ERIE, Pa. - The line of Justin Hodgman, Ryan O'Reilly and Sean Jones combined for five goals and 11 points, as the Erie Otters beat the Saginaw Spirit 7-5 in Ontario Hockey League action Friday night, winning consecutive games for the first time since March.
The offence scored seven goals in a game for the first time since a 7-5 win against Sudbury on Nov. 11, 2006. The Otters (6-20-2-1) matched one of the league's top offences goal for goal in the first two periods.
Nick Palmieri and Ryan O'Reilly scored 24 seconds apart for to build a 3-2 lead late in the first period. O'Reilly scored with 23 seconds left in the period to regain a one-goal at 4-3.
After scoring consecutive power-play goals to erase a 5-3 deficit, the Sting (17-13-0-0) had momentum, but Otters goaltender Shane Owen kept Sarnia's offence silent. He enjoyed a perfect night - 18 saves on 18 shots - for his first career win after replacing rookie Jaroslav Janus midway through the second period with the score tied 5-5.
Hodgman scored the winning goal 8:18 into the third, while Skellett's goal with 1:50 left sealed the victory.
The top line of Skellett, Nick Palmieri and Zack Torquato nit had two goals and seven points, with Palmieri and Torquato producing three points apiece.
Justin DiBenedetto and Devin DiDiomete led the Sting with three points apiece. Steven Stamkos, considered the top prospect in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, had two points in the opening 14 minutes, but none of the rest of the way.