Otters Fire 40 Shots in Heartbreaking Loss
Erie, Pennsylvania – The longest break of the regular season to date would keep the Erie Otters home for another weekend of hockey action. With points in five-straight games for Erie, the team would welcome a surging Saginaw Spirit club to town for a Friday night showdown. Saginaw’s last loss came to Erie at the Dow Event Center on November 2 – since that meeting, the Spirit have won five-consecutive contests. With both teams honoring Children’s Grief Awareness alongside Highmark Caring Place, there would be more to play for for either side than just the game.
A relatively back-and-forth opening frame would see the two teams exchange offensive opportunities, ultimately being bested by the goaltenders on 22 of the 23 shots fired. The lone goal that would cross the line would come so in the Saginaw offensive end, as Dean Loukus (5) would strike at point blank range from a wraparound by Aiden Young, 11:19 into the frame. Erie would outshoot the Spirit 13-10 in the frame, but trail 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Otters offense would take control of the offensive end during the second period, as they would outshoot Saginaw by a 13-3 margin. Despite the lack of shots from the Spirit side, 7:57 into the frame Calem Mangone (6) would score on a very similar play from the period prior to give Saginaw a 2-0 lead. Bad would turn to worse in the late second as Martin Misiak would be assessed a five-and-a-game for a boarding penalty. Erie would turn the misfortune into their own luck as they’d kill off four minutes before earning a power play opportunity. In the final 15 seconds of the frame, Spencer Sova (7) would put the Otters on the board. Outshooting Saginaw 26-13, Erie would trail 2-1.
Erie would once again control the offensive pace of play in the third period, fighting to complete the comeback. Outshooting Saginaw 14-8, Erie would strike for the tying goal just under 12 minutes into the final frame, as Matthew Schaefer (2) would convert a breakaway opportunity into his first home goal. In a tight, tied contest, the Otters would start the takeover the game enroute to looking for their first lead of the night. With a late penalty, Erie would kill it off into the final minute, but suffer a last-minute goal from Michael Misa (10) to put the Spirit up 3-2. Erie would earn a power play opportunity, but be unable to convert and fall in a heartbreaker 3-2. Saginaw would earn its sixth-straight win with the late road victory.
Erie’s four-game homestand comes to a close on Saturday evening as the team welcomes the rival London Knights to town for the first time this season. The Saturday night contest will be the team’s first-ever Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Night, honoring the popular toy first developed in Erie in the 1960s. The first 1500 fans in attendance will receive a “gloves off” Owain Johnston bobblehead (pres. by Rebich Investments), with the team hosting its third-annual Charity Sock Toss during the first intermission (benefitting Community Shelter Services).