Winners of thirteen straight, the Erie Otters headed to Oshawa to face former Otter Allan McShane and the Generals–the Eastern Conference’s top-ranked team. Anthony Cirelli, former Oshawa Generals captain, was unable to play due to a lower body injury. Alex DeBrincat entered the game with 49 goals on the season, needing just one to become the OHL’s first player in forty years to record three-straight fifty-goal seasons. He managed to do just that, scoring two and adding an assist as the Otters won 4-3.
The first period saw a glut of power play opportunities across both teams: the Otters received three separate man-advantages, while the Generals were gifted two; neither team would score with the extra man, however, and the Otters sank to 0/11 on the power play across the past two games. Erie finally managed to get on the board in the closing minutes of the period, when Alex DeBrincat hammered a shot past Oshawa goaltender Jeremy Brodeur, giving Erie the 1-0 lead before the end of the period. It was DeBrincat’s 50th goal of the season, managing the feat in just 51 games.
Entering the second period on the penalty kill, the Otters managed to sustain offensive pressure anyway: Warren Foegele managed to wrist the puck through Brodeur for the shorthanded goal, giving Erie a two-goal lead. Oshawa stormed right back to tie it, however, when Eric Henderson and Medric Mercier each scored on the power play to make it 2-2 midway through the second period. With under thirty seconds remaining in the period, DeBrincat scored a one-timer goal to briefly give Erie a 3-2 lead, but Oshawa’s Matt Brassard came back down the other way to tie the game 3-3 with just nine seconds remaining to conclude the game’s back-and-forth middle stanza.
The third period was mostly a scoreless endeavor. The Otters hammered Brodeur with ten shots through the first half–including twice as many shot attempts–but the Oshawa goalie stopped everything he saw to keep his team in the game despite being decisively out-possessed. But, finally, Otters captain Dylan Strome fished the puck out of a tangle of skates and rifled the puck through Brodeur on a broken play–the Otters took a 4-3 lead with just two minutes remaining in the game. They held on for the victory, extending their winning-streak to fourteen games as they outshot the Generals 44-26.
Dylan Strome scored the game-winning goal and added two assists for the Otters; Alex DeBrincat scored two goals (50 and 51 on the season) and assisted on Strome’s game-winner; and Joe Murdaca made 23 saves on 26 shots for his twelfth victory with the Otters this season.
For the Generals, Medric Mercier, Matt Brassard, and Eric Henderson each had a goal and an assist, while Jeremy Brodeur 40 saves on 44 shots in the loss.
The Otters have three days off before continuing their road trip to Guelph, where they’ll look to extend their record-setting win streak to fifteen games against the Storm on February 24.