St. Catharines, Ont. - A three goal third period by the Niagara IceDogs allowed them to pull away with a 7-4 win against the Erie Otters on New Year's Eve.
The Otters broke the ice 2:13 into the game after Connor Crisp banged in a one-timer pass from Stephen Harper in front of the net during an Erie power play for his 17th goal of the season. Steven Shipley tied the game for Niagara with a power play goal 6:21 into the first.
Dane Fox broke the tie at 7:49 as his pass towards the net bounced off of an IceDog and into the net for Fox's second goal of the season.
Adam Pelech chased former Otters goaltender Chris Festarini from the net as he blasted a shot from the right point through traffic for his sixth goal of the season, a power play marker at 12:48.
The IceDogs came out of the gates in the second period with three unanswered goals, including two more by Shipley to complete the hat trick, to take a 4-3 lead.
Jimmy McDowell tied the game for the Otters with 1:05 left in the second, as his wrist shot from the top of the left circle went top shelf on the blocker side of Bo Bessette for McDowell's eighth goal of the season.
Mitch Theoret put the IceDogs in front for good 6:13 into the third to make it 5-4. Carter Verhaeghe and Shayne Rover also scored for the IceDogs in the third period. Daniel Dekoning made his OHL debut for the Otters following NIagara's last goal.
The Otters return to Erie Insurance Arena Friday night to take on the Barrie Colts at 7:00 p.m. Then on Saturday, watch two games for the price of one when the Third Annual Guns and Hoses Game takes place at 3:00 p.m. before the Otters host the Sarnia Sting at 7:00 p.m. Erie police, fire and EMT workers will duke it out for bragging rights and to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania. For tickets, call 814-452-4857 or go online to OttersHockey.com.
Locastro-Bonini Insurance Three Stars of the Game
No. 1 Star - Steven Shipley, Niagara - three goals
No. 2 Star - Bo Bessette, Niagara - 19 savesNo. 3 Star - Carter Verhaeghe, Niagara - one goal, two assists