The Erie Otters looked lost of any hope after the 2011 season, finishing last in the NHL with an abysmal 10-52-3-3 record. Enter Connor McDavid, and three years later the Otters are skyrocketing up the standings and into the playoffs. They finished this season 50-14-2-2 en route to the second seed in the Western Conference. They had the leading point scorer in Dylan Strome finishing the season with 129 points in 68 games. Alex DeBrincat also had an outstanding season breaking the rookie scoring record with 104 points in 68 games. They entered the playoffs primed to make a run in perhaps their last season ever in Erie.
The Otters played the Sarnia Sting in the first round, which was thought by many to be an easy sweep. The team got a rude wake up call in the first game, losing 3-2 at home. That game humbled the team who dominated the majority of the regular season and felt invincible. They went on to win their next 4 games, cruising into a second round appearance against the London Knights. The Knights looked like worthy opponents with skilled players like Max Domi and Mitchell Marner. The Otters, however, were just too much to handle. They swept through the obsolete Knights by a combined score of 21-8. This set up a meeting in the Western Conference Finals against the first place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds were a very formidable opponent with players like Nick Ritchie, Sergey Tolchinsky, and Edmonton Oilers first round draft pick Darnell Nurse. The Greyhounds grabbed the first game at home in a 5-2 win to take the early series league. The Otters then rattled off 3 straight wins to take a 3-1 series lead. They dropped game 5 but finished off the series at home to win the Western Conference and make their first appearance in the finals since 2002.
The Otters take on the Oshawa Generals in the finals, with aspirations to play in the Memorial Cup. They open up the series on Friday and Saturday in Oshawa, and return to Erie next Monday and Wednesday. Get out to support the team and watch some up and coming NHL stars.