ERIE, Pa. - The Erie Otters earned their first win without injured superstar Connor McDavid as they defeated the Plymouth Whalers 4-3 in a shootout in Ontario Hockey League action Wednesday afternoon.
Erie winger Nick Betz had the lone shootout goal, as well as two assists in regulation, as the Otters improved to 17-3-1 and opened a five-point lead over second place Sault Ste. Marie in the Western Conference standings.
Dylan Strome scored twice and Darren Raddysh also had a goal for the Otters, who had lost two straight games after McDavid broke a bone in his hand when he hit the top of boards during a fight with Mississauga's Bryson Cianfrone in a game last week.
The Otters said that McDavid would be sidelined five to six weeks, putting the projected No. 1 NHL draft pick's participation in the upcoming world junior hockey championship in doubt.
Will Bitten scored twice for Plymouth (8-11-2), while Connor Sills had the other Whalers goal.
Daniel Dekoning made 20 saves in regulation and overtime for Erie, while Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 36 shots for Plymouth.
Generals 7 Steelheads 2
At Mississauga, Ont., Michael Dal Colle had two goals and three assists as Oshawa hammered the Steelheads.
Anthony Cirelli and Cole Cassels each had a goal and two assists for Oshawa (17-2-1), which kept pace with Erie for the most points in the OHL. Josh Sterk, Stephen Desrocher and Aidan Wallace also scored for the Eastern Conference-leading Generals.
Jared Walsh and Josh Burndise scored for Mississauga (8-10-1).
Jeremy Brodeur made 30 saves for Oshawa. Spencer Martin and Cameron Zanussi combined for 37 saves for Mississauga.