December 15, 2012 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Erie Otters
Erie, Pa. - The Erie Otters won their third straight game for the first time since the end of the 2010-2011 season, as they defeated the Kitchener Rangers in a shootout, 4-3, in front of a season-high crowd of 4,231 fans at Erie Insurance Arena Saturday night.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play after goals by rookies Matt Schmalz and Darby Llewellyn in the first period.
Jimmy McDowell put the Otters on the board as he blasted a shot from the slot though the glove of Franky Palazzese 33 seconds into the second period for his seventh goal of the season.
Adam Pelech tied the game for the Otters with a power play goal as his shot bounced off the glove of Palazzese and rolled off the goaltender's right leg at 3:09 for Pelech's fifth goal of the season.
The Otters took the lead with 5:21 left to play after Stephen Harper led Connor Crisp with a pass through the neutral zone. Crisp took it down the left wing into Rangers territory and dropped it back to J.P. Labardo, who toe-dragged into the slot and unleashed a shot through the blocker of Palazzese for his 12th of the season.
Kitchener tied the game with 2:32 left to play as Ben Thomson buried a backhand shot through the blocker of Williams to force overtime.
The game would go on to a shootout. Labardo scored in the first round to give the Otters a 1-0 advantage. After Matia Marcantuoni tied it up to start round two, Dane Fox pulled off the "Peter Forsberg" move on Palazzese as he slowed down from full speed at the hashmarks and pulled the puck around the left pad of the goaltender.
Llewellyn was stopped in the third round by Devin Williams to seal the win for the Otters. Williams made 45 saves in the win, as he made 122 saves out of 129 shots in his three wins this weekend.
The Otters were a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill, and have killed off 21 straight penalties.