Otters run past the Colts 12-3
The Erie Otters wasted little time scoring Friday evening, as the squad notched 12 goals in a easy win over the Barrie Colts.
Apparently, the Erie Otters were still angry from being shutout in Niagara last night.
Erie took out its frustration against the Barrie Colts a night later.
The Otters scored on their first two shots of the contest and made short work of the lowly Colts by racking up 12 goals, one short of a franchise record, in a 12-3 decision in front of 2,905 fans at the Tullio Arena.
"We played hard for 60 minutes," coach Robbie Ftorek said. "Some nights, everything goes well for you."
That was definitely the case for the Otters.
Greg McKegg and Anthony Luciani scored on the first two Erie shots, before Johnny McGuire, who was recently called up from Junior A Lindsay, notched his first career Ontario Hockey League goal at the 16:23 mark to make it give Erie a 3-0 lead.
"This is an amazing feeling," said McGuire, who played his first game with the Otters the night before in Niagara. "I had a lot of nerves coming in, but I can't even explain the feeling when I scored that goal."
McKegg apparently wasn't satisfied with the 3-0 lead, as he registered his second of the night and 30th of the season less than two minutes later to send Erie to the locker room with a 4-0 cushion.
But the fun was only beginning for Erie. Or, in Barrie's case, the agony.
Shawn Szydlowski's 21st of the season 5:21 into the second period ignited an already scorching Otters' offense, who put six more goals on the board to make it 10-0 after 40 minutes of play.
"Our guys did a good job," said Matt Patton, whose sixth goal of the year made it 8-0 with 12:08 left to play in the second period. "Our coaches just told us to remember how we used to get beat like that and go out there with class."
Newly acquired forward Brett Thompson put the finishing touches on the second, as he scored his first goal as an Otter in the late stages of the period.
Through two periods, Ramis Sadikov, playing in his 40th game of the season, stopped all 17 shots Barrie put in his direction, while the Otters scored on 10-of-25 before the start of the final period.
Throughout the third, Ftorek used his third and fourth lines, while McKegg and Shields stayed in the dressing room to nurse some bumps and bruises, while other key players such as Shawn Szydlowski, Phil Varone and Luciani saw little ice time.
Barrie's Tanner Pearson finally got the Colts, who finished in first place in the Eastern Conference last season, on the board and foiled Sadikov's attempt at his third shutout of the season.
But the Otters would respond with the next two goals of the game – Mike Cazzola's 11th and Luciani's second of the game and 15th on the season – to make it 12-1.
The Colts would add two more goals before the final horn sounded, but it was just a mere dent in a lopsided affair.
In all, 15 different Otters had at least one point, while 10 had at least two points. Cazzola led the way with four points, while Szydlowski earned three and a slew of Otters earned two.
Lost in the offensive barrage was the first career point from Mark Gazdic, who assisted on McGuire's goal in the first period. Gazdic is the younger brother of Luke Gazdic, who played three seasons with Erie.
The 12 goals are the second most in franchise history. The Otters scored 13 goals On Jan. 10, 1999 in Toronto.
But more importantly on this night, Ftorek was able to sit his key weapons and rest them for Saturday's contest with Midwest Division rival London, scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Tullio Arena.
The Otters and Knights have been in a dogfight all season for playoff positioning and third place inside the division.
"I was able to get (our third and fourth lines) out there for a lot of ice time," Ftorek said. "It was tough for our first two lines, because they didn't play that much, but that's OK too, they can rest for tomorrow."