MISSISSAUGA, ON – The Mississauga Steelheads will depart on a two-game road trip before returning home for a matinee special against the London Knights (38-9-5-1) on Family Day. The three-game weekend is a welcome one for the Trout, who will be looking to rebound from a Wednesday night shootout loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs that saw them surrender a two-goal lead in the third period. Wednesday night’s matchup put a damper on the Steelheads outstanding weekend that saw them beat both the first and second place teams in the OHL’s Eastern Conference before pulling out a shootout win against the Windsor Spitfires. The Steelheads will first travel east to take on the Kingston Frontenacs (12-41-1-1), before heading to North Bay to take on the eighth-place Battalion (24-25-2-2).
Friday, February 15th @ Kingston Frontenacs (Leon’s Centre)
Puck Drop @ 7:00PM
The Steelheads will take on the last-place Frontenacs who come into the game on a difficult run, going 0-9-0-1 in their last 10 games. The standout players for the Frontenacs this year are Ryan Cranford and Billy Constantinou. The Fronts leading scorer Cranford (14G, 20A) has tallied 34 points in 52 games this season with the club. The OA forward was key in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Final last year scoring four goals and suiting up in 16 games. On the back-end for Kingston is 2019-Draft eligible defenceman Billy Constantinou, 27 points in 53 games earned the Scarborough, ON native a spot in the Sherwin-Williams Top Prospects game. Taking the lion’s share of the work in net for the Frontenacs is Brandon Bonello, the Mississauga, ON native has played in 39 games and posted a .881 save percentage this season. A win on Friday night would complete the season sweep for the Steelheads who are 3-0 against the Frontenacs and have outscored them 14 – 4 in those meetings.
Sunday, February 17th @ North Bay Battalion (North Bay Memorial Gardens)
Puck Drop @ 2:00PM
The Trout will head north for their penultimate meeting with the Battalion of the season on Sunday. The season series is currently tied between the two sides, and the game is crucial for playoff positioning as the Battalion currently sit seven points back of the Steelheads with a game in hand. Leading the way for the Battalion on the offensive end is Justin Brazeau the OA forward sits just two goals short of the 50-mark on the season as of Thursday. His main set-up man is Matthew Struthers the Milton, ON native has recorded 38 assists on the season. The Battalion are ruddered on the back end by a pairing of Nick King and Austrian-born David Maier, the two have combined for 52 points on the season. In goal for North Bay is Christian Propp, the ‘99 born goaltender has put together a strong campaign in this his fourth OHL season. Two shutouts and seven 40+ save performances highlight a 20-win year so far for the netminder. In the last meeting between these two teams, Propp earned third star for a 40-save performance in a losing effort.
Monday, February 18th vs London Knights (Paramount Fine Foods Centre)
Puck Drop @ 2:00PM
The finale of this passage of games comes on Monday against the Western Conference-leading London Knights. The matinee game will showcase some elite-level talent with eight NHL draft picks suiting up for the Knights this season including three first rounders in Evan Bouchard (EDM), Adam Boqvist (CHI) and Liam Foudy (CBJ). Pacing the team offensively is Kevin Hancock, the OA forward acquired from Owen Sound has 23 points (10G, 13A) in 18 games for the team thus far. Adam Boqvist currently sits eighth in OHL scoring amongst defenceman recording 44 points in 40 games in his first year in the OHL. The Knights goal is manned by Joseph Raaymakers, the Chatham, ON native has 27 wins on the season and has allowed just 101 goals in 2217 minutes played. The team’s only other meeting this season ended in a 7-4 loss for the Trout. Fans will not want to miss this one as after the game everyone in attendance is invited to bring their skates and join the team on the ice for a free skate!
Opposing Players to Watch:
Jacob Murray: Kingston’s first-round selection in the 2018 OHL Priority selection (#13 overall), Murray has appeared in 49 games for the Frontenacs registering two goals and four assists. The 16-year old defenceman stands at 6’3” and has drawn attention on the international stage, representing team Canada Red at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge this year in Quispamsis and Saint John, NB. The defenceman recorded 3 points (1G, 2A) in six games at the tournament. An Oakville, ON native Murray registered 34 points in 35 games as Minor Midget player for the Oakville Rangers.
North Bay Battalion
Brandon Coe: The third-overall selection in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Coe has picked up where he left off from in his rookie season with the Battalion. Coe has followed up scoring 23 points in 63 games for the Battalion with 29 points in 52 games so far this year. The forward is 2020 NHL Draft eligible, thanks to a late December 1st birthday. Coe played for the Toronto Nationals as Minor Midget player scoring 33 points in 31 games.
Evan Bouchard: Selected with the tenth pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Bouchard began the year with the big club appearing in seven games and scoring his first NHL goal. Once returned to London, the Oakville, ON native picked up where he left off in the 2017-18 season that saw him score 87 points in 67 games. In five games at this year’s Under-20 World Junior Championships Bouchard recorded three points in five games.