With the regular season winding down, the Steelheads visited the Niagara IceDogs for a central division match-up Thursday night. Mississauga has dominated the season series with the IceDogs, winning all four of their previous match-ups.
The IceDogs wasted no time getting things going, testing Steelheads’ goaltender, Jacob Ingham early and often. Ingham was up for the challenge, turning away all of Niagara’s shots to keep the home team off the board. The Steelheads struck first just past the halfway mark of the opening frame as Ryan McLeod tipped in a rocket from Nic Hague to give Mississauga a 1-0 lead. Scoley Dow picked up the secondary assist on McLeod’s eighth of the season. The Steelheads held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first.
Approaching the halfway mark of the second period, the other McLeod would give the Steelheads a two-goal cushion, sniping a beautiful shot over Stephen Dhillon’s shoulder. Shaw Boomhower and Spencer Watson assisted on Mikey McLeod’s 23rd of the season and eventual game winner. That would be the lone goal of the middle frame as the visitors held a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
At 8:52 of the final frame, Brendan Harrogate, who was welcomed back to the Steelheads lineup for his first game since January 29th, bought his team some insurance, notching his 16th of the season to put Mississauga up 3-0. Ryan McLeod assisted on the goal. Desperate to cut the deficit, the IceDogs were awarded a two-man advantage following penalties to Boomhower and Gibson for cross-checking and holding respectively. The IceDogs capitalized quickly as Johnny Corneil solved Ingham to get his team on the board. Although they were still down a man, the Steelheads were quick to respond as Spencer Watson scored a short handed empty net goal six seconds later to restore Mississauga’s three-goal lead. That would do it as the Steelheads picked up a 4-1 win. Jacob Ingham was the difference maker, turning away 43 of 44 shots he faced to earn first star honours.
The Steelheads are back in action tomorrow night to host the Barrie Colts for a 7PM puck drop at the Hershey Centre.