NORTH BAY, ON- For the first of three back to back games this weekend, the Mississauga Steelheads traveled to North Bay to take on the Battalion Thursday night. Heading into the contest, only one point separated the two teams in the Eastern Conference standings. Overtime was needed but the Steelheads skated away with only 1 of a possible 2 points tonight.
Joe Ranger got the start for the Steelheads allowing 4 goals on 39 shots while Christian Propp kept out 27 of 30 shots for North Bay in the win.
Recently acquired forwards Nick McHugh and Nick Isaacson made their Steelheads debuts on the road tonight.
It didn’t take long for the Steelheads to open the scoring. Newcomer Aidan Prueter – who was acquired from the Saginaw Spirit on January 5th – scored a stellar backhand goal, and his first as a Steelhead just 46 seconds into the first period. After back and forth action, the Steelheads brushed off a double minor penalty kill to keep the 1-0 lead. With under two minutes to go in the frame, North Bay coughed up the puck at the blue line and Cole Schwindt capitalized with his 10th of the season on a give and go play with Alan Lyszczarczyk.
The Steelheads and Battalion scored a combined four goals in the middle stanza. First, the Steelheads were called for too many men leading Battalion defenceman, Nick King to knock home a power play goal and get the home side on the board. The momentum continued for the Battalion as overage defenceman, Theo Calvas beat Ranger on the blocker side to tie the game 2-2. Halfway through the second, North Bay took a penalty of their own and Steelheads powerlay went to work. Keean Washkurak notched his 9th of the season with the assists going to Cole Carter and Alan Lyszczarczyk. Shortly thereafter, the OHL’s leading scorer Justin Brazeau would register his 38th goal of the season. After 40 minutes of play,the two teams were tied 3-3.
Following a scoreless third period, the two teams were off to overtime. Battalion captain, Justin Brazeau took a bounce pass up the boards and, streaked in on Ranger and fired home his 39th of the season to seal the deal for the home team.
Following the OT loss, the Steelheads are now 2 points back of the Battalion in the Eastern Conference Standings. The Steelheads 3-in-3 weekend continues in Sudbury on Friday night before they head to Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday to take on the Greyhounds.