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The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League greet the second half of the 2006-2007 season on the road with a three-game trip starting tomorrow (Friday) night in Ottawa against the 67's.

The Otters (8-25-0-2) will continue their eastern Ontario swing with stops in Belleville against the Bulls on Saturday night and in Kingston when they face the Frontenacs on Monday afternoon. All three games can be heard live on 1330 Erie's ESPN Radio and on line at Welcome | Erie Otters (presented by the James H. Cross Company). Friday's game gets underway with the pre-game show at 7:15 p.m.

The Otters enter the second half of the season in the midst of a three-game losing streak but looking forward to the potential return of two veteran players to the line-up. Nick Palmieri and Sean O'Connor received clearance to participant in full contact workouts following the holiday break setting the stage for a possible return of both forwards as soon as Friday. Despite missing the last six games due to injury, Palmieri remains second in team scoring with 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 29 games. O'Connor has been out of action since late October, missing a total of 20 games due to injury. The 19 year-old registered six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in the first 15 games of the season.

The Otters will be missing rookie forward Stanislav Polodna, who remained in Europe following the holiday break to play for the Czech Republic at the 2006 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament being held in Switzerland. Polodna, who has 15 points in 33 games, is expected to rejoin the Otters in time for their game January 5th at Mississauga.

Ottawa enters the second half of the season as the hottest team in the OHL as they reeled off five straight wins prior to the break to improve to 15-15-0-2. Jamie McGinn leads the 67's in scoring with 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points in 32 games. The third-year forward is in the midst of a 12-game point-scoring streak in which he has collected eight goals and 15 assists.

The Bulls also entered the break on a high note and in the midst of a three-game winning streak to up their East Division-leading record to 19-13-0-2. Overage forward Tyler Donati leads the team in scoring (and tied for third in the OHL) with 30 goals and 32 assists for 62 points in 34 games.

Kingston enters the second half of the season in the midst of a five-game winless streak (0-4-1-0) and with only one win in their last 10 games (1-7-2-0) to drop to last in the East Division with a 13-17-4-1 mark. Cory Emmerton leads the team in scoring with 24 goals and 34 assists for 58 points in 35 games.

The next Otters home game takes place Saturday, January 6th when the Sarnia Sting visit the Tullio Arena in a 7:30 p.m. start presented by Cellular-One. It's also JetRadio 1400 Coats for Kids Night. Donate a reusable coat and receive a pair of tickets to the Otters game on January 24th. Limit one pair of tickets per person. Tickets for the game are available at all Erie-area TicketMaster locations as well as the Erie Civic Center Box Office.
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