MISSISSAUGA, ON – Despite two losses over the weekend to the Hamilton Bulldogs and Erie Otters, the Steelheads received some positive news heading into Tuesday night’s rematch with the Otters. A Barrie defeat at the hands of the Peterborough Petes, meant the Steelheads punched their ticket to the 2018-19 OHL Playoffs. Buoyed by that news, the Steelheads then had a strong bounceback performance in their rematch with the Erie Otters on New School Night pulling off a convincing 5-2 victory.
Following Tuesday’s result the Steelheads currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, two points clear of the Peterborough Petes. Tuesday was a milestone night for the Steelheads two leading scorers, Alan Lyszczarczyk recorded the 200th point of his OHL career and Cole Carter recorded the 100th assist of his OHL career. The final weekend of the regular season will see the team play three games against the Niagara IceDogs (41-17-7-0), North Bay Battalion (28-32-3-2) and Barrie Colts (26-36-3-1).
Thursday March 14th @ Niagara IceDogs (Meridian Centre)
Puck Drop @ 7:00PM
A potential first round playoff matchup awaits the Steelheads on Thursday night in Niagara. The IceDogs currently sit in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, and have been hot of late winning eight of their last ten. The IceDogs leading scorer this season is Jason Robertson, the OHL’s second leading scorer is scoring at 1.8 point per game pace, recording 106 points in 59 games. The IceDogs other second-round NHL draft pick is Akil Thomas (LA 2018), in 60 games this season, the Toronto, ON native has scored 97 points (35G, 62A). Tied for the most shutout’s in the OHL this season is Stephen Dhillon, the Buffalo, NY native has kept his opponent scoreless on six occasions for the IceDogs. The Steelheads currently hold a 3-2 lead in the season series, their most recent meeting resulted in a 3-1 victory for the Trout. Cole Carter’s two-goal game supplied all the offence the Trout needed thanks to a 29 SAV, 1 GA performance from Jacob Ingham.
Friday March 15th vs North Bay Battalion (Paramount Fine Foods Centre)
Puck Drop @ 7:00PM
Fresh off securing a playoff spot, the North Bay Battalion travel to Mississauga to take on the Trout. The Battalion currently have three players producing at above a point per game pace this season in Justin Brazeau, Matthew Struthers and Brad Chenier. The leader on the back end is Nick King, the Waterloo, ON native has scored 39 points in 64 games this season. Between the pipes for the Battalion is Christian Propp, the netminder has faced the second most shots in the OHL this season and has allowed the most goals but has shown an ability to steal games for the Battalion recording five wins in games that he has faced more than 40 shots. The Battalion currently lead the season series three games to two but the Trout prevailed in their last meeting, a 4-3 OT win in which Alan Lyszczarczyk scored his second hat-trick of the season. The Battalion currently sit in 8th in the Eastern Conference which would set them up for a first round showdown with the 1st place Ottawa 67’s.
Sunday March 17th vs Barrie Colts (Paramount Fine Foods Centre)
Puck Drop @ 2:00PM
The Barrie Colts will not be heading to the playoffs this season after three consecutive losses to the Peterborough Petes, Niagara IceDogs and North Bay Battalion last weekend. A young Barrie team is led in scoring by 2019-draft eligible centreman Ryan Suzuki, the London, ON native has recorded 23 goals and 48 assists in 63 games this season and was recently ranked 20th in Sportsnet’s March Draft Rankings. One Barrie Colt will be playing in his final career OHL game in Sunday’s matchup, overager Ben Hawerchuk has scored 27 goals in his fifth and final OHL season. The Trout currently have a 3-2 edge in the season series, braggin rights for the Steelheads are on the line in the final matchup of the regular season.
Opposing Players to Watch:
Ben Jones: A seventh-round selection of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, the Waterloo, ON has increased his output in the both seasons in the OHL thereafter. The centreman recorded 79 points in 2017-18 and has recorded 98 in 2018-19 thus far. Jones best game this season came on February 24th against the Owen Sound Attack, two goals and three assists in a 9-0 win. Jones is no stranger to multi-goal games having recorded six, including three hat-tricks. Jones has recorded 16 points in 22 career games against the Steelheads and is a player the Trout must be aware of on Thursday night.
North Bay Battalion
Justin Brazeau: A pivotal weekend in the OHL’s goal scoring and Leo Lalonde Trophy race awaits Justin Brazeau. The overage forward is currently tied with Tye Felhaber at 58 goals after a hat-trick against the Barrie Colts on Tuesday that helped the team clinch a playoff spot. The New Liskeard, ON native has tallied 14 multi-goal games including four hat-tricks and one four-goal game. Brazeau has been a thorn in the Steelheads side this season scoring 10 points in five games.
Jack York: Kanata, ON native, Jack York was ranked #212 on the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings thanks to a 2018-19 season that has seen the defenceman score 28 points in 61 games. A midseason trade from the Kitchener Rangers to the Barrie Colts saw York up his goal scoring, the defenceman had a single goal for the Rangers in 28 games but has since recorded six in 33 for the Colts. York has recorded 3 points in 3 games against the Steelheads this season.