The Mississauga Steelheads returned to action on Friday night, playing host to the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League’s battle of Ontario.
Going into the game, the Steelheads were given a little bit of an easier vantage point to shoot from with goaltender Michael DiPietro currently up with the Vancouver Canucks.
Going up against the first place 67’s was 18-year-old goaltender Jacob Ingham, giving Joe Ranger the night off after Thursday night’s game against the Niagara IceDogs.
The game got underway just a little after 7:00pmET with the Steelheads starting off strong, working the Ottawa 67’s early, Keean Washkurak bringing the heat, looking to get something going for the Steelheads early on.
After the game’s first stoppage of play, the puck would drop from the right side dot in the Steelheads zone, Alan Lyszczarczyk and Cole Carter pacing up the ice and into the 67’s zone. As they did so, the game would get it’s first whistle before C.J. Clarke and his Mississauga squad would find themselves driving up once again.
The 67’s, now looking to get something going in their own end, would find themselves taking another face-off from the Steelheads right side dot, working around Thomas Harley and Keean Washkurak before losing control of the puck off a deflection.
The puck, staying in the Mississauga zone, would find its way to Nick McHugh, a recent acquisition from the Peterborough Petes, looking to work his way around the Ottawa squad but unable to find a hole to pass through.
After a short stoppage of play just five minutes into the game, Richard Whittaker would take the draw from the 67’s right side dot, but would quickly lose it to Kody Clark, finding himself possession to get something going.
This would be before Merrick Rippon would take the team’s first shot which would be saved by Ingham, once again stopping play. The Steelheads would then be called on their first power play of the night, Thomas Harley now going up but saved and stopped by Cedrick Andree.
Aidan Prueter, now taking the face-off from Ottawa’s left side dot, would lose the puck which would find its way into the Steelheads zone, Ottawa looking to stop them in their tracks, though unable to do so thanks to Cole Carter.
Alan Lyszczarczyk and Liam Ham would then find themselves working together behind Ottawa’s net, before the puck deflected off the boards and around the ice to the Mississauga zone. Thomas Harley would then take a shot, going wide of the net and hitting the boards.
Tye Felhaber would then take the puck behind the Steelheads net, working against James Hardie and an aggressive Mississauga team, but unable to get around or get the puck through.
Hardie would then gain possession at the centre ice point at the nine minute mark, losing it but coming back a moment later before tipping it forward to Alan Lyszczarczyk.
Liam Ham would then gain possession before passing the puck up the ice, sending it to Lyszczarczyk who was looking to net the Steelheads’ first goal of the night. He wasn’t done there as he would take another shot, but saved by Andree.
Washkurak and C.J. Clarke would then find themselves aggressive in the 67’s end, looking to wrap around the Ottawa net but unable to do so before a stoppage of play was called with just over seven minutes left to play in the game’s opening frame.
The Steelheads, looking to stop the 67’s from playing their creative game offensively, would continue to take shots on Andree, trying to get around the Ottawa defence. This would then lead to the 67’s first power play of the game, sending C.J. Clarke to the penalty box, called for tripping against Ottawa.
With a few quick chances on Ingham, the 67’s wouldn’t get anything going right off the draw, but they wouldn’t give up, pushing to retrieve the puck which would find itself up against the boards nearby the Steelheads net.
Merrick Rippon would then weave his away around to the left side of the Steelheads net, perfectly positioning himself to make the pass to Lucas Chiodo who would tip it in past Ingham to open the scoring.
The Steelheads, now looking to tie the game with five minutes left, would get back up towards the Ottawa zone, Thomas Harley taking another shot but saved by Andree, once again stopping play.
Ottawa would then position themselves passing along from the right side dot to the Mississauga zone, but losing possession of the puck which would be quickly turned around by the Steelheads offence.
Liam Ham would then look to take matters into his own hands, however, after losing the puck, would pace back to his team’s respective zone, and while looking to get a shot on net, Kody Clark would hit Jacob Ingham in Mississauga’s net, causing a quick scrum up against the boards which also resulted in a Steelheads penalty.
This would give Ottawa their second power play of the game with just over three minutes left to play in the game’s first period, Marco Rossi and Noel Hoefenmayer working out front of Ingham, looking to double their lead on the Mississauga Steelheads.
Duncan Penman, finding himself working hard defensively against Ottawa, would then interfere with the 67’s who were still pushing against Mississauga before nearly giving up an empty net goal with just one minute left to play.
After a couple chances from C.J. Clarke out front of the 67’s net, the puck would then be turned around and into the Steelheads zone, another shot fired on Jacob Ingham who would make the save to bring the game’s opening frame to its conclusion after the first twenty minutes of play.
With the second period now underway, the Steelheads would drive into the 67’s zone but with the puck just out of reach in front of the net, the game would be called to a quick stoppage of play.
Mississauga, looking to add their first goal of the night to the scoreboard, would find Aidan Prueter out front of the net working with Alan Lyszczarczyk and Thomas Harley, but the puck would then be turned around into the Steelheads zone, where Hoefenmayer would gain possession but quickly lose it.
Nick McHugh would then find the puck against the boards and send it to Liam Ham who would lose it to Marco Rossi, though unable to do anything with it for the Ottawa 67’s.
Washkurak, pushing hard two minutes in, would look to get something going from around the centre ice mark, resulting in another quick stoppage of play three minutes in.
From the centre ice dot, the Steelheads would find themselves working hard, Cole Schwindt would look to turn the puck around for Mississauga, though called for an offside after the 67’s turned it around.
Thomas Harley would then grab the puck from the Ottawa left side dot, swatting the puck down to C.J. Clarke who couldn’t find a hole to pass it through and back down to Liam Ham.
Aidan Prueter would then retrieve the puck from Liam Ham, passing it down to Cole Carter who would pass it off to Alan Lyszczarczyk to tie the game up at one in the second period.
After the 67’s managed to get the puck back in their own possession, Washkurak would stop them in their tracks before taking down Kody Clark, causing the play to come to a halt.
Now facing off from the Steelheads left side dot, Marco Rossi would quickly find a hole to Jacob Ingham who would make the save before both sides made a quick bench swap which would then bring the game to two minutes of 4-on-4 even strength play.
Nick Isaacson would then find himself working around Ottawa with Thomas Harley, able to slow them down before being called for offside, bringing the play to the 67’s right side dot.
The Steelheads, now driving around the Ottawa zone, wouldn’t be able to get anything going before the 67’s turned it around, looking to do more damage on Ingham and Mississauga before Duncan Penman stepped in to interfere and snag the puck.
After taking another quick shot off the dot to Jacob Ingham, Cole Carter would retrieve the puck and send it the other way down to Thomas Harley, though Ottawa wouldn’t allow it, turning the puck around with another shot on Ingham.
Marco Rossi, now in a puck race with C.J. Clarke, would lose the puck briefly before gaining back possession, taking a shot on Ingham that would miss and go wide and hit the boards.
This would then give Steelheads another pace of their own against Ottawa, taking a shot on Andree while still looking to tie the game at one with just over ten minutes left in the second period.
After another brief stoppage of play, the puck would be dropped from the 67’s left side dot as Ottawa emerged to the Steelheads zone, around the net to get something going around Ingham, but this would then send the puck to Mississauga where Nick Isaacson would find the puck on his stick before losing it.
Cole Carter and Alan Lyszczarczyk would then position themselves around centre ice but in the midst, slipping around the 67’s before losing possession en route to the net and Cedrick Andree.
The play would then resume in the Ottawa zone behind the net, C.J. Clarke working hard up against the boards before sending it up to Aidan Prueter. After a brief interference, the 67’s would take a shot on Ingham, but it would go wide and deflect against the boards.
Ottawa would then pace up with a creative formation going defensively, though Mississauga wouldn’t allow for it to last, turning it around before they came back while looking for more.
From the centre ice dot now, the 67’s would find themselves in the Steelheads zone, a light tap sent just short of Ingham before Chmelevski grabbed it back and hit the crossbar. This would then bring the play to a brief stop for both teams to do another quick bench swap.
With just over five minutes left now, Cole Carter would work for the puck, sending it up Alan Lyszczarczyk who would turn round and take a shot on Andree, though he wouldn’t be done there with another quick two shots looking to tie the game.
From the 67’s left side dot now, Aidan Preuter would take the face-off surrounded by Nick McHugh and Thomas Harley who would take a quick shot on Andree who would make the save before stopping the play.
Cole Carter would then find himself with the puck behind Ingham and the Steelheads net, passing it down to Liam Ham who would send it to Alan Lyszczarczyk looking to net Mississauga’s first goal of the night.
Lyszczarczyk would once again take a once timer off a pass from Cole Carter who would centre it before passing it back with Lyszczarczyk out front of the net and looking for revenge.
From Ottawa’s right side dot, Prueter once again would take the face-off, though losing as Ottawa would drive to the Mississauga zone, slinging the puck down towards Jacob Ingham who would make the save amongst a scrum in front of him.
Thomas Harley, now looking to do something of his own, would head towards the 67’s zone before being interfered with by the 67’s as Chmelevski then found the puck on his stick, driving up the zone and taking a shot just wide of Ingham.
With the puck now turned around back into Ottawa’s zone, Lyszczarczyk would take another shot on Cedrick Andree still looking to the the game, missing just wide where Marco Rossi would find it, heading up the ice with another shot of his own.
Now with just under a minute left to play in the second period, the play would once again be turned to four-on-four even strength with both teams taking one more chance on either end before drawing towards the conclusion of the game’s middle frame after forty minutes of play.
With the third and final period now underway in Mississauga, the Steelheads would start off strong with a quick shot from Alan Lyszczarczyk on Ottawa goaltender Cedrick Andree, but he would miss and go wide of the net, hitting the boards which then deflected the puck down the ice.
After a brief run of their own in the Steelheads zone, the game would called for a quick stoppage of play. This would then bring Aidan Prueter to centre ice for another puck drop backed by C.J. Clarke who would bring it up the ice to Cole Carter who would take a shot but hit Andree’s pad.
This would allow both sides to do a quick bench swap before taking the puck from centre ice once again but quickly iced and brought to another brief stoppage of play.
With the game resumed again and the Steelheads looking to tie the game, Nick McHugh would drive the puck out of the Steelheads zone and to Thomas Harley who would send the puck out front of the net to Aidan Prueter who would miss, deflecting the boards and turning the puck around the 67’s zone to head down towards Ingham.
After taking a couple shots with Ottawa looking to double their lead, Cole Schwindt would take the face-off in Ottawa’s zone from the left side dot, losing possession briefly before retrieving the puck from Cole Carter up against the boards.
Alan Lyszczarczyk would then snag the puck from behind the 67’s net, sending it down to Liam Ham which would allow him to re-position before getting it back. This would prove to be no good as Lyszczarczyk would then shoot and go wide of the net.
With a penalty now in play, the steelheads would become more aggressive with Lyszczarczyk getting hit up against the boards while in possession, sending it down to Ian Washkurak who would take a shot that would be stopped by Andree.
With the first five minutes now having come and gone, Thomas Harley would head up the ice and send the puck to Liam Ham who would waste no time, breaking open the scoring, giving Mississauga their first goal of the game. This would kill a power play taken on by Ottawa just minutes before.
The 67’s would then come back faster as well as stronger looking to once again take the lead, but with Jacob Ingham now heating up, he would keep the puck out in front of an offensively ready Ottawa scrum.
The Steelheads, looking to get their first lead of the game, would take another shot on Andree but were ultimately not able to come through with a goal in the end of that play.
Thomas Harley would then come through with a great solo effort of his own, looking to get the puck moving while also trying to create some additional offence as well.
With just over ten minutes left to go in the game, a fight would break out between Nick Isaacson and Hudson Wilson near the centre ice point, both of whom were not knocked out and as a result, pulled away by the referees and linesmen. At this point, both teams were getting more physical and with the tie in place, the game was getting a lot more intense as both teams were trying to avoid taking the game into overtime.
With just under eight minutes to go in this crucial point in the game, the Mississauga Steelheads would have a penalty called and would be with four men on the ice. The 67’s were strong on the power play with great opportunities all over the ice, while the Steelheads were aggressive and successful killing off the penalty.
In the dying second of the Steelheads penalty, Lyszczarczyk had a great breakaway chance and looked about ready to give the Steelheads the lead on a short-handed effort, but ultimately fell short as the Ottawa defence intercepted the play.
With just under two minutes left to play, both teams would be found creating opportunities and playing physical games. Regardless, the game was fairly even and the Steelheads would take the 67’s into overtime.
A low scoring 1-1 game was not expected to be the result in regulation for this matchup. The Steelheads were able to hold the 67’s highly skilled offence at bay and bring the game to overtime to earn a crucial point.
To open overtime, Tye Felhaber had a dangerous scoring chance followed by a 2-on-1 opportunity for the Steelheads who failed to convert on the play that very well could have put them ahead. Ottawa would then have another strong scoring chance just seconds later, but the puck was flipped up into the air, over the glass and into the stands. Kevin Bahl then had a breakaway but failed to convert on the opportunity.
Ingham would then make an astonishing save to stop the game from ending with just over two minutes left in the extra frame which earned him a thunderous ovation from the home crowd at The Paramount Fine Foods Centre.
With a 3-on-1 opportunity, the crowd thought that the Steelheads had won the game with just fifty seconds left, however, Cole Carter hit the crossbar and then the rebound attempt was stopped.
The game was not able to be decided in overtime and would go to a shootout which was decided in three rounds. Cole Carter would net the eventual game winner, giving Mississauga the 2-1 victory over the first place Ottawa 67’s.
The Steelheads return to action on Sunday afternoon against the Windsor Spitfires as they look to sweep the weekend on home ice at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. The game can be seen on OHL Live, meanwhile, it can be heard on Sauga 960 AM.