Otters trail Attack 2-1 going into Game 4 at Owen Sound
Western Conference finals, Game 4
No. 1 Erie (9-5-0) at No. 3 Owen Sound (10-4-0)
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre — Owen Sound, Ontario
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
What to watch: Otters coach Kris Knoblauch has a big decision to make regarding his starting goaltender. Joseph Murdaca, a backup to Troy Timpano since joining the club in December, stopped 60-of-65 shots in Erie’s split of the first two games of the series, compared to Timpano’s five goals against on 27 shots in the Game 3 loss Monday. Murdaca (3-0-1 record, 1.64 goals-against average, .938 save percentage in five games) has far better postseason statistics than Timpano (6-3-1, 3.00, .884 in 12 games).
• The Otters have scored the opening goal in all three games of the series but failed to add on their lead — and hold the lead — in losses in Games 2 and 3. Owen Sound outscored the Otters 7-3 from the second period on in the past two games.
• The Otters are 0-for-7 on the power play in the series, and 0-for-15 since C Anthony Cirelli’s goal with the man advantage in the first period of Game 4 against London in the conference semifinals. Erie and Owen Sound are a combined 1-for-17 in this series, with the lone goal coming from the Attack into an empty net with 18 seconds left Monday.
• Attack goaltender Michael McNiven (10-4-0, 2.36, .919), a finalist along with Otters LW Alex DeBrincat for the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s Most Outstanding Player, has rebounded well since exiting early in Game 1 on Friday after allowing five goals on 11 shots. He has stopped 65-of-71 shots in the past two games. He also bounced back from being shaken up in Monday’s win.
Up next: Game 5 vs. Owen Sound (Friday, 7 p.m.)
No. 1 Erie vs. No. 3 Owen Sound
Attack lead series 2-1
Game 1 — Erie 6, Owen Sound 1
Game 2 — Owen Sound 4, Erie 3 (OT)
Game 3 — Owen Sound 6, Erie 3
Game 4 — Wednesday at Owen Sound, 7 p.m.
Game 5 — Friday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 6 — Sunday at Owen Sound, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 — Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary