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ERIE, Pa. – Connor McDavid scored two goals and Luke Cairns and Stephen Harper each had one goal and one assist to send the Erie Otters to a 5-1 victory over the Brampton Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action Friday night.
Johnny McGuire also scored for the Otters in their home opener, delayed by renovations to their arena.
First-year goaltender Oscar Dansk made 34 saves as Erie improved its won-lost-extended record to 2-3-1 before a crowd of 3,474.
Blake Clarke scored for the Battalion, and rookie goaltender Jake Smith made his first start for the Troops, also 2-3-1.
"We had some major breakdowns that ended up in the back of our net," said Battalion coach Stan Butler. "We weren't a very good team tonight.
"It's a tough one for Smith. When you give up five goals on 22 shots, it's pretty self-explanatory about how he feels about his game."
Cairns scored shorthanded at 10 seconds of the third period to give Erie a 3-0 lead before Clarke responded with his second goal of the season at 7:30, rifling a shot from the slot on a pass from fellow rookie Mike Amadio, who worked the puck off the left-wing boards.
That was as close as the Troops would get, as Harper shoveled home a shot from the left lip of the crease at 15:09 and McDavid added his third goal at 17:12.
Harper and Derek Froats fought at 19:29, Froats taking exception to being run.
Erie, which led 1-0 after the first period despite having been outshot 13-5, saw its lead doubled when McDavid connected at 6:06 of the second frame. McDavid steered home a pass from the left-wing boards from Connor Brown, barreling into the net after the puck.
The Battalion enjoyed its best scoring chance of the period in the ninth minute just after a power play ended as Mitch Amante fired high and wide from the left side on a setup from Nicholas Foglia, who dashed down the right wing.
McGuire opened the scoring at 8:48 of the first period, converting a pass from behind the goal line from Cairns from deep in the left circle.
Smith made a smart left-pad save against penalty killer Connor Crisp on a two-on-one rush with Jake Evans serving a goaltender interference call assessed at 1:47.
The Otters went to the power play at 5:45 when Jamie Lewis received a tripping penalty but barely managed to get the puck into the offensive zone, spending most of their time chasing down Battalion dump-ins.
Smith produced another solid save near the 12-minute mark, foiling Brown on a short-range shot.
The Battalion, which dressed 19 players, one below the limit, scratched Marcus McIvor, Connor Jarvis and Matt MacLeod. Erie scratches were Liam Maaskant, Justin Felker, Anthony Cortellessa, Mitchell Eisenberg and Dane Fox.
The Battalion hosts the Mississauga Steelheads at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Monday.
BATTALION NOTEBOOK: The Battalion went 0-for-4 on the power play. Erie was 0-for-3 … With extensive renovations to their home building continuing, the Otters played their first five games on the road. What once was the Tullio Arena now is the Erie Insurance Arena. Large expanses of the facility are masked by plastic sheets, and areas of the underside of the stands are visible from the outside … Part owner and general manager Sherwood Bassin provided Butler and Battalion owner Scott Abbott with separate tours of what will become the Otters’ dressing room, workout area, lounge, coaches’ offices and trainer’s room, none of which is yet in use … The Otters raised a banner and conducted a memorial for Anna Ftorek, daughter of coach Robbie Ftorek, who passed away unexpectedly July 21 at age 23. The club has dedicated the season to her memory … Defenceman Spencer Abraham faced his former mates in his first game after joining Erie in a trade Wednesday with the Battalion. The Troops received a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection … Centre McDavid is playing at 15 years old after receiving exceptional player status from Hockey Canada … Opening Battalion line combinations included Patrik Machac centring left winger Brandon Robinson and right winger Mathew Santos, Lewis centring left winger Clarke and right winger Barclay Goodrow and Foglia pivoting left winger Nick Paul and right winger Amante. Brennan Feasey centred left winger Froats and right winger Amadio … McIvor again sat out with a sore back, while MacLeod missed a third straight game with a high-ankle sprain. Jarvis has yet to play this season after suffering a broken collarbone in exhibition action.