Erie Otters Hockey 2016-2017: A Look Back | Sports Photographer in Erie, PA

As a photographer in Erie, Pa, you learn really quickly that you have a shorter than most “busy season.” This means, I have maybe a little more time on my hands to hone my craft. Fortunately, for the past four off seasons I’ve been able to sharpen my skills as the Erie Otters Hockey Club team photographer.

The Robertson Cup

This season was really special for me in a lot of ways. Not only was it my first season as the 100% lead photographer, but, it also was the first time in 15 years that we won the Robertson Cup.

Erie Otters Hockey Club with Robertson Cup

As the lead photographer for Erie Otters, it also means providing the players with their images for their social media feeds. This is really cool because it gave me a chance to interact with them off the ice and get to know them as people, not as hockey players. For example, Taylor Raddysh making faces at me all through the cup team photo.

Taylor Raddysh of Erie Otter Hockey Club making a silly face in team photo

It also got me a chance to hoist the Robertson Cup on that special night.

Matt Mead hoisting the Robertson Cup after Erie Otters victory

Photo credit: Paul Gibbens at Gibbens Creative

The Memorial Cup

The Robertson Cup is the trophy given to the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) champion. As the OHL champion, that gives the winner an automatic berth into the Memorial Cup tournament. The tournament is a round robin style format pitting the host team against the champions of the OHL, Quebec Major Junior and Western Hockey Leagues to crown a champion of the CHL (Canadian Hockey League). As the photographer for the Erie Otters, I had to try to get up to Windsor and photograph at least one game. I was able to get up there for our opening round game against Seattle, the WHL champion.

Sign at Memorial Cup tournament in Windsor, Ontario

Since this tournament games creep into our photography busy season here in Erie, Pa, I was booked for the the rest of the tournament. Unfortunately, the ride had to end with a 4-3 loss to Windsor in the Memorial Cup final. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this past season. Let’s take a look back at the season and what got us to the Memorial Cup tournament as OHL Champions.

Notable Erie Otters Hockey Club Players

There was the off season trade that brought our starting goalie, Troy Timpano.

Troy Timpano, Erie Otters goalie

Speaking of trades, let’s not forget the ones that netted:

Cam Lizzotte

Cam Lizotte of Erie Otters Hockey Club

Warren Foegele

Warren Foegele of Erie Otters Hockey Club

Anthony Cirelli

Anthony Cirelli of Erie Otters Hockey Club

Joseph Murdaca:

Joseph Murdace of Erie Otters Hockey Club

 

Alex Debrincat scored a ridiculous 65 Goals winning the Red Tilson trophy and CHL player of the year.

Alex Debrincat of Erie Otters with Red Tilson trophy

A side note to that trophy: I’m not sure which one of you guys yelled, and I quote, “ I’M LOOKING AT MATT MEAD!” during the Team photo, but it made me laugh. I think my money’s on Taylor Raddysh.

Erie Otters Hockey Club with Tilson trophy

Darren Raddysh won the Overager of the Year AND Defenseman of the Year.

Darren Raddysh of Erie Otters Hockey Club

Dylan Strome returned from the NHL to captain the Team and take home the Memorial Cup MVP.

Dylan Strome, Captain of Erie Otters hockey team

Joseph Murdaca, a.k.a. The Mayor, came in to backstop a comeback win in the series over our rival, the London Knights.

Joseph Murdaca celebrating a stopped goal against London Knights

Speaking of comebacks, Warren Foegele winning the London series in OT. A side note, this image went viral in about 30 minutes after it was posted on the OHL’s website.

Warren Foegele of Erie Otters scoring game winning goal against the London Knights

Then, Anthony Cirelli, won the Robertson Cup in OT vs. Mississauga. I can’t say much about this photo, but I will share the one word that kept coming up in various social media circles where it went viral. That word is…ICONIC.

Dylan Strome and Anthony Cirelli celebrating game winning goal for Erie Otters winning the Robertson Cup

So now you can see why the loss to Windsor stung so badly and why we didn’t want this season to end. This offseason crept into my busy season and I’m glad it did. Good luck lads, I’ll see you in the fall. And to the boys going to the bigs, Good luck!!!!

Hungry for more hockey action? Head over to the sports gallery on my website.

 

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