A promising start to a crucial game ended in a blunder, after a late surge by the host Otters resulted in a 9-3 loss for the Petes in Erie on Saturday night.
The Petes opened scoring for the second consecutive game, and it took Logan DeNoble just 45 seconds to do so. After breaking up an Otters rush, Alex Black moved the puck up to Adam Timleck. Timleck chipped a puck through the neutral zone to a streaking DeNoble who, with what looked to be a harmless shot from just inside Erie’s blue line, beat Anand Oberoi to give the Petes an early 1-0 lead.
Erie’s 17th-ranked power play got their first chance of the night after Cole Fraser was handed an unsportsmanlike conduct charge for a stick infraction after the whistle.
While the Petes were able to keep the Otters at bay while understaffed, they were able to net the first equalizer of the period four seconds after Fraser came out of the box. Patrick Fellows skated the puck behind Hunter Jones’ net before feeding Maxim Golod, who was alone in the far circle, then fired a wrist shot past Jones to tie the game at 7:32. Stephane Patry earned the second assist.
The maroon and white were sent back to the penalty kill when Brady Hinz was called for interference. Erie managed two shots on Jones with the man advantage before taking their first infraction of the night with 20 seconds left in Hinz’s penalty. With Troy Lajeunesse off the ice for roughing, the Petes couldn’t get anything going.
Then it was Petes leading rookie Nick Robertson’s turn to put a notch on the scoresheet. Timleck picked up a loose puck in the corner, sending it along the boards to Adrien Beraldo on the point. From the near side, Beraldo released a bullet from the blue line towards the net before it was tipped in front by Robertson past Oberoi for his 12th of the season at 16:56.
The Petes were beginning to see shades of déja vu, as for the second time in as many games, the opposing team refused to let them hold on to a lead. The Otters tied the game at 2 at 16:01, 45 seconds after the Peterborough took their second lead of the game. After assisting on Erie’s first goal, Patry added his fourth goal of the campaign. After breaking into the Petes’ zone, Minnesota Wild prospect Ivan Lodnia found Patry alone in front. Jones had no chance to get across the crease before Patry was able to push the puck into the net.
The Otters held a slight advantage on the shot clock after 20 minutes, leading 9-7.
Peterborough held control of the play for most of the middle frame, earning quality scoring chances throughout.
They were awarded their second man advantage opportunity of the night when Kurtis Henry was assessed for holding. Although managing some shots on net, the crew clad in cream couldn’t convert.
Another power play was awarded to the Petes when Fellows was called for interference as he tried to clear a path for a streaking teammate. After setting up their power play and firing numerous shots on net, Oberoi was able to direct a rebound to Chad Yetman. With Lodnia high in the zone, he took off down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway, ultimately beating Jones with a backhand shot into the top of the twine.
Limited action in the second stanza saw the Otters head to intermission with a 3-2 lead, despite the Petes holding a 20-16 lead on the shot clock.
The Petes stepped onto the ice for the third with determination, looking for the game’s third game-tying goal. After Jones turned away an Erie shot, Matt McNamara picked up a bouncing puck in Peterborough’s end. With a look up the ice, he found Cole Fraser making his way up the middle of the ice. With precision, he flipped the puck into the neutral zone and onto Fraser’s stick. Fraser pushed through the slot and sent a the puck trickling through Oberoi’s pads to tie the game 2:44 into the final frame.
Erie was anxious to recover their lead, though, and did so 2:17 later. The Otters effectively broke out of their zone as Jack Duff found Fellows alone on the near side boards. He cut into the middle of the zone before sending a shot top corner over Jones’ shoulder at 5:01.
DeNoble and Lodnia got into a scuffle in the corner after the Petes captain cross checked an Otter into the boards. Both players were handed multiple penalties, ending their evenings.
If there was any hope that the confrontation would inject some momentum into the Petes, it was all but lost when they were called for too many men. It took just 16 seconds with the man advantage for the Gera Podubbnyi to convert at 16:48, with Patry and Owen Headrick picking up assists on the eventual insurance marker.
Jones was pulled from his net with just over two minutes left to play as the Petes made a final effort to get back in the game, but it was all Otters to close out the game.
Golod added his second of the night with an empty netter, opening the flood gates for the Otters. Goals followed by Joseph Mack and Emmett Sproule on route to a 9-3 final score for Erie.
The Petes will face the Niagara IceDogs at 2:00pm on Sunday, March 4 before returning to the PMC for a pivotal game against the Mississauga Steelheads on Thursday, March 8 at 7:05pm. Tickets are available starting at $8 through the Collins Barrow PMC Box Office, online or, by phone at (705) 743-3561.
Looking to catch more Petes hockey in March? The brand new Petes Playoff Push Flex Pack gives fans four regular bowl tickets to use at any game in March, along with a voucher for four popcorns and four pops, for just $69.99 (a $124 value). Visit Steve at the ticket tent in the North Lobby, visit the Box Office, or call (705) 743-3681 ext. 263, to get your package.
Don’t forget to download the free Petes Mobile App, available for iPhone or Android devices.