Steelheads Wagon Barrels Through Oshawa
Oshawa, ON - The Mississauga Steelheads continued their road trip as they travelled to take on the Oshawa Generals on Friday night. It was a new look Generals club for the Steelheads, as they welcomed the addition of Philip Tomasino at the OHL Trade Deadline, registering 10 points (6G, 4A) in his first 3 games on his new team. Mississauga would have a boost to their own lineup, as Cole Schwindt made his return to the lineup after being out with a lower-body injury.
Schwindt wasted no time getting on the scoresheet in his first game back in the lineup since January 3rd. Nic Canade threw a heavy hit on Willem Ennis, forcing a turnover to Liam Ham at the blueline. Ham quickly found Schwindt down low, who made a cross-crease pass to James Hardie to put the Steelheads up by a goal. With traffic in front of the net, Chas Sharpe put a seeing-eye wrist shot on goal that found its way past Jordan Kooy, as Mississauga quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Ty Collins would grab the puck from the back of the net, as the goal represented the first of Sharpe's OHL Career. The Generals would not give up easily, as Brett Neumann picked up a bouncing puck in front of the net that fooled everyone on the ice, beating Kai Edmonds with the shot to cut the Steelheads lead to one goal. Mississauga would head to the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, while the shots on goal were tied at 11.
Following the first period, rookie defenceman Chas Sharpe spoke about the excitement of scoring his first OHL goal "It feels great, I just gotta thank my teammates. The puck found a lane and it went in, so I was pretty happy about that. I was just trying to get it through and hopefully get a stick on it for the deflection, but I can't complain."
Edmonds was sharp early in the second, making multiple key saves on Generals scoring opportunities, as they continued to put on the pressure to try and find the equalizer. Midway through the period, Ham's stick would get caught in the skates of Philip Tomasino, and the Steelheads would head to the penalty box. In the dying seconds of the penalty kill, Giovanni Vallati faked a slapshot, instead sending a cross-crease pass to Neumann who scored his second of the game, as the score was all of a sudden tied up at two. Mississauga had a great opportunity to regain the lead, as Hardie made a drop pass to Schwindt while entering the zone. Schwindt hesitated to open up space, but Kooy flashed the leather to keep the game tied. The Steelheads and Generals headed into the second intermission in a deadlock, as the intensity continued to mount in the game.
Oshawa nearly broke the tie at the start of the third, as Brett Harrison made a nice saucer pass to Kyle Maclean on a 2-on-1, but the one-timer just missed the side of the net. The Steelheads answered back with a chance of their own, as Ty Collins picked up the puck off a blocked shot from Calvin Martin, depositing it into the back of the net to give Mississauga the lead. Both teams traded 3-on-1's with the goaltenders standing tall, as the fast pace continued in the third period. With three minutes to go, the Generals nearly sent Tomasino on a breakaway on a set play off a face-off, but the pass was just out of reach. The Steelheads played tight defence for the rest of the third, allowing the Generals with very few opportunities to climb their way back into the game. Hardie sealed the victory for the Fish, as he scored on an empty net for his second of the game, as the Steelheads would take this one by a final score of 4-2.
Florida Panthers prospect Cole Schwindt returned to the lineup continuing where he left off, registering an assist on the first goal of the game. James Hardie continued his tear scoring two goals, as he has now scored 10 goals in his past 11 games, while rookie defencemen Chas Sharpe tucked the first goal of his OHL Career. The Steelheads strong defensive game boosted them to a win, keeping Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino off the scoresheet, with Kai Edmonds stopping 32/34 shots goal (.941 SV%).
With the victory, the Steelheads move just four points behind the Sudbury Wolves for 1st place in the Central Division, and into a tie with the Hamilton Bulldogs for 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
1st star - Brett Neumann (2G)
2nd star - James Hardie (2G)
3rd star - Nico Gross (1A)
Neumann - Tomasino - Tullio
Harrison - MacLean - McShane
Winterton - Resnick - Stepian
Michaud - Gagnier - McKinney
Ennis - Gross
Brewer - Moore
Vallati - Jesus
Hardie - Schwindt - Canade
Martin - Whittaker - Collins
Isaacson - Portokalis - Bowers
Dodig - DelBelBelluz - Stubbs
Harley - Bjorgvik-Holm
Del Mastro - Ham
Penman - Sharpe
Mississauga will head to Barrie on Saturday evening as they look to finish the weekend undefeated. The Steelheads will return home on Friday, January 24th to take on the Peterborough Petes for their 8th Annual Bell Let's Talk Game. Tickets to the game can be purchased by visiting the Box Office, online through ticketmaster.ca or by calling 905-502-9100.
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