The Steelheads hosted the Sudbury Wolves Friday night in their first Central Division match-up of the season. Coming off a three-game losing skid, the Steelheads hoped to pick up their first win of the season on home ice, while the visiting Wolves looked to ride the momentum of a 5-2 win over Niagara last night.
The home team wasted no time proving they came to play, scoring just 13 seconds into the opening frame. Albert Michnac got the tally, his second of the season, from Cole Schwindt and Trent Fox. Five minutes into the frame, the home team would see their first power play opportunity as Troy Lajeunesse took a slashing penalty. The Steelheads’ top line struck again as Cole Schwindt capitalized on the man-advantage, putting the home team up 2-0. The power play goal was assisted by Jacob Moverare and Albert Michnac. Half way through the first Stephen Gibson (interference) and Albert Michnac (slashing) would both head to the box to give the visitors a five on three. The Wolves capitalized twice as Dmity Sokolov got the Wolves on the board and Blake Murray evened the score shortly after. Just before time ran out in the first, the line of Fox, Michnac and Schwindt connected again as Fox scored his second of the season to put the Steelheads up by one heading into the first intermission. Although the Steelheads lead on the scoreboard, the Wolves outshot them 13-9 in the first.
The Steelheads started the second period of with another early power play opportunity, Sudbury’s Owen Gilhula got called for tripping. The man advantage brought luck to Ryan McLeod who snuck one in past McGrath. McLeod’s third of the season was assisted by Adam Varga. Later in the second Dawson Baker was able to trickle one in past Emanuel Vella. The Steelheads were up 4-3 after 40 minutes of play.
Going straight back to work Michnac netted his second goal of the game to restore the Steelheads two-goal lead. The goal was assisted by Ryan McLeod and Moveare. After a little scrum in front of the net, both Mississauga’s Osmanski and Sudbury’s O’Grady would head to the sin bin for roughing. With five minutes remaining in the third, Mississauga native, Cole Candella brought the Wolves within one. Candella’s first of the season was assisted by Michael Pezzetta and Shane Bulitka. Despite having to kill a late penalty, the Steelheads held on for their first season win. The top line of Michnac, Schwindt and Fox earned first, second and third star honours respectively.
The Steelheads will hit the road for a three-game road trip next weekend with stops in Sarnia, Flint and Saginaw, before returning home to host the North Bay Battalion on Friday, October 20.