The Mississauga Steelheads kicked off the OHL preseason Saturday evening, playing host to the Guelph Storm. The Steelheads are coming into the 2017-18 season following their most successful season to date as Central Division and Eastern Conference Champions. With some familiar faces returning to the lineup, and some exciting new prospects, it’d bound to be another exciting season for the Steelheads.
Mississauga jumped out to an early lead as Ryan McLeod opened the scoring at 1:32 with his first of the preseason. Defencemen, Nic Hague and Austin Osmanski picked up the assists on the opening goal. Late in the frame, the Storm capitalized on a power play opportunity as forward Barrett Kirwin scored his second of the preseason from Deakin-Poot and Aguanno at 12:35. Shots on goal were 12-11 in favour of Mississauga with the scored even at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The middle frame was a physical one with both teams exchanging a number of penalties as they looked to take the lead. Past the midway point of the frame, the Storm were finally able to capitalize as Ryan Merkley sniped a wrist shot over Jake Ingham to give the Storm their first lead of the game. McFadden and Hillis assisted on Merkley’s first of the preseason. The Steelheads outshot the Storm 17-12 in the second, but were behind by one on the scoreboard as Guelph held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
The Steelheads came out strong in the third looking to restore their lead. Owen Tippett found the back of the net five minutes into the frame to even the score 2-2. Albert Michnac picked up the lone assist on the goal. Less than a minute later, Tippett would strike again, scoring a beautiful through-the-legs goal to put the Steelheads up 3-2. Ryan McLeod and Austin Osmanski assisted on the power play goal and Tippett’s second of the night. Matt Hotchkiss added a shorthanded goal for the Storm at 9:49 to even the score. The game would head to a shootout as the score remained tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Tippett, Ryan McLeod and Adam Varga were the three Steelheads shooters, but none could find the back of the net. Guelph’s Cam Hillis was the only goal scorer in the shootout to give the Storm a 4-3 victory.
The Steelheads are back in action on Monday as they visit the Storm for a 2PM start at the Sleeman Centre.