Kitchener, Ontario – For the first time since February 2020, the Erie Otters find themselves on a three-game win-streak, after downing the Kitchener Rangers on the road 3-2 (2-1 in the shootout). Coincidentally, this win was reminiscent to the Otters’ last win against Kitchener, which also came in the shootout on the road back in the 2018-19 season. With the win, the Otters secured their first victory against a Midwest Division foe, and would look to keep it going on Saturday afternoon. The game, originally scheduled to be at Erie, was rescheduled to Kitchener earlier in the week. Erie would have a chance for its first weekend sweep of the season.
Kitchener would flip the script from yesterday’s first period, controlling the shots and offensive possession the entire way. For a long while, the Otters would have just a lone shot on net, finishing the period with a total of six shots. The Rangers would once again strike for first blood, as Antonino Pugliese (4) would take advantage of a slight defensive breakdown to beat Nolan Lalonde. After 20 minutes of play, the Rangers would lead in shots 13-6, and on the scoresheet 1-0. Erie would carry over :21 of power play time into the next frame.
Erie would have a second period more reminiscent of their first period from the previous night, taking the first six shots of the frame. The Otters would get rewarded on their tenacity, as team leading-scorer Elias Cohen (10) would knot up the game just 3:28 in, giving the Otters life with time to go in the game. Erie would find themselves in the box a number of different times throughout the frame, but the penalty killers would go 3/3 to keep the score at one per each. After an initial outburst of shots, the Otters would finish the frame trailed in shots 13-11, and in the game 26-17. Regardless of the shot differential, it would be 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.
Tied at 1-1 after first two periods, the Otters wouldn’t trail again in the game. Just under three minutes into the game, Christian Kyrou (6) would score what would represent the game-winning goal. Just over nine minutes later, Erie would get the insurance goal they’d been looking for, as Colby Saganiuk (5) would net one on a terrific feed from Kyrou. In the cherry on top and the nail in the coffin, Taeo Artichuk (2) would get his second career goal on a breakaway feed from Noah Sedore, and the Otters would take a 4-1 win over the Kitchener Rangers.
This win would give the Otters their fourth-straight, their first weekend sweep, and put them into the double-digit win category with their 10th of the season. Nolan Lalonde would be an absolute stud in net, stopping 40/41 shots faced to pick up his 10th career win.
Erie now prepares for a shorter rest-week, as it was announced earlier today from the Ontario Hockey League that the Otters would host Flint on Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 P.M., in the rescheduling of the postponed Saturday, January 8 home date. The Otters will get a rest day Friday, and prepare to meet the Kitchener Rangers again – this time at home – on Saturday, January 15. Saturday will be the Otters’ annual Hockey Fights Cancer game (pres. by UPMC), as the team wears specialty Cancer Awareness jerseys.