The Niagara IceDogs took home the victory in their 2012/13 home opener, defeating the visiting Erie Otters 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd at the Gatorade Garden City Complex on Thursday night.
Prior to the game the IceDogs welcomed back Andrew Agozzino, Alex Friesen, Freddie Hamilton and Mark Visentin to join the 2012/13 IceDogs in a pregame ceremony unveiling the 2012 Central Division and Eastern Conference Championship banners.
The first period saw Erie get on the board first as they struck on the powerplay 8:02 in. Steven Shipley would answer back for the IceDogs with a powerplay goal of his own evening the score just over five minutes later. The tie would not last long however as the Otters answered right back to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Shots in the period were 15-9 for the visitors.
The second period saw the IceDogs tie things up again at 2-2 as David Sysala scored his first OHL goal, with fellow import Ondrej Kopta picking up his first career OHL point with an assist on the play. That would prove to be the only goal of the period as the teams would be deadlocked at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
The IceDogs would take their first lead of the game 4:34 into the third as Anthony DiFruscia became the second IceDog of the night to score his first career OHL goal, making the score 3-2. Joel Wigle would then extend the IceDogs lead to 4-2 just over midway through the third. That would prove to be the final as the IceDogs sent the home crowd home happy. Final shots in the game were 30-29 in favour of the IceDogs.
Christopher Festarini was solid in the victory stopping 27 of 29 shots for, while DiFruscia picked up the game winning goal in his regular season OHL debut.
The IceDogs now hit the road tomorrow night to visit the division rival Brampton Battalion at 7:30pm. Fans can be sure to catch the game live on TVCogeco or 610CKTB, the new home of your Niagara IceDogs. The IceDogs will next return home on Thursday, October 4th when they host the Mississauga Steelheads.
1. ER C. Crisp, (1) (T. Donnay, L. Cairns), 8:02 (PP)
1. NIAG S. Shipley, (1) (R. Strome, D. Hamilton), 13:57 (PP)
1. ER N. Betz, (1) (T. Wood, S. Harper), 15:03
2. NIAG D. Sysala, (1) (O. Kopta, J. Graham), 6:34
3. NIAG A. DiFruscia, (1) (B. Ritchie), 4:34
3. NIAG J. Wigle, (1) (S. Rover), 10:38