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Erie Otters Weekly Preview: A Trip Up North

After months of waiting for Otters hockey to finally return, hockey fans in Erie rejoiced as the Navy and Gold kicked off a home-and-home versus the #8 ranked Mississauga Steelheads**. Unfortunately, the season started the exact opposite of what fans were hoping for. During a tough road loss on Friday night, Erie could not sneak the puck past Steelheads goaltender Ryerson Leenders. The 5-0 loss in Mississauga was disappointing considering how hyped the Otters were to start the season.

The team returned home on Saturday night to a crowd of over 4700, where the team broke the ice and scored three goals. But this effort was not enough as the Steelheads overcame a one-goal deficit to rally back for a 5-3 win in Erie. This dropped the Otters to 0-2-0 and are now searching for a win this weekend.

Storm Warning For The Young Otters

The Erie Otters will play back-to-back games on the road this weekend, and it will not be easy. On Friday, the now unranked Otters will head to Guelph, ON to face the #4 Storm. Despite missing star forward Cam Allen until December, the Storm started the season strong with two wins against the #5 Owen Sound Attack, who the Otters play Saturday, and the unranked Windsor Spitfires. Both wins had the final score of 4-2 Guelph.

The Storm won both games with a big effort by goaltender Brayden Gillespie, who has saved 93% of his shots and only allowed four goals in two games. Rookie forward Leo Serlin has two goals in two games for Guelph and looks to carry on his good start to his OHL career.

It will be a very tough game for the Otters, who were swept by Guelph last season and are 2-10 the last five years at Sleeman Centre. Overall, Erie is 6-15-3 versus the Storm the last five years and it does not look like anything will change if the Otters play like they did on the road versus Mississauga.

The Bears Are Ready To Attack Otters

In the second game this weekend, the Erie Otters will take an hour and fifty-five-minute drive up north from Guelph to Owen Sound, ON. Their other Midwest Division rival, the #5 ranked Attack, is a hard ask for Erie. Facing NHL-drafted first-round pick Colby Barlow, the Owen Sound Attack are looking for two wins in a row after an even 1-1 start. After losing to Guelph 4-2, the Bears fought back and earned a 4-2 win versus the Barrie Colts.

While the series is not lopsided as the Guelph-Erie duel, the Attack have won eight out of eleven at home in the past five years, including winning the series 4-2 last season. But the theme for both these teams when they play is usually a close, gritty, hard-fought game. Last season, all but one game was won by three or fewer goals, and one was an overtime home loss for Erie, who lost off an unlucky call by the officials.

No Panic For Erie Yet

While most fans are panicking after starting the season 0-2, it's hard to forget that this team was 0-2-2 before winning eight out of its next ten last season. Although the season collapsed after a 10-7-2 start, that just shows the potential the team had last year, and this season with a team that's better than the 21-win Otters from the previous season.

The Erie Otters at Guelph Storm game will start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 6th, and will take on the Owen Sound Attack on Saturday, October 7th at 7:00 p.m.


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