ERIE, Pa. - The Erie Otters concluded the opening half of the season with a thrilling 4-3 win against the Kingston Frontenacs in Ontario Hockey League action Saturday night.
Nick Palmieri scored the winning goal with 30 seconds left in the third period, two minutes after Kingston's Jessie Brown tied the score at three. Zack Torquato and Ryan O'Reilly assisted on the goal.
The Otters (8-22-2-1) have won a season-high four straight at home - their longest streak since winning a club-record eight straight in the 2004-05 season.
The Otters regained their home-ice magic from the outset against the Frontenacs (8-20-0-1).
Centre Zack Torquato scored his 12th goal of the season three minutes, 55 seconds into the opening period on assists from wingers Nick Palmieri and Ryan O'Reilly. Torquato extended his career-high point streak to 11 straight games. He has eight goals and 17 points during the streak, including goals in seven of those games.
Meanwhile, O'Reilly's point streak reached five consecutive games (three goals, eight points). He has six multi-point outings in the past 11 games (five goals, 11 assists).
Less than four minutes later, rookie defenceman David Shields recorded his first OHL goal and point to hand the Otters a 2-0 lead. He fired a wrist shot from the blue-line that slipped through a crowd in front of the net and beat goaltender John Murray, who the Frontenacs acquired from Kitchener last weekend.
The Frontenacs sliced the Otters' lead in half on Bobby Mignardi's unassisted goal six seconds into a power play. His wraparound shot squeezed through rookie goaltender Shane Owen's left pad and the post.
Winger Sean Jones restored the Otters' two-goal lead at 3-1 with 8:52 left in the second. Jones has six goals and 13 points in 11 games with the Otters, and has failed to record a point in only one game since being acquired from Sault Ste. Marie last month in the Anthony Peluso trade.
Kingston winger Josh Brittain scored with 5:52 left in the second to send the Frontenacs into the final period trailing 3-2. Brown then tied the score with 2:29 left in regulation, but Palmieri followed with the game-winner.