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SmartStop Post-Game Recap – A Hard Fought Game

In a hard fought battle, the Steelheads fell short in overtime to the Ottawa 67’s in their Special Olympics game.

First Period

The Steelheads hosted the league leading Ottawa 67’s for the first time this season in their Special Olympics game. Facing off for the first time since April 1, 2022, it was a battle between two top-tier OHL teams. 

From the opening face-off, the game was fast and physical. Both teams battled in an attempt to dominate the game early on. However, with both evenly matched, neither team was able to record a shot until three minutes into the game. After the Steelheads secured that first shot, they were off. The Trout dominated a majority of the period tallying eight shots to Ottawa’s two just five minutes into the game. 

However, despite the Blue and White’s strong start, the 67’s were the ones to break the stalemate. Just over six minutes into the period, 67’s centremen Chris Barlas found the back of the net on a rebound to put Ottawa up 1-0.

The Steelheads were not discouraged and continued to play their powerful and physical game, and a minute and a half later, it paid off. Luca Del Bel Belluz collected the puck from teammate Zander Veccia and rushed the 67’s zone. After shaking off Ottawa’s defender and gaining the open lane, the forward snipped the puck top-shelf past Max Donoso to tie the game at one and record his 11th goal of the season. Winger James Hardie picked up the secondary assist, recording his 11th assist of the season. 

With six minutes to go in the period, after continued pressure and physicality, the Steelheads earned their first lead of the game. Receiving a great pass from Luke Misa, Zakary Lavoie got between two Ottawa defenders to secure the open lane and beat Donoso glove side to record his 10th goal of the season. Owen Beck also picked up an assist, helping give the Steelheads a 2-1 lead to exit the frame. 

Shots on Goal – 7 OTT/16 MISS

Second Period

Wanting to hold down their lead, the Steelheads backend made sure to hold down the fort, with Beglieri staying solid between the pipes. The Trout managed to slow Ottawa’s momentum to give the Steelheads the advantage once again.

Just over five minutes into the period, the Steelheads struck again. Beck out-skated the 67’s defenders to carry the puck behind the net and send a solid pass to Del Bel Belluz. The Woodbridge native, who was all alone in front, beat Donoso high to record his second of the night and put the Trout up 3-1. Charlie Callaghan picked up the secondary assist to record his 8th assist of the season.

Ottawa upped the pressure late in the period, and with a minute left, they were within one. With the initial shot bouncing off of multiple players in front of the net, the puck bounced over Beglieri and trickled in. Thomas Sirman was credited with the goal, and the period ended 3-2 in the Steelheads’ favour.

Shots on Goal – 7 OTT/10 MISS

Third Period

Both teams came out flying in the final frame with the Trout looking to extend their lead and the 67’s looking to tie it. The two sides exchanged great opportunities and chances, but the goaltenders stood tall.

The Steelheads’ best chance came six minutes into the period, as Lavoie rushed the zone and found a clear lane to Beck. With multiple defenders on him, Beck quickly attempted to send the puck to Misa who was stationed in front of Donoso, but just missed him. 

With 18 seconds left and the net empty, the 67’s made a push to tie it and Jack Matier sent it past the screen and Beglieri to send the game to overtime. 

Shots on Goal – 13 OTT/7 MISS

Overtime

The Steelheads started off strong in the extra frame with a cycle from Del Bel Belluz, Del Mastro, and Hardie. The trio got plenty of great opportunities including a shot by Del Bel Belluz who sent it just high. Ultimately, Ottawa’s Vinzenz Rohrer battled to gain a breakaway opportunity and put it over Beglieri to win the game 4-3.

Shots on Goal – 1 OTT/1 MISS

Total Shots – 28 OTT/34 MISS

Three Stars:

  1. Vinzenz Rohrer (1G)
  2. Del Bel Belluz (2G)
  3. Owen Beck (2A)

The Steelheads hit the road on Wednesday to face the Sarina Sting before heading back home to face the SOO Greyhounds on Friday. You can purchase your tickets to Friday’s game by clicking here. Our Pink at the Rink jersey auction is also still open. You can place your bid by clicking here.

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