Erie Otters
Erieotters.png
City: Erie, Pennsylvania
League: Ontario Hockey League
Conference: Western
Division: Midwest
Founded: 1996 (1996)–97
Home Arena: Louis J. Tullio Arena
Colours: Navy blue, red, yellow and gold
         

         

Head Coach: Kris Knoblauch
General Manager: Dave Brown
Affiliate(s): Huntsville-Muskoka Otters
Franchise history
1946–53: Windsor Spitfires
1953–60: Hamilton Tiger Cubs
1960–74: Hamilton Red Wings
1974–76: Hamilton Fincups
1976–77: St. Catharines Fincups
1977–78: Hamilton Fincups
1978–84: Brantford Alexanders
1984–88: Hamilton Steelhawks
1988–96: Niagara Falls Thunder
1996–present: Erie Otters

The Erie Otters are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, they have played their home games at the Louis J. Tullio Arena since 1996. The Otters are the only Pennsylvania-based team in the OHL and one of only three United States-based teams in the league.

History

The Niagara Falls Thunder relocated from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Erie in 1996, becoming the Erie Otters. The team takes its name from the otter, a water creature common to the south shore of Lake Erie.

The Otters' ownership partners are Ron Sertz, Jeff Fatica, and Ray Irwin. Sherwood Bassin is the general manager and a managing partner of the team. Walt Wingfield serves as head scout.

The first three years in Erie were building years for the Otters, with the team eliminated in the first round of the playoffs each year. In the fourth year, all the hard work paid off with their first Midwest Division championship.

It would be their first of three consecutive Midwest Division championships for the Otters, culminating in an OHL Championship in 2001–02. Dave MacQueen won the Matt Leyden Trophy in 2000–01 as the OHL Coach of the Year. Sherwood Bassin was awarded OHL Executive of the Year in 2001–02 for his role in building a championship team as general manager.

The Erie Otters celebrated their 10th anniversary in the 2005–06 season.

2001–02 OHL Champions

In the 2001–02 season, the Erie Otters became the second OHL team based in the United States to win the OHL Championship. The first were the 1995 champions Detroit Junior Red Wings (now the Plymouth Whalers).

After a disappointing conference finals loss to Plymouth the previous year, the Otters used their experience and work ethic to push themselves through the playoffs. Otters players had a puck holder hung on the wall of the dressing room with 16 slots to fill, equal to the number of wins needed for the title. Erie earned that 16th puck by defeating the Barrie Colts in game 5 of the 2002 finals.

The Otters bid to host the 2002 Memorial Cup, but the Guelph Storm were chosen instead. Erie earned a berth in the tournament as OHL Champions but ultimately finished in third place.

Two-time OHL MVP Brad Boyes led the Otters as captain. Team members for the 2002 championship were:

T. J. Aceti, Chris Berti, Brad Bonello, Brad Boyes, Chris Campoli, Carlo Colaiacovo, Noel Coultice, Sean Courtney, Brandon Cullen, Scott Dobben, Jeff Doyle, Chris Eade, David Herring, Alex Karaulchuk, Michal Kokavec, Brian Lee, Thomas Lee, Chris Martin, Mike McKeown, Adam Munro, Cory Pecker, Mike Rice, Dave MacQueen (coach), Sherwood Bassin (GM)

Championships

Coaches

Dave MacQueen won the Matt Leyden Trophy in 2000–01 as the OHL Coach of the Year.

Multiple years in parentheses

Players

A total of 21 players have been selected at the National Hockey League Entry Draft since the franchise relocated to Erie, including a five-year stretch from 1997–2001 in which seven members of the team were selected in the first round: (1997 Jason Ward, 11th, Montreal Canadiens; 1998 Michael Rupp, ninth, New York Islanders; 1999 Tim Connolly, fifth, New York Islanders; 2000 Nikita Alexeev, eighth, Tampa Bay Lightning; Brad Boyes, 24th, Toronto Maple Leafs; 2001 Carlo Colaiacovo, 17th, Toronto Maple Leafs; and Adam Munro, 29th, Chicago Blackhawks).

Award winners

NHL alumni

Retired numbers

Team records

Team records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 102 2000–01
Most wins 52 2013-14
Most goals for 331 2014-15
Least goals for 169 2011-12
Least goals against 170 2013-14
Most goals against 378 2006–07
Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Dane Fox 64 2013-14
Most assists Dylan Strome 84 2014-15
Most points Dylan Strome 129 2014-15
Most points, rookie Alex DeBrincat 104 2014-15
Most points, defenceman Chris Campoli 66 2003–04
Best GAA (goalie) Adam Munro 2.31 2000–01
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played


Season-by-season results

Regular season

Legend: OL - Overtime Loss, SL - Shootout Loss, PTS - Points, GF - Goals For, GA - Goals Against

Season Games Won Lost Tie OL SL PTS PCT GF GA Standing
1996–97 66 23 36 7 - - 53 0.402 240 260 5th Central
1997–98 66 33 28 5 - - 71 0.538 261 252 4th West
1998–99 68 31 33 4 - - 66 0.485 271 297 3rd Midwest
1999–00 68 33 28 4 3 - 73 0.515 224 229 1st Midwest
2000–01 68 45 11 10 2 - 102 0.735 264 171 1st Midwest
2001–02 68 41 22 4 1 - 87 0.632 246 218 1st Midwest
2002–03 68 24 35 6 3 - 57 0.397 181 248 5th Midwest
2003–04 68 29 26 6 7 - 71 0.471 221 212 5th Midwest
2004–05 68 31 26 6 5 - 73 0.500 186 207 4th Midwest
2005–06 68 26 35 - 4 3 59 0.434 219 266 5th Midwest
2006–07 68 15 50 - 1 2 33 0.243 209 378 5th Midwest
2007–08 68 18 46 - 2 2 40 0.294 206 343 5th Midwest
2008–09 68 34 29 - 3 2 73 0.537 208 254 3rd Midwest
2009–10 68 33 28 - 5 2 73 0.537 257 259 4th Midwest
2010–11 68 40 26 - 1 1 82 0.603 281 229 3rd Midwest
2011–12 68 10 52 - 3 3 26 0.191 169 338 5th Midwest
2012–13 68 19 40 - 4 5 47 0.346 206 312 5th Midwest
2013–14 68 52 14 - 2 0 106 0.779 312 170 2nd Midwest
2014–15 68 50 14 - 2 2 104 0.765 331 212 1st Midwest
2015–16 68 52 15 - 1 0 105 0.772 269 183 1st Midwest
2016-17 68 50 15 - 2 1 103 0.757 319 182 1st Midwest
1st overall
2017-18 68 23 35 - 7 3 56 0.412 220 270 5th Midwest
2018-19 68 26 38 - 3 1 56 0.412 200 300 5th Midwest

Playoffs

  • 1996–97 Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in division quarter-finals.
  • 1997–98 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 3 in division quarter-finals.
  • 1998–99 Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 1999–00 Defeated Brampton Battalion 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to S.S. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 3 in conference semi-finals.
  • 2000–01 Defeated London Knights 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Brampton Battalion 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
    Lost to Plymouth Whalers 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
  • 2001–02 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated London Knights 4 games to 2 in conference semi-finals.
    Defeated Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
    Defeated Barrie Colts 4 games to 1 in finals. OHL CHAMPIONS
    Lost to Victoriaville Tigres 5-4 (OT) in the Memorial Cup semi-finals.
  • 2002–03 Out of playoffs.
  • 2003–04 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
  • 2004–05 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2005–06 Out of playoffs.
  • 2006–07 Out of playoffs.
  • 2007–08 Out of playoffs.
  • 2008–09 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2009–10 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2010–11 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 3 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2011–12 Out of playoffs.
  • 2012–13 Out of playoffs.
  • 2013-14 Defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
    Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
  • 2014-15 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
    Defeated Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 2 in conference finals.
    Lost to Oshawa Generals 4 games to 1 in finals.
  • 2015-16 Defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
    Lost to London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference finals.
  • 2016-17 Defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to none in conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated London Knights 4 games to 3 in conference semi-finals.
    Defeated Owen Sound Attack 4 games to 2 in conference final.
    Defeated Mississauga Steelheads 4 games to 1 in final OHL Champions
  • 2017 Memorial Cup Defeated Seattle Thunderbirds 4-2;
    defeated Saint John Sea Dogs 12-5;
    lost to Windsor Spitfires 4-2 in round robin.
    Defeated Saint John Sea Dogs 6-3 in semifinal
    Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4-3 in Memorial Cup Championship game
  • 2017-18 Out of playoffs.
  • 2018-19 Out of playoffs.

Uniforms and logos

The team mascot is an anthropomorphic otter named Shooter, who wears a home jersey. The Otters home uniforms have a navy blue background; the road uniforms have a white background. Both have red, yellow and gold trim. The logo is an angry otter with a hockey stick. The team changes their color after the annual christmas break in the league. It is a league wide tradition teams go from wearing their home whites to their home colors.

For the 2005–06 season (the team's 10th/Diamond Anniversary), the Otters unveiled a third jersey as part of the "Make Other Teams Bleed" campaign. The jersey has a red background with navy blue, white and gold trim. The third logo has "Erie" in big letters across the chest with "Otters" written beneath it.

Arena

The Erie Otters play home games at the Louis J. Tullio Arena located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. The arena was built in 1983 and seats 5,500 spectators. The Tullio arena is one of the loudest in the league and works well for home ice advantage. The arena is part of the Erie Civic Center Complex, which includes Jerry Uht Park—a baseball stadium and home to the AA Erie SeaWolves.

External links

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