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D'Amato Scores at Last Second, Lockhart Wins It in OT

December 2, 2021 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Erie Otters News Release

Windsor, Ontario - For the last time in the 2021-22 season, the Erie Otters would find themselves in the WFCU Centre in Windsor, taking on Western Conference foe Spitfires. Ahead of the second of five-straight games on the road, the Erie Otters bench would get a little deeper, with Ryan Thompson and Artyom Kulakov re-activated from injury, and Carey Terrance returning from a Bronze Medal performance with Team Canada White at the Capital City Challenge. Taking on a Windsor team that they'd gotten at least a point out of in two games, the Otters looked to continue their success against the Spitfires.

The first minutes of the late-night affair would see Windsor controlling the offensive-side of the ice, getting the first four shots of the game. Erie's offense would finally find their footing, and bring the puck into the Spits defensive end, getting three-straight shots. The Spitfires would find a broken play to start up the ice, as Wyatt Johnston and Will Cuylle would give-and-go with each other, with Cuylle (16) tipping the puck through the open net to give the Spitfires a 1-0 lead. Just over five minutes later, Otters' captain Daniel D'Amato (2) would find his second goal of the Ontario Hockey League season (third of his season), on a tenacious play to knot things up with just under five minutes remaining. After 20 minutes of play, the Spitfires would lead in shots 14-10 in a 1-1 game.

Windsor would waste no time in the second period creating separation between them and the Otters. Just :48 into the new frame, Spitfires' captain Will Cuylle (17) would score his second of the night, and retake the Windsor lead. 3:18 later, Daniil Sobolev (1) would be fed by Wyatt Johnston for his first goal of the season, and a 3-1 Windsor lead. After a called-back goal through the middle of the frame, Erie would start to surge enroute to nine total shots in the period. Unfortunately for the Otters, the 17 shot period from the Spitfires would continue, with Pasquale Zito (7) scoring with 1:51 remaining to make it a 4-1 Spitfires lead. This goal would be reviewed by the Officials, but called as a good goal. After two periods of play, the Otters would trail 4-1, being outshot 31-19.

Down by three goals to start the third, the night was only getting started for the Erie Otters. Just 1:01 into the frame, Brett Bressette (9) would start the comeback march for the Otters, making it a 4-2 game with plenty of time to go. Erie's offense would continue to spur, as Christian Kyrou (4) would blast one from the circles to the twine to make it a one-goal-game with over 13 minutes still to play. It would be a constant battle of the wills for the Otters offense, as they would go up and down the ice looking for the goal to knot things up. It would take until there was :.03 left on the clock for D'Amato (3) to nail one home to force OT with literally no-time remaining. In the extra period, the Otters would control the puck the entire way, and see Connor Lockhart (5) sneak one short-side for the game-winner with four-unanswered goals.

The three-game weekend of action continues for the Otters on Friday night, as they make their first trip to the Budweiser Gardens in London to take on rival London Knights. Erie held a two-goal lead at one point in a 7-4 loss to the Knights earlier in the season at home, looking for road revenge. The weekend of action closes with the first meeting of the season with the CHL #10 Hamilton Bulldogs in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

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