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Second-period outburst propels Niagara to 6-4 victory over struggling Erie

NHL.com @NHL

ERIE, Pa. - The Niagara IceDogs scored three unanswered goals in a decisive 7??-minute span of the second period to beat Erie 6-4 Friday night, handing the Otters their fourth straight Ontario Hockey League loss.

The injury-riddled Otters (4-20-2-1) lost for the 20th time in the past 21 games.

The Otters reached the four-goal mark for the fourth time in five games. But each time the Otters scored a key goal, the IceDogs (15-12-0-1) quickly matched it on their way to a third consecutive win.

Stefan Legein tied the score 1-1 early in the first period, 24 seconds after the Otters' Zack Torquato opened the scoring with a power-play goal. Justin Hodgman's 11th goal of the season handed the Otters a 3-2 lead on the power play 1:16 into the second period, but Andrew Merrett's tying goal less than two minutes later sparked the IceDogs' decisive three-goal outburst for a 5-3 lead.

Ryan O'Reilly pulled the Otters within 5-4 in the second, but the Otters couldn't complete the comeback.

Sean Jones joined Hodgman, Torquato and O'Reilly in recording a goal and an assist apiece for the Otters.

Luca Caputi, Michael Swift and Chris DeSousa each had a goal and an assist for the IceDogs.

DeSousa's empty-net goal sealed the win with 1:02 left.

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