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Nicholls Gets First Career Win, Otters Comeback Twice in 6-4 Win

January 17, 2022 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Erie Otters News Release

Erie, Pennsylvania - A blanket of snow greeted the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit the morning of the lone game in the Ontario Hockey League, as over a foot of snow would drop overnight in northwest Pennsylvania. With proper precautions taken, the teams would arrive and the game would go on. Erie would play host to their first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day Game, their first-ever CHL Game of the Week, and to Pennsylvania-native Alex Randall - the first Black Play-by-Play Voice in the Canadian and Ontario Hockey Leagues histories. With a quiet arena, the two teams would prepare for battle.

After a delayed-start to the game, puck would drop at 2:31 and the teams would immediately get underway. Erie would work quickly in getting a number of odd-man rush opportunities and chances on the breakaway - but be unable to beat Saginaw's Andrew Oke in net. On the opposite side, the Saginaw Spirit would see themselves on the scoresheet twice in a span of 2:50, coming just past the halfway mark of the first. Nick Wong (11) would open the team-scoring, and Calem Mangone (9) would put the insurance-goal cap on the period. Despite leading 7-1 in shots at one point, the Otters would finish the period in shots-advantage 8-6, but trail 2-0.

The second period would be a high-octane frame, as the two teams would combine for five goals. Erie would start the scoring 5:22 into the new period, as Colby Saganiuk (7) would score in his third-straight game, and give the Otters their first goal of the game. 2:43 later, Erie would tie things up as Connor Lockhart (11) would net his fourth goal in two games against Saginaw, giving him back-to-back games with a goal. The game would remain tied up for a few minutes, but when the Spirit would retake the lead, they'd score a pair in eight seconds - first on the power play from Mitchell Smith (4), then off the faceoff from Nick Wong (12) for his second of the night. 2:35 later, Erie would score from Elias Cohen (11) off a faceoff dish from Daniel D'Amato. After a lot of back-and-forth action, Erie would be within one heading to the third period in a 4-3 game, leading in shots 22-19.

Erie would continue beating the comeback drum in the third period, as defenseman Ryan Thompson (1) would score his first-career OHL goal to tie things up just 4:48 into the new frame. This tying goal would hold through the halfway mark, and up to the dying minutes. With 3:00 left to go, Carey Terrance (4) would throw a puck on net that would find its way into the net from Roberto Mancini running into his goaltender, for the Otters first lead of the night. Erie would put the final nail in the coffin as Connor Lockhart (12) would sink the empty-netter, and the Otters would hold on for a 6-4 win.

Goaltender Marshall Nicholls would earn his first-career win in net, and Carey Terrance would earn his third-career game-winning goal in the Otters' effort. Erie's game against London in the Forest City has been moved up from a 7:30 Friday night puck drop to now being at 7:00. The Otters return home for a pair against the Saginaw Spirit on Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23 at the Erie Insurance Arena.

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