The Huntsville Jr. C Otters (12-6-2) are set for a big weekend with three games coming up on their schedule this Thursday to Sunday. The Otters currently sit in a season-best second place in the GBMOJCHL standings after picking up three of a possible four points during last weekend’s home stand.
The Otters will open up the week as the visiting team against the Stayner Siskins (10-7-4) on Thursday, before hosting the third-place Midland Flyers (12-8-0) at 8:00 pm at the Canada Summit Centre on Friday night. The boys will wrap up the weekend on the road against the Caledon Golden Hawks (9-11-1) Sunday evening.
The Otters moved past Midland with a rousing 6-4 victory at the North Simcoe Sport and Recreation Centre on Friday, improving to a perfect 3-0 against the Flyers this season. After finding themselves down by a goal early on, the Otters offence continued to show the determination and resilience that has made them successful all season long, with Andy Baker and Myles York responding to give Huntsville a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The second period saw the Flyers once again score an early goal before the Otters completely took over. The offensive onslaught saw four different Huntsville players find the back of the net, as Cam Russell, Ty Traynor, Jake Burns, and Jake McIntyre combined to give the Otters a comfortable 6-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
The Flyers came out of the dressing room looking like a different team to start the third, scoring two goals and firing an incredible 17 shots on goal in the period, but goaltender Connor Christansen held his ground and made 39 total saves to deny the comeback.
The Otters were able to keep the goal-scoring momentum going in their second home game on Sunday, but weren’t as responsible in their own defensive end as they battled to a 6-6 draw with the Penetang Kings, a result that was only made possible by McIntryre scoring the game-tying goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation.
After finding themselves down by two early on, it was time for another offensive outburst from McIntyre, York and Cody Jones with consecutive goals to give the Otters a 3-2 lead before the Kings could tie things up halfway through the second. Jay Dix would briefly restore the advantage for Huntsville, until the Kings exploded with a flurry of their own, scoring three in a row to go up 6-4 with less than seven minutes to play.
Never ones to panic, the Otters went back to work, and Dix lit the lamp less than a minute later to make in a one-goal game. With the stage set for a frantic finale, McIntyre found the equalizer with just 57 seconds left on the clock to secure a point for Huntsville in the standings after a scoreless overtime.
In a show of unprecedented discipline, the Otters took a mere three minor penalties all game against the Kings. The six penalty minutes are a dramatic improvement over the league-leading 32 PIM the Otters have been previously taking on a nightly basis.
Rookie Andy Baker continues to lead the league in scoring with 41 points (19 goals and 22 assists) and is now five points ahead of second-place Ricky Darrell. Captain Jake McIntrye is right behind Baker in fourth overall with 33 points (15 goals and 15 assists), while Kyle Burns is eighth – and first overall by a landslide among defencemen – with 29 points (8 goals and 21 assists). Huntsville’s Chris Goodfellow is tied for the league lead in penalty minutes with 94 while Josh Zantingh is fourth with 74.
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