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Brett Ritchie leads Niagara IceDogs past Erie Otters 5-2

Wednesday, 11.14.2012 / 9:44 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Brett Ritchie leads Niagara IceDogs past Erie Otters 5-2

ERIE, Pa. - Brett Ritchie had a goal and two assists as the Niagara IceDogs downed the Erie Otters 5-2 on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League play.

Steven Shipley, Carter Verhaeghe and Ryan Strome all had a goal and an assist for Niagara (14-7-1), while Mitchell Theoret had a goal as well. Christopher Festarini made 20 saves.

Connor McDavid scored his 12th goal of the season, and Connor Crisp added his seventh, for the Otters (6-12-3). Oscar Dansk allowed four goals on 31 shots in the loss.

Ritchie took Strome's pass and split two defencemen before firing a shot over Dansk's glove to score his 17th goal of the season and snap a scoreless tie 6:53 into the opening period.

Then Verhaeghe scored his second goal of the season, on assists from DiFruscia and Shipley, less than two minutes later to hand the IceDogs a 2-0 lead.

The high-scoring duo of McDavid and Connor Brown, as well as Troy Donnay, teamed up to slice the Otters' deficit in half at 2-1 just 39 seconds into the second period.

Niagara regained a two-goal lead at 3-1, as Shipley slipped a rebound past Dansk at the 8:48 mark of the period. But the Otters pulled within a goal again at 3-2 on Crisp's goal with 6:14 left in the period. Luke Cairns and Spencer Abraham set up the goal.

Yet the IceDogs started the third strong, as Theoret scored his ninth of the season on assists from Ritchie and Dougie Hamilton 33 seconds into the period.

Strome's empty-net goal capped the scoring with five seconds left.

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I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.

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