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THREE GOALS IN FINAL SEVEN FROM GUELPH SINKS OTTERS 4-2

Guelph, Ontario – Friday night hockey action in the Ontario Hockey League lead the Erie Otters to the Sleeman Centre to battle Midwest Division foe Guelph for the first time this season. With heavy expectations of a championship season in the Storm city, Guelph would have a struggling start through 33 percent of the season. Erie would be shorthanded – and will be shorthanded for two handful of games – up front, as Sharks’ prospect Liam Gilmartin would be handed a 10-game suspension due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of Wednesday evening’s game against the London Knights. With goaltender Nolan Lalonde back in net after a start Wednesday, Erie would look for a divisional win to start the weekend.
Erie’s offense would lead out of the gate at the Sleeman Centre, as the Otters would immediately lead in shots 7-2. While there’d be plenty of offensive zone time for Guelph, they’d be unable to turn the time into shots on net. 11:00 into the first period, Sam Alfano (5) would crash the net off a Christian Kyrou shot, and the Otters would go up 1-0. With the assist, Kyrou’s point-streak would extend to 12-straight games, and he wouldn’t be done just yet. On a five-on-three power play, the Otters would convert as Brett Bressette (11) would grab his second point of the night – as would Kyrou. Erie would jump up 2-0 halfway through the first. With a late power play for the Guelph Storm, Danny Zhilkin (11) would put the Storm within one with :45 remaining in the frame. After 20, Erie would lead 2-1, leading in shots 13-9.
A penalty-filled second period would ultimately lead to a scoreless middle frame. Guelph would start its efforts to storm back into the game, outshooting the Otters 10-8, but neither team would be able to find the back of the net as Guelph’s Jake Oster and Erie’s Nolan Lalonde would stop everything that came their way. Erie would hold a 21-20 shot advantage through 40, and a 2-1 lead.
With a 2-1 score holding into the third period, Erie would look for insurance to take away a big win on the road. The insurance goal would never come. As Erie would go on a five-on-three for 1:41, the Storm would double down for major kill for momentum. Shortly thereafter the kill, a routine dump behind the net of Lalonde would lead to a one-time pass in front from Jake Murray to Max Namestnikov (10) and the Storm would knot it up with 13:38 gone by. Now fighting for the leading goal, Erie would take an unforced penalty, and after a 1:59 kill, suffer a power play goal against from Jake Murray (2). With 1:59 remaining, Guelph would lead for the first time 3-2. A late power play in the final minute would seem to strike memories of Wednesday night’s heroics, but instead it would be a near-200 foot shorthanded empty-net goal from Cam Allen (3) that would secure the Guelph comeback, 4-2. Erie would go 1/7 on the power play.
Erie closes out the first weekend of December on Saturday evening on home ice. The Mississauga Steelheads come to town for the first time in the 2022-23 season, as Erie looks to pick up their first win of the season over the Eastern Conference foe. Erie fell in the shootout the Mississauga on October 7 at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. Saturday night is Mascot Mania (pres. by Chick-fil-A), with 16 of the regions’ favorite mascots out in full force for a night of zany fun. The first 1000 fans in the arena will receive a free coupon courtesy of Chick-fil-A.
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