Otters cross the lakes to find ice in Ancaster

The Erie Otters will make Ancaster their home – briefly.

The Ontario Hockey League entry based in Erie, Pa., will hold its 2012 training camp at Ancaster’s Morgan Firestone Arena, beginning Monday, Aug. 27. All on-ice training sessions at the arena will be open to the public. There should be considerable interest in seeing Connor McDavid, the first overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection by the Otters. The 15-year-old McDavid is only the third player to receive “exceptional status” entry into the OHL as he attends his first official OHL training camp.

Last year, centre Luke Cairns of Stoney Creek (13-20), defenceman Patrick Murphy from Hamilton (0-3 in just nine games), left winger Stephen Harper from Burlington (24-11), and centre Jake Evans from Thorold (12-11) suited up for the Otters and are expected back for this season. Unfortunately, the Otters failed to make the playoffs last season, finishing with a 10-52-3-3 record, last overall.

“Due to the renovation of Erie Insurance Arena we are fortunate to have the opportunity to hold this year’s Erie Otters Training Camp at the Morgan Firestone Arena,” team general manager Sherwood Bassin said.

“We are thrilled and excited to be presented with an opportunity to hold our camp in a world class facility. Their Olympic and NHL-sized rinks along with gorgeous outdoor facilities make Morgan Firestone Arena a great location to hold Training Camp.”

The Otters camp will culminate with an exhibition game against the defending Eastern Conference champion Niagara IceDogs on Friday, Aug. 31st at the Morgan Firestone Arena. Tickets for the 7 p.m. contest are $10.00 and a portion of the proceeds will support the Rotary Splash Pad Project.

Another game will also take place in the Hamilton-area to benefit the Skate the Dream program, which offers underprivileged children the opportunity to play ice hockey. The Otters will face off against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the North Wentworth Arena in Flamborough. Tickets are $12.00 or $10.00 with a donation to the Flamborough Food Bank.