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WEEKEND PREVIEW: HOMECOMING HOCKEY FOR OTTERS 25th SEASON

Erie, Pennsylvania – Starting the season with four-straight games on the road, the Erie Otters finally get the chance to play in friendly confines, as they open the doors at the Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday and Sunday for the Home Opening weekend. After splitting the previous weekend series with Saginaw (4-2W, 2-1L), Erie gets two more chances to duke it out with the Spirit. Saturday represents the first home game for the Erie Otters in 594 days – when the Otters last hosted the Saginaw Spirit.

HOCKEY HOMECOMING

At long last, Otters Hockey returns to the Flagship City. Saturday night at 7 P.M. is OPENING NIGHT for the Erie Otters, with the first 1500 fans through the doors receiving both a Magnet Schedule and a White Rally Towel. Fans are encouraged to come adorned in all Otters gear, and ring in the return of the best fans in the Ontario Hockey League. Fans will be greeted by different family fun activities around the concourse – such as face-painting and balloon animals! This will be the first chance for many fans to see the all-new Otters’ Den state-of-the-art team store, freshly-stocked this week with the best apparel for the best fans. Saturday night’s Non-Profit of the Night is Career & Dreams, Inc. – read all about their mission HERE, ahead of meeting them at the game.

Sunday at 2 P.M. is the first FAMILY FUNDAY of the season, as the Otters make it all about affordable family-fun for all. With your kids’ favorite characters – and a whole lot more fun! – scattered around the concourse, Sunday Family Funday’s are the perfect way to go into the work-week.

The Erie Otters are committed more-than-ever to the best value family fun in all of NWPA for our historic 25th Anniversary Season, and we can’t wait to welcome yours out this season.

LAST TIME OUT

Saginaw opened its 20th Anniversary season at home one week ago Saturday on October 16, to the tune of a 2-0 lead after 20 for the hometown faithful from Roberto Mancini (1) & Mitchell Smith (1). Erie would go on to score two in the second [Colby Saganiuk (2), Noah Sedore (1)] & two in the third (Elias Cohen (1, GWG), Brendan Sellan (1, ENG)] to ruin the fun with a 4-2 win. Rookie Nolan Lalonde earned his first career OHL win with 29-saves. Things turned around in the second from the return of captain Dan D’Amato for the Otters after suffering a hard knee-on-knee in the first, and an electrifying fight from rookie Artyom Kulakov.

Sunday’s matinee started with a fight from Ryan Thompson (ER) and Camaryn Baber (SAG) in the first, as Erie would look to keep the momentum from Saturday alive. The Otters jumped to a 1-0 lead in the early second period [Brett Bressette (1)], but would see the Spirit grab two in 1:24 [Calem Mangone (1), Davis Codd (1, GWG)] to take a commanding 2-1 lead, and the win. Rookie Marshall Nicholls would take the loss in his debut game, stopping 25.

The rough, physical, momentum-based series turns to game three and four this weekend at the EIA.

KNOW THE FOE

Saturday and Sunday represent the 74th & 75th All-Time Meeting between the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit – Saginaw holds the all-time series record 45-27-1. The Otters broke Saginaw’s streak of seven straight wins with a 4-2 win on a Saturday – their first win against Saginaw since February 23, 2018, and first win at Saginaw since November 21, 2015. Saginaw is winners of two-straight games, downing rival Flint on the road 5-3 on Wednesday night, after a 2-0 deficit.

The Otters have won seven of their last eight home openers, as they look for their first home win against the Spirit since February 2018.

In a traditional Ontario Hockey League season, these Western Conference foes would only meet four times during the season – a pair at home and on the road. After this weekend, the teams will have matched that game total in straight games – enroute to 12-total meetings this season between the two teams. If last weekend is any indication of things to come, this new-season scheduling will prove to create quite a rivalry between two Great Lakes bayfront foes. The Otters split the road series in Saginaw, 4-2 W and 2-1 L.

OCTOBER NHL SCOUTING PROSPECTUS

The Ontario Hockey League announced on Tuesday that 66 OHL players have been included on NHL Central Scouting’s October ‘Players to Watch’ List for the 2022 NHL Draft scheduled to take place July 7-8 in Montreal, QC. Three Otters and two Spirit were named to the watchlist for the month, earning ‘B’ (second-round candidate) and ‘C’ (fourth-round candidate) rankings.

For the Otters, defenseman Spencer Sova (‘B’), defenseman Artyom Kulakov (‘C’), and goaltender Nolan Lalonde (‘C’) were recognized, while the Spirit saw defenseman Pavel Mintyukov (‘B’) and forward Matyas Sapovaliv (‘B) named on the list.

For a complete list of the OHL’s 66 Players to Watch, head to OntarioHockeyLeague.com.

WHO TO WATCH

It’s hard to believe that four games into the 2021-22 season, Noah Sedore has been held to just one point (1G). Don’t anticipate this to be the case much longer – the 19-year-old was one of the top three scorers in the OHL preseason, and is poised for a breakout game soon. Taeo Artichuk has been perhaps the most prolific opportunist on the Otters who hasn’t found a point yet – once he can finally get the scoring-gorilla off his back, points are going to come in a windfall.

From Saginaw, Calem Mangone has had a great start to the season, operating at a point-per-game (2G+1A) & a +3 in the Spirit’s first three games. Sabres’ prospect Josh Bloom was the first-star of Wednesday’s game, with two points (1G+1A).

HOW TO WATCH, LISTEN, & FOLLOW ALONG

WATCH:

The Canadian Hockey League was diligent during the extended-offseason, resulting in the creation of the all-new CHL TV!  “OHL Live” is the Ontario Hockey League’s broadcast home on the all-new CHL TV! OHL Live delivers a high-quality viewing experience while providing access to more than 700 OHL games streamed across a range of platforms including:CHL TV Program Ad

  • PC and/or Tablet on Safari and Google Chrome web browsers
  • iOS / Android mobile devices.
  • Amazon Fire
  • Apple TV
  • Roku platforms

For less than $2/game, OHL Live provides live game action all season long, plus free-to-access video-on-demand content and a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. For more information, head to watch.chl.ca/ohl!

LISTEN:

The all-new Otters Radio Network gives fans the most-accessible and high-quality way to experience every moment of Otters’ game night – from pregame to postgame.

Coverage Map NO WKSNThanks to the Broadcast Home for Otters Hockey, iHeart Media Erie, fans can now listen to every game LIVE on the iHeart App from ANYWHERE in the world! From Pennsylvania to Transylvania and everywhere in between, fans are always in range to hear Otters Hockey.

The Otters Radio Network is larger than ever before on terrestrial & digital radio – from Southeast Michigan back to downtown Erie!

  • iHeart Media (Erie, PA) is the Flagship Station for the Otters on WJET 1400 AM, and home to Otters Hockey in Pennsylvania. Games can be heard on terrestrial radio on 1400 AM in Erie and surrounding communities of NWPA, or can be livestreamed worldwide on the iHeart App.
  • ESPN 970AM WFUN (Ashtabula, OH) is home to Otters Hockey in Ohio. Games can be heard on terrestrial radio on 970 AM in Ashtabula and surrounding communities of Northeast Ohio and NWPA, or can be livestreamed worldwide on WFUN’s website.
  • ESPN Radio Michigan Regional Sports Network (Flint, MI) is home to Otters Hockey in Michigan. Games can be livestreamed worldwide on MRSN’s website or the TuneIn App.

Fans can also listen to the game on any of the Otters’ three radio-homes on the Listen Live page. The Otters Hockey Pregame Show starts 20 minutes prior to the Drop The Gloves Puck Drop, hosted by the Voice of the Otters Shawn Bednard.

FOLLOW ALONG:

If you’re on the run on this weekend and can’t make it to the game, or just want to follow along in-real-time, make sure you’re following the Otters on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. From live tweets of the action, scoring updates, photos, and highlights, Otters’ social media is the best way to keep up with the team wherever they are.

UP NEXT

Erie remains at home for Halloween weekend for a pair against the Flint Firebirds on Friday, October 29 for Happy Hour Friday / College ID Night, and Saturday, October 30 for Haunted Hockey night. Single Game Tickets are on-sale for the final games of October NOW!

Fans will be able to watch, listen, and follow along to both games this weekend – and every game this season – on the Otters Radio Network, CHL TV, and on Otters’ social media.


For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).

For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at shawn.bednard@ottershockey.com.

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