The Mississauga Steelheads travelled south of the border Tuesday night for a cross-conference matchup with the Erie Otters. The Steelheads (6-11-3-3) have struggled as of late, dropping their last six games, and 11 of their last 12. The Otters (18-5-2-0), entered tonight’s game with wins in their previous three matchups. The last time these teams met, on November 4th in Mississauga, the Otters skated away with a 7-4 victory; Owen Tippett had two goals in that matchup.
Rookie goaltender, Jacob Ingham got the nod in goal for the Steelheads, while former Sudbury Wolves goaltender Troy Timpano started in goal for the Otters. Kyle Maksimovich gave the Otters an early lead, scoring his sixth of the season at 3:14 of the opening frame. Ivan Lodnia and Mississauga native Dylan Strome picked up the assists. The Otters continued to pressure as the OHL’s leading scorer, Taylor Raddysh increased their lead 2-0 at 7:39. Darren Raddysh and TJ Fergus assisted on Raddysh’s 21st of the season. The Steelheads would see their first powerplay opportunity at 10:11 as Jordan Sambrook would sit for hooking. Unfortunately, the Otters would capitalize on a turnover in the Steelheads’ zone as Alex DeBrincat set up Taylor Raddysh for his second of the night as Erie jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. It didn’t stop there for the Otters, as Darren Raddysh and Dylan Strome each scored to propel Erie out to a 5-0 lead. With the goal, his second of the season since coming back from the Arizona Coyotes, Dylan Strome passed Connor McDavid for the number two spot in Otters all-time scoring. Although the Otters held a comfortable lead at the end of the first, they only edged Mississauga in shots on goal 12-10.
Matthew Mancina would enter the game in the second, after the Ingham and the Steelheads allowed 5 goals on 12 shots in the first. The Otters came out strong in this frame as Alex DeBrincat scored his 24th of the season from Taylor Raddysh and Kyle Pettit at 1:32 of the second. Owen Tippett was able to crack Troy Timpano and get Mississauga on the board late in the frame to cut the deficit 6-1 heading into the second intermission. Ryan McLeod and Damian Bourne assisted on Tippett’s 18th of the season.
The Otters continued to pepper the Steelheads early and often in the final frame. DeBrincat netted his second of the evening at 5:16 from Strome and Taylor Raddysh to extend their lead 7-1. Seconds later, DeBrincat completed the hat trick to give Erie an 8-0 lead. Michael McLeod and Erik Cernak would drop the gloves shortly after. McLeod was served five for fighting, while Cernak was given two for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct. At 8:26 of the final frame, Vili Saarijärvi would score his first as a Steelhead and cut Erie’s lead 8-2. Jacob Moverare and Aidan McFarland assisted on Saarijärvi’s first of the season. Taylor Raddysh would capitalize on the power play at 12:40 to close out Erie’s scoring spree with his third of the game as the Otters cruised to a 9-2 win.
The Steelheads will travel to Peterborough on Thursday for the first of a home and home series with the Petes.