Steelheads edge Wolves 4-3
Following an exciting game Friday night that saw them pick up a point after coming back from a 3-0 deficit, the Steelheads travelled to Sudbury for a central division tilt against the Wolves. Coming into tonight’s game, the Steelheads had won three of their last four while the Wolves were 2-2 after picking up a 6-5 win over Niagara last night.
Jake McGrath started in goal for the Wolves while Emanuel Vella got the nod for the Steelheads, making his seventh start between the pipes for Mississauga. The home team saw an early opportunity on the man-advantage as Jacob Cascagnette was called for holding just over a minute into the contest. The Steelheads killed off the early penalty and things returned to even-strength. Minutes later, Ian McKinnon and Evan Krassey brought the crowd to their feet as they dropped the gloves. They received offsetting fighting majors and each sat for five minutes. At 5:54, Sudbury’s Doug Blaisdell would join Krassey in the box after being called for tripping, giving the Steelheads their first power play opportunity of the night. The Steelheads third ranked power play had a number of close opportunities, but they were unable to capitalize as the Blaisdell penalty expired. At 11:30, Krassey would head back to the box for tripping. This time, the Steelheads’ power play unit would be successful as Albert Michnac beat McGrath on the man-advantage to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Michnac’s eighth of the season was unassisted. With seconds to go in the opening frame, the Steelheads capitalized on a last second rush as Jacob Cascagnette tipped one past McGrath to give Mississauga a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Cascagnette’s sixth of the season was assisted by Shaw Boomhower. Shots on goal in the first period were 18-8 for the Steelheads.
The Wolves came out fast in the second looking to swing the momentum back in their favour, and they did just that as Shane Bulitka scored his third of the season just 45 seconds into the frame to cut the Steelheads’ lead 2-1. Bulitka was the lone goal scorer in the second as the Steelheads held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Shots on goal in the second period were 12-8 in favour of the Wolves.
With it being just a one-goal game, the stage was set for a big third period. The Wolves would see an early advantage as Jacob Cascagnette was called for holding. The power play was short lived as the Wolves took a penalty right after resulting in some 4-on-4 action. Seconds into the 4-on-4, Nic Hague was sent off, giving Sudbury another chance on the power play. After going 0/3, the Wolves finally capitalized on the man-advantage as Michael Pezzetta netted his ninth of the season from Kyle Rhodes and Cole Candella. Shortly after, Cole Schwindt fired an odd angle shot past McGrath to give the Steelheads the lead again. At 13:38, Michnac restored the Steelheads’ two-goal lead (4-2) with his second of the night, and fifth in two games. Two minutes later, Pezzetta scored his second of the night for the Wolves to bring the home team back within one. Candella and Troy Lajeunesse assisted on Pezzetta’s 10th of the season. In a last effort to even the score and send this game into overtime, the Wolves pulled McGrath in favour of an extra attacker with just over a minute left to play. With time winding down, the Wolves called a timeout. They needed an offensive zone faceoff win, which they got, but Cascagnette made a huge block on a shot from Cole Candella as time ran out and the final buzzer sounded. The Steelheads won this one by a final score of 4-3. Final shots on goal were 39-36 in favour of the Steelheads.
The Steelheads will close out their 3-in-3 tomorrow at the Hershey Centre when they host the Peterborough Petes for a 2PM start.