ERIE, Pa. - Linemates Mike Cazzola, Greg McKegg and Zack Torquato dominated as the Erie Otters knocked the Kingston Frontenacs 6-1 in Ontario Hockey League Saturday night.
McKegg scored twice and added an assist for Erie (23-21-7), while Cazzola and Torquato both had a goal and two assists. Jeremy Gottzmann and Anthony Luciani also tallied. Otters goaltender Adam Courchaine made 33 saves.
Joe Pleckaitis was the lone scorer for Kingston (22-24-4), while Frank Palazzese stopped 28 shots.
The Otters had no trouble finding their offensive rhythm against a Frontenacs' club starting a 16-year-old goaltender with one game of OHL experience. Frank Palazzese allowed seven goals on 36 shots in only other outing - a 7-2 loss to Oshawa Oct. 12.
He surrendered a goal on his first shot on Saturday - Luciani's 23rd goal of the season - 1 minute, 21 seconds into the opening period. Three minutes later, McKegg's tied linemate Mike Cazzola for the team lead, thanks to a fortunate bounce. McKegg's cross-crease pass deflected off a Frontenac defender's stick while he tangled with Torquato.
At the 9:17 mark, Torquato scored his 24th goal of the season, thanks to McKegg's steal in the zone.
However, Palazzese stopped Andrew Yogan's penalty shot with 7:28 left in the period. Then less than three minutes later, Pleckaitis sliced the Otters' lead to 3-1.
The Frontenacs tightened up defensively in the second period, allowing four shots on goal in the opening 15 minutes.
Then the Otters capitalized on their own power play, as Cazzola tipped Derek Holden's shot from the point past Palazzese for a 4-1 lead with 3:41 left. It was Cazzola's team-leading 25th goal.
At the 8:37 mark of the third McKegg scored his 25th goal of the season to give the Otters a 5-1 lead. Rookie Gottzmann followed with his second career goal three minutes later.