Sweet Caroline…. the Erie Otters won


Megan Mckay, Sydney Dietz, Staff writer, Sports editor

On Saturday, Oct. 8 the Erie Otters faced off against their biggest rivals, The London Knights.

Before the game, fans gathered in their Otters jerseys at the Erie Otters Fan Fest, which was a huge success. On the front lawn of the Erie Insurance Arena, fans enjoyed a free concert from country singers Alexandra Kay, Hannah Ellis, and Royale Lynn. In addition, there were food trucks, tailgates, and tables set out for fans to enjoy before the season’s home opener.

Prior to the home weekend the organization named a new leadership core for the team’s 26th season. The veteran players named to the leadership core are looking to bridge the gap between old and new. Veteran defenseman Cameron Morton from Kingston, ON was named captain after being an alternate captain last season. Morton enters his third season with the Otters. His physicality and dominant play on the back-end looks to continue to lead this season.

“First off, I’m truly honored to be put in the position to help lead this team for the season,” said Morton in a press release from Erie Otters Hockey.

“I want to be a leader that shows up to the rink with something to prove, and leads by example at-and-away from the rink.”

Alongside Morton, Elias Cohen will serve as full time alternate captain. Cohen is a dynamic player and was one of the leading goal scorers on the team last year. Forward Noah Sedore, and defenseman Spencer Sova will also both serve as alternate captains while the team is home in their white jerseys. Defenseman Christian Kyrou, and forward Carey Terrance will also serve as alternate captains when the team is away in their navy jerseys.

Despite a promising preseason start, the Otters have come up short thus far this season in defeating opponents. While away in Canada the team went 0-4. The Otters lost their season opener 5-4 in a shootout after having a two-goal lead in the third period. They then went to Kingston and lost 3-1 on a great goaltending performance by Kingston’s Ivan Zhigalov.

Finally last Sunday in Ottawa, the Otters fell short by a 4-2 score. Rookie Malcolm Spence scored his first goal as an Otter. However, over the past weekend the Otters finally found success defeating their biggest rival, the London Knights, 3-1.

Fans filled the arena with great anticipation for the game. This home opener brought one of the largest crowds for an Otters game. The first 4,500 fans received a home opener rally towel that included the London Knights logo and Erie Otters logo. Additionally, there were home opener shirts being sold in the Otters Den, which is the merchandise store located inside the arena to get fans excited for the game. The shirt was a fan favorite and was seen being worn in the stands.

The puck was dropped at 7 p.m. The Otters starting lineup included forward Malcolm Spence, Brett Bressette, Sam Alfano, and defensemen Cam Morton and Christian Kyru. The game started in the Otters favor when London center Easton Cowan received a penalty for hooking. While on the power play, at 2:03 in the first period, right winger Sam Alfano shot the puck and got it into the net for a goal. This goal was assisted by Kyru and Bressette.

The fans all stood up and waved their rally towels after the goal alarm went off. Then the Otters fans’ favorite song, Sweet Caro-line, filled the arena. The crowd sang, “Sweet Caroline, London sucks.” The energy from the crowd helped the team. The Otters had another powerplay, but could not get the puck past London’s goal-tender, Brett Brochu. Later in the first period center Kaleb Smith scored another goal that was assisted by Nathan Sauder and Colby Saganiuk.

There were many fights in the game. The first fight happened at 11:47 in the first period. This fight was between Otter Owain Johnston and Knight Brody Crane. London then obtained their first goal at 13:07 in the first period. After the first intermission, the Otters were back on the ice and ready to play another period. Spencer Sova scored the Otters’ third goal of the night. This goal was assisted by Sauder, and left winger Noah Sedore.

In the middle of the second period, there was another fight resulting in a 10-minute misconduct penalty for Captain Cam Morton and a five minute penalty for Kyru. However, despite the penal-ties, London was unable to score. There was another fight in the third period that resulted in a London Knight gaining a five minute misconduct penalty.

The game ended with another fight and penalty. The Otters and the fans were elated for the home opener win. At the end of the game fans stood up and waved their rally towels to show support for the team.

Goaltender Nolan Lalonde received the first star of the night saving 28 shots on goal.

Next Friday the Otter’s are back home Oct. 14 for College ID night at Erie Insurance Arena. The special promotional night means Mercyhurst student’s tickets are just $10 with a valid University ID. The Otters will host the Flint Firebirds at 7 p.m. Friday. The first 1,000 fans will receive a 2022-23 Season Schedule Mag-net and to celebrate the end the workweek they can purchase $2 Bud Light Drafts during ‘Happy Hour’. While Mercyhurst Women’s Ice Hockey is away playing RPI check out the Otters at Erie Insurance Area while the Otters celebrate college students.