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SmartStop Post-Game Recap – A Win Against the Dogs

The Mississauga Steelheads dominated the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre with a 6-2 win.

First Period

The Mississauga Steelheads made the trip down to Niagara to take on the IceDogs for the third time this season. This is the first of two matchups these teams will play just this weekend, with the IceDogs appearing at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre this Sunday. 

It was a fast-paced first period with both clubs trading scoring chances. Goaltender Ryerson Leenders stood strong and made a great blocker save off a slot shot from IceDogs centreman Daniel Michaud to keep them off the board. 

The Steelheads headed to the power play with just under 5 minutes to go in the first period, however could not produce any great chances. It was shortly thereafter though that the IceDogs had an odd-man rush that was shut down by a great back check by Zander Veccia. James Hardie picked up the puck and flew down the ice, slowed up at the half boards, finding his linemate. Veccia then headed straight to the net to receive the pass from Hardie once again and deposit it into the back of the net. 

With the late goal, the Steelheads remained in the lead 1-0 to exit the first period. 

Shots on Goal – 11 NIAG /14 MISS

Second Period

It was a busy period, with a total of 4 goals being scored between both teams. 

The IceDogs came out firing early on, but Leenders made a tricky save on Michaud and was able to corral the rebound before it trickled through the five hole. In response, the Steelheads had some chances of their own. Flying around the offensive zone, Hardie held onto the puck and his patience proved supreme, as he found the open man in Luke Misa, who made no mistake and increased the Steelheads lead to 2-0. Veccia also received an assist on the goal.

Shortly after the Steelheads doubled the lead, IceDogs centreman Alex Assadourian followed up on a shot by Kevin He and deposited the loose puck into the back of the net to bring them within one. Not to be outdone, the Steelheads upped the pressure and produced a number of quality scoring chances, notably by Kai Schwindt and Jack Van Volsen, but they were both robbed by IceDogs goaltender Josh Rosenzweig. 

With eight minutes remaining in the frame, Steelheads defenceman Stevie Leskovar was called for interference, and He was able to capitalize on the ensuing power play, tying the game up at two.  

Two minutes later, the Steelheads headed to their second power play of the evening. The first unit was unsuccessful, however, the second unit jumped onto the ice and Angus MacDonell restored the Steelheads lead with a slick move to the front of the net before sliding it home on the backhand. Lucas Karmiris and Chas Sharpe received the assists on MacDonell’s third goal as a Steelhead.

Shots on Goal – 10 NIAG /14 MISS

Third Period

It was all Steelheads in the third period. The Trout did a great job clogging up the neutral zone, which limited the IceDogs chances and eventually caused Mississauga to head to the power play. Steelheads forward Justin DeZoete was attempting to slide the puck across the crease to Hardie, but it hit the stick of the IceDogs defender and found its way into the back of the net, making it 4-2.  

The Steelheads remained calm and had fantastic defensive sticks that constantly broke up the plays that Niagara were attempting to produce. 

Later in the frame, Veccia doubled down, scoring his second of the night after a great tic-tac-toe play between his linemates Hardie and Misa. The goal marked Veccia’s third point of the game and a career-high four assist night for Hardie. The Steelheads did not stop there. Not long after Veccia’s goal, Adam Zidlicky stole the puck from the IceDogs and found Porter Martone, who delivered a beautiful saucer pass over to Van Volsen, who deposited it into the back of the net to go up 6-2. 

With Leenders holding down the fort on the other side of the ice, the Steelheads got the two points with a 6-2 against the IceDogs. 

Shots on Goal – 8 NIAG /15MISS

Total Shots – 29 NIAG /43 MISS

Three Stars:

  1. James Hardie (4A)
  2. Zander Veccia (2G, 1A)
  3. Kevin He (1G, 1A)

The Steelheads return home tomorrow to face the North Bay Battalion before playing the IceDogs once again this Sunday. Be one of the first 500 fans in the building on Sunday’s game and receive a free toque! Click here to purchase your tickets for this weekend’s games.

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