribute warmup jersey; this jersey will be auctioned off following the game to benefit Auto Racers for Kids Charity. As part of the night’s festivities, Erie will also honor its Billet Families and Overage Players in a pregame ceremony.