Gibbons Shines in First Win with 25 Saves, Terrance Nets Pair in 6-1 Crush of Kitchener
The Otters would start the first period with something to prove. 35 seconds into the game Kaleb Smith (6) would hit the gas and Erie wouldn’t let up for the rest of the period. Alex Messier (4) would strike gold and double the lead 90 seconds later. Erie’s offensive onslaught would continue as Carey Terrance (25) would bring the score to 3-0 with a goal eight minutes later. The Kitchener Rangers would try their luck with a new goaltender, bringing in Jackson Parsons, but Terrance (26) would have no trouble scoring against a different Ranger to bring the score to 4-0. With 4:30 left in the first frame, the Otters went on the penalty kill after a check from behind from Ondrej Molnar, where the quick reflexes of Jacob Gibbons would keep the Rangers scoreless. The first frame would end with the Otters out-shooting the Rangers 13-5, with the Otters converting over a third of their shots into goals up 4-0.
The second frame would start with an early power play for the Otters, which was swiftly converted by Ondrej Molnar (15), with Pano Fimis and Martin Misiak on the assist, to extend the Erie lead to 5-0. Kitchener’s offense would show a bit more life seven minutes into the period after Simon Motew (7) would finally find the back of the net for the Rangers. Ten minutes later, rookie Wesley Royson (2) would find the back of the net for the second time in his OHL career to give the Otters a 6-1 lead. Tempers would flare as a hard hit would see Pano Fimis step off the ice and an Owain Johnston penalty would have the Otters on the kill. Alex Messier and Simon Motew would have it out and see themselves both in the box, and the frame would end with the Otters still ahead 6-1.
It would be a back-and-forth start to the third, with neither team able to break through the other’s defenses. Six minutes in, Owain Johnston would receive his second penalty of the night, a two-minute slashing call that sent Ranger’s player Adrian Misaljevic getting helped off the ice. The Otters would successfully kill off the penalty and return to back-and-forth play with neither team capitalizing on opportunities. The Otters would see out a comfortable 6-1 final, weathering the Kitchener offense to outshoot their opponent 27-26 and have five different goal-scorers on the night. Gibbons would stop 25/26 and earn first star honors for the first time this season, earning his first win.