Murdaca Shuts Out Former Team, Otters Win 3-0
Returning to the Erie Insurance Arena with a franchise record twelve straight wins, the Otters faced the Mississauga Steelheads looking to sweep the brief home-and-home series. Former Steelhead Joseph Murdaca, just one night after allowing one goal on twenty shots against his former team, received the nod in net again. Murdaca made 19 saves on 19 shots to shutout his former team.
In what seemed like a mirror image of the first period the night before, Mississauga and Erie had their offenses stymied by a pair of surging goaltenders: Murdaca turned aside seven shots through the first twenty minutes of play, including a difficult stop on Ryan McLeod on the backdoor. Matthew Mancina was no less dominant at the Steelheads’ end, saving each of the eight shots he faced. The Otters entered the second period tied with the Steelheads at zero.
Just like their previous matchup, however, the Otters didn’t wait long into the second period to get on the scoreboard: Taylor Raddysh received a quick pass from DeBrincat and fired from the slot, beating Mancina over the shoulder to give Erie the 1-0 lead. Erie’s Gera Poddubnyi, playing center between Raddysh and DeBrincat–Dylan Strome’s usual spot–also recorded an assist on the play. Once again, Murdaca stood strong in the Otters’ net, cutting any attempt by the Steelheads to get back into the game off at the knees. Heading into the third period, the Otters maintained a 1-0 lead off the strength of Taylor Raddysh’s goal.
Erie’s Erik Cernak increased the Otters’ lead to two midway through the third period: jumping into the play with the puck, the Los Angeles Kings prospect snapped a hard shot that slipped through the goaltender’s five-hole. Murdaca continued to block any of the Steelheads’ comeback attempts, and Alex DeBrincat scored his 49th goal of the season with under two minutes in the game to give Erie the 3-0 victory. Alex DeBrincat and Taylor Raddysh each scored a goal and an assist, and Joseph Murdaca saved all 19 shots he faced in the victory.
For Mississauga, Matthew Mancina made 38 saves on 41 shots in the loss.
The Otters head back on the road to Oshawa, where they will face Allan McShane and the Generals on Monday, February 20.
For more information on the Otters, contact Aaron Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org.