SmartStop Post-Game Recap – Playoff Bound
The Steelheads punch their ticket to the postseason at their Indigenous Celebration game.
The Steelheads took to the ice for a rare Wednesday night match against the Barrie Colts for their Indigenous Celebration game. The Blue and White dawned new specialty jerseys designed by Indigenous artist Kory Parkin, with the jerseys up for auction in support of the 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations. Click here to bid on the jerseys via DASH Auctions.
The game started in favour of the Colts early on, with the away team registering a number of shots on goal in the first few minutes of the game. After the Steelheads took a delay of game penalty, Barrie capitalized and got on the scoreboard first as their leading goal-scorer Ethan Cardwell tallied his 39th of the season.
It did not take long for the Steelheads to strike back. After battling for the puck, Luke Misa passed it back to James Hardie looking to make history, who took a shot from one knee to put the puck past goalie Ben West. The captain’s 37th goal of the year marked his 78th point of the season, tying Nicolas Hague’s franchise record for single-season points.
The goal sparked some life into the home team, who continued to fire shots on West looking to pull ahead. Their efforts paid off in the last couple minutes of the frame, as a hard shot from the blue line from Parker Von Richter was tipped past West by Lucas Karmiris to put the Steelheads up 2-1. Brice Cooke also received an assist on the rookie’s fifth goal of the year.
The Steelheads capped off the first period up by a goal, aiming to keep up the pace in the next period.
Shots on Goal – 13 BAR/11 MISS
The back-and-forth play from the first period carried over into the second, as both teams exchanged shots on net and opposing penalties. While each team had a couple of exciting opportunities, it was a quiet first half of the period.
With eight minutes remaining in the frame, the Colts evened the score. After Ryerson Leenders made an excellent first save, Roenick Jodoin found the loose puck and sent it into the back of the net. Just 1:53 later, Beau Akey scored an unassisted goal to give the Colts a 3-2 lead.
Barrie’s lead did not last long, as the Steelheads came back with a vengeance. With a crowd near the front of the net, Zander Veccia managed to find the loose puck. Skating in, he put it through his legs and up in the top corner of the net to tie the game up at three. Veccia’s goal of the year candidate was unassisted and marks his 18th of the season.
Less than a minute later, it was NHL Draft hopeful Angus MacDonell who made his mark. Standing right in front of the net, the sophomore forward found Von Richter’s pass to score his 27th of the season. Captain Hardie also received an assist, setting a new franchise record for single season points with 79 points.
After forty minutes of play, the Steelheads remained up by a goal with a score of 4-3.
Shots on Goal – 13 BAR/9 MISS
Another intense period of play saw the two teams battle for the victory. Four minutes into the frame, the high-scoring action resumed. Quickly off the draw, Colts’ captain Brandt Clarke grabbed the puck and skated towards the net, firing a shot that made its way past Leenders to tie the game at four goals a piece.
In response, the Steelheads upped the pressure with the hope of retaking the lead. After Adam Zidlicky’s shot was stopped, Misa found the rebound and sent it to the back of the net. Cooke picked up his second assist of the night as Mississauga went up 5-4.
Continuing with the back-and-forth story of the game, Clarke scored his second of the night to tie the game back up with four minutes to go in the period. Eventually, the clock went down to zero and the period ended in a tie, sending the game to overtime.
Shots on Goal – 15 BAR/8 MISS
The extra frame started with suspense for the Steelheads, as the Colts possessed the puck for the opening few minutes. Leenders stood tall and made a couple good stops to allow the Trout to turn the other way.
On an ensuing rush for the Steelheads, MacDonell rang a wicked wrist shot off the post, as the fans in attendance gasped after the opportunity. This chance proved to be the best of the extra time, and the game needed to be solved in a shootout.
James Hardie – Scores
Ethan Cardwell – X
Porter Martone – X
Evan Vierling – Scores
Parker Von Richter – Scores
Brandt Clarke – X
Shots on Goal – 3 BAR/2 MISS
Total Shots – 44 BAR/30 MISS
- Zander Veccia (1G)
- Luke Misa (1G, 1A)
- Parker Von Richter (2A)
The Steelheads are back in action on Friday when they take on the Erie Otters for the final time this season and gear up for the playoffs. You can purchase tickets to Friday night’s game by clicking here.