ERIE, Pa. - It took 65 minutes and six rounds in the shootout, but the Erie Otters finally snapped a season-high five-game losing streak.
Derek Holden scored on the Otters' final attempt, and goaltender Adam Courchaine followed with a save against Niagara's Andrew Fritsch, to seal Erie's 2-1 win in Ontario Hockey League Friday night.
Greg McKegg scored for Erie (22-21-7). Courchaine finished with 33 saves in regulation and overtime and added stops on all six shootout attempts.
Reggie Traccitto replied for Niagara (17-27-6), while Mark Visentin, made 38 saves - including eight in overtime - and five more in the shootout. But Holden's shot trickled through Visentin's pads for the winning goal.
The Otters' No. 1 line snapped the scoreless tie 7 minutes, 27 seconds into the opening period, as Zack Torquato found McKegg in the slot for a shot over Visentin's shoulder.
But the IceDogs tied the score at 1-1 on a bizarre play early in the second period. A seemingly innocent dump-in towards the Otters' net during an IceDogs' line change turned into Traccitto's goal, as Courchaine whiffed while attempting to clear the puck out of the zone.
Meanwhile, Visentin - the highest-rated OHL goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking - benefited from two Otters' shots off goal posts late in the period. The IceDogs' fluke goal was the only blemish against both goaltenders in 29 second-period shots.
Courchaine and Visentin were just as strong in the third period with a combined 16 saves. Erie fired all eight shots of the overtime - more shots than they recorded in the third. But Visentin stopped all of them.