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Otters ride four first-period goals to beat the Guelph Storm 4-2

NHL.com @NHL

ERIE, Pa. - The once-struggling Erie Otters offence scored four first-period goals against the No. 2-ranked defence of the Guelph Storm on their way to a 4-2 victory on Friday night in the Ontario Hockey League.

The Otters (15-17-2-0) snapped a four-game losing streak, during which they scored only five goals on 149 shots. They entered the game in the bottom five of the OHL with 96 goals in 33 games (2.9 per game).

But Erie needed only 46 seconds to open the scoring against Guelph, as Shawn Szydlowski unassisted goal built a 1-0 lead. Justin Hodgman scored midway through the first to extend the lead to two.

The Storm (18-13-2-2), which had three shutout wins in their previous five outings, rallied to tie the score on goals from Luke Pither and Denis Hollenstein, but the Otters' regained the lead as Luke Gazdic and Andrew Yogan scored 49 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the period. The teams combined for six goals on 23 shots in the first period.

Erie scored all four goals against Jake Fischer, the Storm's backup goaltender. Starter Thomas McCollum is in Lake Placid, N.Y., with Team USA preparing for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championships. Fischer stopped 25 shots, while Francis Dupuis stopped two.

Shane Owen, who replaced World Jr. hopeful Jaroslav Janus (Slovakia) in net for the Otters, made 29 saves to earn his first win since Feb. 16 against Peterborough a span of 14 appearances and his fifth victory in 32 career games.

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