Following a huge 7-3 victory in game two to even the series 1-1, the Steelheads looked to ride that momentum as they travelled to Oshawa Tuesday night for game three of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Steelheads have been hot on the road this season, with one of the best away records in the league (18-10-2-4). They’ve carried that success into the postseason as well, winning all three away games in their first round series against the 67’s. Matthew Mancina made his third postseason start between the pipes for the Steelheads, while Generals’ goaltender, Jermey Brodeur made his sixth straight start in goal.
The Steelheads got out to an early start after being awarded powerplay opportunity at 3:32 of the first. Nicolas Hague capitalized on the man-advantage, scoring his first of the postseason to give Mississauga a 1-0 lead. Trent Fox and Vili Saarijarvi picked up the assists. Four minutes later, Vili Saarijarvi extended the Steelheads lead scoring his fourth of the postseason from Jacob Cascagnette. Later in the frame, Renars Krastenbergs would get the home team on the board with his fifth of the playoffs from Matt Brassard and Medric Mercier. Two minutes later, the Generals would capitalize on a powerplay opportunity as Jack Studnicka evened the score 2-2 from Domenic Commisso and Mercier. The game remained tied at 2-2 after the first 20 minutes of play. The Steelheads held a slight advantage, outshooting the Generals 13-12.
Mississauga came out firing on all cylinders in the second, scoring three unanswered goals. The first came from Spencer Watson at 4:44 from Michael McLeod. Minutes later, Mason Kohn would sit for two for a cross-checking penalty, opening the door for the Steelheads. Vili Saarijarvi found Owen Tippett who wired a shot past Brodeur from the top of the circle to put the Steelheads up 4-2. Past the halfway mark of the middle frame, Spencer Watson scored his second of the night, finishing off a beautiful feed from Ryan McLeod to extend Mississauga’s lead 5-2. Later in the frame, the Generals were able to cut the deficit as Daniel Antropov pushed the puck underneath a sprawling Mancina. The Steelheads would head to the dressing room with a 5-3 lead.
A penalty early in the final frame would cost the Generals as Serron Noel was given a match-slew foot, resulting in a five-minute powerplay for the Steelheads. The visitors were able to capitalize twice on the five-minute man advantage, the first goal coming from Spencer Watson who completed the hat trick. Michael McLeod and Nic Hague assisted on Watson’s third of the game and eighth of the postseason. Brendan Harrogate added to the lead with his second of the postseason from Stefan LeBlanc and Hague. After a convincing performance, the Steelheads take a 2-1 lead in the series, and will head back to Oshawa for Game 4 on Thursday.
Steelheads lead series 2-1