Following an exciting come-from-behind win over the Barrie Colts last night, the Mississauga Steelheads returned home to the Hershey Centre to host the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Steelheads (23-17-6-5) have been hot as of late, winning their last four games straight, and six of their last 10. Mississauga has also come out on top in their previous three meetings against the Bulldogs, the latest being a 3-1 victory on January 4.
Similar to last night’s game, the Steelheads founds themselves down in the opening frame. Hamilton’s Marian Studenic opened the scoring at 5:59 of the period with his 12th of the season from former Steelhead, Luke Kutkevicius. Mississauga native, Matthew Strome added to Hamilton’s early lead notching his 29th of the season from Matt Luff and Benjamin Gleason at 12:09. Late in the frame, the Steelheads were able to cut the Bulldogs’ lead in half as Trent Fox found Spencer Watson in the slot where he made no mistake beating Dawson Carty to get the Steelheads on the board. Michael McLeod picked up the secondary assist on Watson’s 19th of the season as Hamilton held a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission. Shots on goal were 13-11 in favour of the Steelheads.
Early in the second, the Steelheads evened the score on the power play as Spencer Watson scored his second of the night from Vili Saarijarvi and Jacob Moverare. Past the half way point of the middle frame, the Bulldogs restored their lead off a goal from Niki Petti, his 14th of the season. The Bulldogs led again by one goal heading into the intermission, while the Steelheads led on the shot clock 12-8.
The final frame was fast-paced with end-to-end action. After a number of chances, the Steelheads were able to beat Carty and even the score as Trent Fox scored his ninth of the season from Mikey McLeod and Spencer Watson. Both teams exchanged their fair share of good chances, each looking for the game winner, but the game remained tied 3-3 after regulation.
3-on-3 overtime was as intense as always, and after five minutes of straight action with no stoppages, a shootout would be necessary to decide a winner. Michael McLeod was up first for the Trout and was stopped by Carty. Hamilton’s first shooter Michael Cramarossa beat Ingham to give the Bulldogs the lead. The following two shooters (Owen Tippett for Mississauga and Matt Luff for Hamilton) were both unsuccessful. Spencer Watson and Trent Fox both scored to keep the Steelheads alive, but a final goal from Will Bitten would seal a 4-3 shootout win for the Bulldogs.
The Steelheads are back home on Sunday to host the Saginaw Sprit for a 2pm start.