The Mississauga Steelheads defeated the Erie Otters 5-2 on Tuesday night at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. Two short-handed goals one from Cole Carter and another from Alan Lyszczarczyk guided the Trout to a much needed victory.
It was clear from puck drop that the Steelheads had something to prove after a 5-3 loss to the Otters on Saturday. The Steelheads controlled the puck from the jump with some nice prolonged offensive zone sequences in the opening stages. Despite the early pressure a James Hardie slashing penalty sent the Steelheads to the penalty kill just past the midway point of the first period. Any momentum the Otters may have gained from the man-advantage was erased by a Cole Carter shorthanded goal. The captain picked a defenceman’s pocket at the blue line and streaked in on Cole Ceci, a nifty backhand move and the Steelheads were on the board first. The captain has now scored 35 goals this season. The Steelheads would shut up shop for the rest period helped in large part by Jacob Ingham’s 11 saves.
The key to changing the Steelheads fortunes according to James Richmond, “We were sharper around their net.”
The finishing was on display in the second period with the Steelheads main trigger man Alan Lyszczarczyk. A two goal frame gave the Steelheads his 36th and 37th of the season. The first came via a great feed from Cole Carter, who gathered a rebound in front of Ceci and made the unselfish play to dish off to Lyszczarczyk who could not miss into the wide open net. Lyszczarczyk’s second goal would have the overage forward thanking Cole Schwindt for his hard work. The draft-eligible Schwindt snatched a puck in the neutral zone and barrelled towards the Erie net. Despite being upended Schwindt would make a desperate but pinpoint pass to Lyszczarczyk who was driving to the back post. The Otters would pull back a goal late in the period, Brendan Hoffmann the game-winning goal scorer from Saturday would bite the Trout again with his 12th of the season.
The Steelheads would complete a perfect night, outscoring the Otters in all three periods. The two teams would trade goals in the third, Cole Schwindt struck first his 17th of the season coming by way of a deflection in front. The big forward worked his way to the front of the net, and Liam Ham found a lane for his shot to get through. A late goal with 5:02 remaining pulled the Otters back within two, Emmett Sproule providing the marker, his 13th goal of the season. With three minutes remaining the Otter would pull their goalie, a good bounce for the Steelheads would see Adam Varga streaking down the wing, his shot would fly wide but Aidan Prueter was on the doorstep to deposit the puck into the net, securing the victory for the Steelheads.
The 5-2 win moved the Steelheads back into sole possession of 5th place in the Eastern Conference. Of potential playoff matchups, Cole Carter was confident, “I think we’ve proven throughout the season that we can play with anyone, I think teams are gonna be surprised by how hard we come in the playoffs.”
Some notes from the game; Cole Carter recorded his 100th career assist on Alan Lyszczarczyk’s first goal of the game. Alan Lyszczarczyk recorded his 8th multi-goal game of the season.
The Steelheads are back in action on Thursday night against the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre for a 7:00 PM puck drop.