Fritsch helps Hounds in Shootout win over Otters
October 26, 2012
Three-game losing streak snapped at Erie Insurance Arena
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ERIE, PA -
After the trip started with a loss on Thursday Night, the Hounds were looking to snap a three-game losing skid twenty-four hours later in their only visit to the Erie Insurance Arena to take on the Otters.
Friday Night's West Division clash featured Connor McDavid of the Otters, who was selected 1st overall in April's OHL Priority Selection after receiving exceptional player status to enter the draft.
And McDavid's teammates would start the scoring.
Despite the fact the Hounds had the game's early man advantage, and kept the Otters off the shot clock until nearly five minutes into the game, it would be Erie scoring first.
With the powerplay, captain Connor Brown was parked to MATT MURRAY's right side and would be sent a pass from McDavid at the opposite side at 9:07.
Erie then made it 2-for-2 on the man advantage when Brown found the puck in a scramble in front and deposited it behind a down-and-out MURRAY for a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes.
Hounds forward MICHAEL SCHUMACHER would not return for the start of the second period, or the rest of the game, in what is being described as an upper body injury.
Brown completed the hat trick for Erie just 48 seconds into the second period after skating from the left wing and to the middle of the ice before beating the Hounds netminder.
And with just two combined goals in their last two outings the Hounds would now be forced to climb out of a deficit, a situation the team has become familiar facing this early OHL season.
DARNELL NURSE got the ball rolling 4:13 into the second period stepping around a Otter defender and going gloveside on Oscar Dansk. For Nurse the goal was his 3rd of the season with Cousins and Halagian picking up the helpers.
The Hounds got within a goal at 12:08 when NICK HALAGIAN capitalized on a Erie turnover before rifling one through for his 1st of the OHL season.
Friday's game just marked the St. Catharine's ON products 8th game after being sidelined three weeks with an injury.
Connor Crisp later regained Erie's two goal lead before the period was over and the Hounds trailed 4-2 after two periods.
DAVID BROLL again brought the Hound within striking distance, this time 2:15 into the third when a clearing attempt came in front to the Hounds winger and he grabbed his third goal of the year.
Captain COLIN MILLER scored his 1st goal of the season, on the powerplay just over three minutes later letting a shot go from the point to tie things up at four goals a side. The goal came on the Hounds 4th powerplay of the game. For Miller, the game only marked his 5th of the year.
After Stephen Harper converted a powerplay goal for Erie before the period was ten minutes old, the Hounds once again tied things up.
DARNELL NURSE jumped into the play and by driving to net deposited his second of the night, 4th of the season at 13:55 to tie the game at five. COUSINS, his third assist of the night and FRITSCH had the helpers. It wouldn't be the last you'd hear of Fritsch on the night.
The two teams would be even with forty shots a side at the end of regulation and for the fourth time this season the Hounds would go to sudden death overtime. To-date, the Hounds were 3-0 in OT.
BRANDON ALDERSON and NICK COUSINS provided the best chances for the game winners in the five minute session, when they both used their speed around Otter defenseman and cut to the net looking to drive home the winner. For Cousins, the Hounds leading-scorer he had his second chance in the dying seconds but neither team would score and we'd go to a shootout.
JP Labardo for the Otters and SERGEY TOLCHINSKY for the Hounds, each scored on their team's first shots before we would eventually go to the 4th round of shootout.
After MATT MURRAY stopped Anthony Cortelessa's low attempt, ANDREW FRITSCH would square off at centre ice with a chance to win it for the Hounds. Fritsch patiently worked his way to the net and outwaited Dansk before tucking home a great looking game-winner.
The Hounds battled through an early 3-0 deficit and later a 4-2 Otter advantage to post a character 6-5 shootout win over Erie.
With the victory the Hounds improved their record to 8 wins and 7 losses, while remaining in sole possession of 2nd in the West Division.
The team will have an off-day practice on Saturday before getting set to conclude their trip this coming Sunday, October 27th with a visit to the Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
Game time is 2 p.m. and you can hear all the action beginning with the Bay Mills Resort & Casino's pre-game show on Rock 101 at 1:35 p.m.
* Announced attendance at the Erie Insurance Centre was 2,196
* Hounds forward DYLAN STAPLES played in his 100th career OHL regular season contest
* Defenceman DARNELL NURSE was named the Red Star 2nd star of the game
* Hounds were 1-for-4 on the powerplay, while Erie was 3-for-4
* NICK COUSINS picked up 3 assists for the Hounds and was +3 on the night while HALAGIAN (1g, 1a) and NURSE (2g) had multi-point nights
* Full game summary can be viewed by clicking here