Ottawa 4, Erie 2

The Ottawa 67’s are three games deep into their current road trip and a win over the Erie Otters Saturday has the team securing four of six points. 

The Otters are seventh in their conference with 32 points in 30 games. Meanwhile, Ottawa remains atop their conference now with 38 points in as many games.

Things didn’t start out well for Ottawa, with an early goal by Erie’s Brett Bressette.

67’s captain Luca Pinelli’s one-timer tied things up briefly before a goal by Erie’s Sam Alfano regained the lead for the Otters. But that setback didn’t last.

In the final few minutes of the first period, Ottawa would get a power play.

Less than 15 seconds later, Brad Gardiner would slot one through the five-hole of Otters’ netminder Ben Gaudreau to tie things up.

Ottawa goalie was a difference-maker against Erie shutting down the Otters after two early goals and giving his team a chance at a big win on the road. [Photo courtesy Ottawa 67’s]

Coming into the second period, things only got better for Ottawa, especially with the help of Ottawa goalie Max Donoso who shut down the Otters. Donoso has a .905 save percentage and secured his 10th win of the season in what the 67’s see as a rebound game after their loss to the Niagara IceDogs.

Ottawa hasn’t been known for high scoring games this season, but in the past two they’ve put away nine goals.

The second period wasn’t;’t as action-packed as the first, but Ottawa did manage to take the lead. After killing off a penalty, the 67’s cycled the puck in the Otters’ zone. Their strong pressure led to a Kaleb Lawrence tap-in thanks to a great pass from defenceman Henry Mews. For Mews, that’s his 22nd assist. He has 26 points in 27 games. 

Brady Stonehouse fired in the fourth goal from the slot in front of Erie’s net to wrap up the scoring.

Ottawa’s ability to convert made all the difference in this game, considering Gaudreau only faced three more shots than Donoso. It’s the people taking the shots that mattered.

Several key players for Ottawa are hot right now, including the captain. For example, last season, it took Pinelli 67 games to score 29 goals. Now, it’s taken him 30 games to score 23 goals on pace for more than 50 this season.

Pinelli, Brady Stonehouse and Brad Gardiner are among the top five goal scorers on the team with 23, 12 and eight respectively. This same trio are also top five in points. 

Ottawa has two more games on the road before returning home for the last game of 2023. A win against the Mississauga Steelheads today could put the team at 40 points.