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McKegg leads Erie Otters to 7-1 thrashing of Peterborough Petes

NHL.com @NHL

ERIE, Pa. - Greg McKegg had a goal and two assists as the Erie Otters thrashed the Peterborough Petes 7-1 in Ontario Hockey League action Saturday night.

Zack Torquato scored twice for Erie (26-22-7), while Shawn Szydlowski, Andrew Yogan, David Broll and Jeremy Gottzmann added singles. Brady Austin had three assists.

Adam Courchaine made 25 saves to earn the win.

Matt Puempel replied for Peterborough (25-28-3). Jason Missiaen allowed six goals on 34 shots before replaced by Andrew D'Agostini early in the third.

The Otters scored twice in the opening three minutes and three goals overall in the decisive first period.

The Otters have won three straight games overall. They have won five in a row and nine of their last 10 at home. Line changes helped sparked Erie's latest victory.

Coach Robbie Ftorek shuffled his last three lines to immediate success.

Rookie Gottzmann joined veterans Szydlowski and Anthony Luciani on a line. The unit scored the game's opening goal 47 seconds into the opening period, as Szydlowski fired Luciani's pass past Missiaen. Gottzmann scored on the power play on assists from Szydlowski and rookie Brady Austin for a 3-1 lead with 7:16 left in the period.

In between, the line of Yogan, Brett Appio and rookie Stephen Genua combined for a goal at the 3:10 mark of the first. Yogan scored his 23rd goal, while Genua - who earned a regular shift after an apparent benching the previous two games - earned the assist.

The only blemish on the Otters' strong first period occurred at the 8:17 mark, as highly touted Petes rookie Puempel slipped a shot past goaltender Adam Courchaine.

Then in the second, the Otters' No. 1 line of Zack Torquato, Greg McKegg and Mike Cazzola - one of the OHL's top scoring units - regained their scoring touch. Torquato scored his 27th goal of the season on assists from McKegg and Cazzola for a 4-1 Otters' lead with 3:12 left.

Then the Otters exploded for three goals in the opening four minutes of the third.

McKegg scored his team-leading 29th of the season 1:12 into the third. Paul Cianfrini earned his second assist of the night on the goal. Forty-eight seconds later, David Broll scored on assists from fellow rookies Austin and Jordan Coccimiglio for a 6-1 lead. Austin finished with a career-high three points.

Torquato scored his second of the night at the 3:55 mark.

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