THIRD & FOURTH GOALS IN THREE GAMES FOR ALFANO HIGHLIGHTS HIGH-SCORING SATURDAY NIGHT
Erie, Pennsylvania – A celebration of everyone’s favorite American Favorite Workplace Sitcom welcomed the Erie Otters home after the Michigan road trip – it’s Office Tribute Night (pres. by Printing Concepts). For the final time in the 2022-23 season, Erie would battle the Flint Firebirds (and the final game against an American foe). Erie fell earlier this week in a 4-1 loss to Flint in the Vehicle City. Erie would get another look at the future in net as Jacob Gibbons would get the start for the Otters.
A thrilling first period of play would see physical play stand side-by-side with a five-goal frame. Just 3:03 into the contest, Coulson Pitre (23) would score the game’s first goal off the fourth shot for the Flint Firebirds. While Erie would trail, it would be no longer than 3:55 later that the Otters would strike back from Sam Alfano (16). The goal would give Alfano goals in three-straight games, and tie things up at 1-1. Near the halfway mark of the period, a pair of goals in 45 seconds would see Gavin Hayes (32, 33) single-handedly put the Firebirds up by two goals. Erie would snag one back at the end of the period from a highlight-reel play and pass by Ondrej Molnar to Carey Terrance (28). After five goals in the opening 20, Erie would trail 3-2 – outshooting Flint 12-11.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That was certainly the case in the middle frame of the game, where the two teams would both double their scores. Things would start slowly in the period, as the first goal wouldn’t come until 7:52 in from Amadeus Lombardi (42) to continue his dominance at the top of the scoring charts for Flint to double the Firebird lead 4-2. This would not sit well with the Otters, who would score a pair of goals in exactly :30 from Alex Messier (3) and Sam Alfano (17). The latter goal would see the end of the day for Nathaniel Day in net for Flint, as Erie would make it a 4-4 game. A pair of goals in 1:59 would put the Firebirds back on top 6-4 as the Otters would suffer a pair of giveaways that Flint would capitalize upon. After 40 minutes, Flint would have a 6-4 lead despite being outshot 28-21.
After 10 goals in 40 minutes, the defenses would come into effect for either side – most notably, goaltender Will Cranley for Flint. After coming in relief, the overager would stop 21/21 to shutout the Otters in the final 31:24. While power play opportunities would present themselves for Erie, the Otters goal-scorers would go cold. With an empty-net on the opposing side, Gavin Hayes (34) would complete the hat trick with an open net goal as the Flint Firebirds would hold off a hungry Erie Otters team by way of a 7-4 victory. Erie would outshoot Flint 39-26.
The Erie Otters will host the Niagara IceDogs on Wednesday, March 15 for a Winning Wednesday. If the Otters win, all fans in attendance will receive a free ticket for the ensuing Wednesday night game – the second-annual Women’s Empowerment Night. Six games remain in the 2022-23 season for Erie, with only two left on the road.