The Mississauga Steelheads faced the Ottawa 67’s for a second time this week following their 5-1 victory against the team one place ahead of them in the standings. Ottawa was coming off a 5-4 win against Barrie Thursday. Friday night’s contest was full of tension, both teams knowing the importance of the match regarding their place in the standings. Mississauga came out on top with a 5-2 win and earned a big two points.
The first period was very slow to start. Mississauga lacked control of the puck but they were able to keep Ottawa from not only scoring, but also shooting. Cole Carter and Shaw Boomhower got the first penalties of the game, both sitting for slashing six minutes into play. The ensuing four on four action was unexciting and the shots on goal remained few and far between. It was Owen Tippett’s opening goal halfway through the frame that really got the Fish moving. Ahead by one, they piled on their shots and closed the period leading 15-10 on the shot clock. The buzzer sounded with both teams chasing the puck behind Ottawa’s net and remaining there in a heated altercation. Trent Fox and Tye Felhaber walked away with two minutes for roughing and 10 for misconduct.
The second period’s opening four on four action resulted in little for either team, but the Steelheads were caught with too many men on the ice a few minutes after returning to full strength. Isaac Walker served the penalty and Ottawa got their first goal of the game on the ensuing power play. Austen Keating scored nine seconds into their man advantage. In the spirit of acting quickly, Nic Hague answered back with a goal of his own six seconds later. His 34th of the season got the Fish back on top 2-1. The Steelheads didn’t hide their determination to win and the 67’s didn’t hide their frustration from being behind. There were multiple hits up until the end of the frame. Jacob Cascagnette was the only player to receive a penalty, though, and got two minutes for tripping. Nothing came of the Steelheads’ first power play, but they defended their lead until the buzzer sounded. Shots on goal totalled 24-23 in favour of Mississauga by the end of the 20 minutes.
The Steelheads were given another power play opportunity in the third when Austen Keating was sent off for hooking. Nicholas Canade earned a penalty of his own for tripping three minutes later. Amidst the tense action continuing on the ice, Shaw Boomhower checked Reagan O’Grady into the boards and was held down by the defenceman who ended up with a four-minute high sticking penalty once they’d returned to their feet. Shorthanded, Mathieu Foget scored on a breakaway and got the Fish up 3-1. Travis Barron responded with a goal 20 seconds later. Keean Washkurak entered Ottawa’s zone on a partial break but was halted by a high stick from Noel Hoefenmayer. The Steelhead power play resulted in a goal from Nic Hague at the blue line, putting two goals between them and the 67’s once again. Following a slashing penalty from Bert Michnac, a 10-minute misconduct call against Shaw Boomhower and the removal of Olivier Tremblay, Owen Tippett shot from deep in his own zone and got the empty-netter. Ottawa aggressively fought back as the end of the final frame approached, but their efforts fell short.
The Steelheads took the contest 5-2 and are now tied with the 67’s with 67 points. The Fish are back in action tomorrow in Niagara to face the IceDogs at 3:30 PM.