THREE STARS: A FAREWELL TO A TRUE TRIO
Erie Pennsylvania – The 2022-23 season has concluded, and in comes the “Ott” season. In a season that has had its moments, we reflect on the final week of play and the players that made an impact.
Erie started the finale week at home against the Kitchener Rangers who would defeat the Otters 6-1. Friday night would be the last road game of the season in Guelph, with the Storm victorious over Erie 3-0. The Otters would head home for game 68 of 68 where they would get an emotional victory against the Sarnia Sting winning 5-2.
Here are the players that made an impact on the season finale.
THIRD STAR – KALEB SMITH
It’s all about development in the Ontario Hockey League, and in the second season of forward Kaleb Smith, his development was more than evident.
Coming into his sophomore campaign, Smith had put together a fine rookie year as a defensive-focused forward. In year two, Smith became a true two-way player who used his knack for defense to turn into offensive prowess. That was no better executed than in the finale of the 2022-23 season, where Smith tied a career-high three points in one night.
The Western New Yorker would open Otter scoring in the season finale, collecting his 10th goal of the season by way of a Malcolm Spence assist. With the goal, Smith had literally scored tenfold his amount of goals from his rookie season. The night wasn’t over just yet for Smith though, as he would assist on the final two goals – an insurance marker from Pano Fimis, and the final career goal (and a power play goal) for Noah Sedore.
Depth development is critical for the success of a team, and as Kaleb Smith continues to come into his own in the OHL, he is a player that demands respect and attention on the ice.
SECOND STAR – MALCOLM SPENCE
Know the name, respect the game. A rookie season to remember for #17.
Expectations were high in the first year for Malcolm Spence; suffice to say, nobody can be disappointed on what the young gun provided every night on the ice. The last two weeks especially, points were the name of the game. Spence started the final week recording an assist off a Spencer Sova goal against Kitchener before finding two points Saturday night. The first such point would be an assist, helping Kaleb Smith score; later on, Spence would have a goal himself assisted by Carey Terrance and Sam Alfano.
Spence finished the year with 16 goals and 26 assists, good for a 42 point OHL debut. The future of and with #17 is bright, and the excitement continues to build.
FIRST STAR – THE OVERAGERS
Elias Cohen: A heart-and-soul component of this team, Elias Cohen unfortunately closed out his OHL career prematurely due to a leg injury. Despite the early exit, it would be a productive career for the overage forward, finding 30 points (15G+15A) in 49 games. From his friendliness to his humor and the inspiration of his story, Elias will be a constant heartbeat of Otters Nation.
Cam Morton: The Captain of the team down to his final week of play as an Otter. Morton had a year with 2 goals and 12 assists on the year, and presence that was noticed both on and off the ice as a player that was not afraid to do the dirty work or take part in a scrap. Captain Cam will be remembered by his teammates, coaching staff, and of course the Erie faithful. We wish Cam the best in his future endeavors.
Noah Sedore: It was the storybook end of this chapter for overage forward Noah Sedore – who’d spent his enitre OHL career in Erie. In the final minute of his final game of his final season of his OHL career, Noah Sedore would score the final goal of his OHL career on a power play to make it a 5-2 Erie victory. Sedore would finish his season with 16 goals and 19 assists for the Otters. Noah’s time and effort both on and off the ice will not be forgotten.
It’s onward to 2023-24 for the Erie Otters, but not before some Summer fun awaits. Due up next for the organization, they look ahead to the OHL Draft Lottery on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00 P.M., followed by the OHL Priority Selection Draft starting Friday, April 21. Erie’s 2023 Draft coverage will be presented by Voodoo Brewing Company, with fun activations to follow as part of the excitement. Please stay tuned to the Otters social media this Spring and Summer to be in the know with all that waits ahead.