The Mississauga Steelheads would fall 3-2 in OT against the Sudbury Wolves in Game Two. The Trout fell victim to David Levin’s OT winner despite goals from James Hardie and Alan Lyszczarczyk.
The Steelheads had a much improved start to Game Two, the line up was lifted in particular by the return of their Captain, Cole Carter. It took Carter just two minutes and 48 seconds to set up James Hardie in front of the net. The rookie who scored 15 goals in the regular season opened his playoff account by poking a puck past the sprawling Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Unfortunately for the Trout, the Wolves would answer just over five minutes later. A check from behind call on Ryan Wells provided a power play opportunity for the Wolves. The Steelheads PK would kill off a minute and 55 seconds off the man advantage before Adam Ruzicka made an incisive pass to David Levin in the slot, he made no mistake beating Ingham to his blocker slide. The period would get worse for the Steelheads not too much later, a glorious chance for Keean Washkurak had fans of the Trout in anguish as the forward couldn’t make contact with a floating puck in Sudbury’s crease. The Wolves would clear the danger and transition quickly, Game One hat-trick scorer Nolan Hutcheson turned provider, he sent a bank pass to Quinton Byfield who did the rest, opening his playoff goal scoring career totals by rounding Ingham and placing the puck upstairs. The play was given a further look by the officials due to a suspicion of offside but was ultimately upheld. The Steelheads would finish period one, down by a score of 2-1.
Game Two’s second period had two distinct phases, the early play was mostly carried by the Wolves. The Steelheads penalty kill would be called upon on two occasions in the first phase of the period, the first kill came due to a Ryan Barbosa Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty after the defenceman tried to come to the defence of Keean Washkurak who had been levelled by David Levin with a questionable hit. The Steelheads would kill off both that minor penalty and the one assessed to Cole Schwindt for a Check to the Head. The penalty kill would spur on the Steelheads offence as just seconds after the Schwindt penalty expired Alan Lyszczarczyk would tie the game with his second goal of the postseason. Just as Lyszczarczyk had done 39 times in the regular season the former Sudbury Wolf battled around two defenders in the slot and fired a shot low past the blocker of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. The forwards second of the postseason tied the game at two going into the third.
The final period saw no goals scored with both teams playing tight-checking defensive games. The teams would each get one power play opportunity in the final frame with both units failing to find a go-ahead goal. The best scoring chance for the Steelheads fell to the scorer of the game’s opening goal, Hardie, who found a loose puck off a faceoff and fired a quick effort on Luukkonen, nearly catching the netminder off-guard good positioning saw the puck bounce off the netminder’s pad. The Steelheads would dominate most of the play in the third, doubling up the Wolves in SOG, 14-7. The game would head to overtime tied at two.
In the extra period the Steelheads continued to outplay the Wolves, chances fell to Cole Schwindt and Cole Carter but both would amount to nothing due to nice saves from Luukkonen. The Wolves would win the game on their third shot of the extra frame. David Levin barely snuck his shot through Ingham’s legs, and over the goal line before Thomas Harley could intervene. The Steelheads would fall by a score of 3-2 despite outshooting the Wolves 41-29 on the night.
Some notes from the game; Jame Hardie recorded his first OHL playoff goal and point. Cole Carter tied Sam Babinstev and Brendan Harrogate for the 11th most career playoff points by a Steelhead (6). The Steelheads PK went three for four on the night and moved to seven for eight in the series.
The series shifts back to Mississauga for Game 3, a 7:00 PM puck drop tomorrow night at the Paramount Fine Foods.