SOTI Weekend Preview – Playoff Preparation
The Steelheads wrap up the regular season and gear up for the playoffs with a three-in-three.
The Mississauga Steelheads were busy last week, playing four games in six nights and clinching the playoffs for the sixth straight season. The Trout secured four points in style with both an overtime and shootout victory and improved their record to 31-28-6-0. Steelheads forwards Adam Zidlicky (1G, 2A) and Lucas Karmiris (3G) impressed over the four game span and appear to be getting hot at the right time ahead of the playoffs. On the defensive end, Kasper Larsen (1G, 4A) was lighting up the scoresheet last week, also chipping in with a massive game tying goal against the Erie Otters on Friday.
Quinn Binnie registered his first two career points with his first OHL goal on Friday night and an assist on Sunday night against the Generals. Additionally, captain James Hardie set a new franchise record for single-season points by a Steelheads player with 79 points this year. Congratulations to both players!
This Saturday’s game against the Peterborough Petes is a special one, as it marks the Mississauga Steelheads annual Fan Appreciation game presented by Goodwill! The first 500 fans that arrive at PFFC for the game will receive a special giveaway courtesy of Goodwill.
The fun doesn’t stop there as the final home game of the regular season will also include a special ceremony for the Steelheads overage players prior to puck drop. The ceremony will honour James Hardie, Charlie Callaghan, and Kasper Larsen and acknowledge their contributions to the Mississauga Steelheads organization.
Puck drop is set for 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon, you can purchase tickets online by clicking here.
Round Two Against Oshawa
Mississauga will open up the week with a matchup against the Oshawa Generals at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre on Friday night. The Trout look to exact some revenge on the Generals, as the Blue and White were in Oshawa this past weekend and fell by a score of 6-3.
With the playoffs ahead, the Friday night game is an important one for the Trout. The Steelheads aim to earn as many points as possible with the battle for playoff seeding intensifying. The Blue and White will most definitely look to sophomore winger Zander Veccia for offence. The competitive winger has appeared in all 65 games for the Steelheads this season, totaling 43 points (19G, 24A).
In terms of the opposition, the Steelheads will need to find a way to put a stop to the Generals offensive trio of Cameron Butler, Matthew Buckley and Luke Torrance. The trio each recorded three points in the game this past weekend and were a nuisance for the Trout to deal with. Another weapon that cannot be understated is Ryan Gagnier, who has led the way for the Generals all season, totaling 67 points (30G, 37A) in 63 games this season.
You can purchase tickets to the game by clicking here.
Pairing off with Peterborough
On Saturday afternoon, the Peterborough Petes visit the Paramount Fine Foods Centre for a matchup against the Steelheads, as both teams gear up for the playoffs. Ahead of week 26 of the OHL season, both teams have played 65 games and are separated by just four points. The Steelheads sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-28-6-0 and the Petes sit fourth with a record of 34-27-2-2.
This game serves as a quick rematch for the Steelheads, as the Trout fell 5-2 in a meeting with the Petes last week. Despite the loss, netminder Ryerson Leenders was solid in the game, recording 42 saves as both teams were firing everything on net. In terms of the offence, the Steelheads will look to former Pete Jack Van Volsen to provide. Van Volsen tallied a goal in the meeting last week, and has recorded 11 points (7G, 4A) since being acquired by the Steelheads in January.
On the other end of the ice, the Trout will have to control Avery Hayes, who recorded a hat trick against the Steelheads last Tuesday. Hayes’ offensive production has been superb during the 2022-23 OHL campaign, totaling 76 points (43G, 33A) in 62 games split between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Peterborough Petes this season.
Peterborough has had the Blue and Whites number all season, winning each of the matchups handedly. However the Steelheads never go down easily and look to retaliate heading into a potential playoff matchup.
You can purchase tickets to the Steelheads final regular season home game by clicking here.
Regular Season Closer
The Steelheads will end the week off with their final game of the regular season, as they hit the road and take on the Battalion at North Bay Memorial Gardens, with puck drop set for 2:00PM.
This is the sixth meeting between the two teams, as the Steelheads look to even up the season series at three games a piece. Although this game is the final game of the season, playoff implications will still be at the forefront as the Steelheads battle for seeding. Both teams hope to build momentum heading into the postseason so expect fireworks and a tightly contested matchup.
It is necessary for the Steelheads to keep an eye on Josh Bloom, who has been the Steelheads’ kryptonite this season in terms of matchups against North Bay. Bloom has played in 6 games against the Trout this season, one with the Spirit and five with the Battalion, totaling 9 points (8G, 1A). Although the offence has been there for North Bay, it was their goaltending that stole the show during the most recent meeting with the Steelheads, as Dom DiVincentis had an unbelievable performance recording a 46 save shutout.
Looking at the Steelheads roster, it is clear that the offence runs through the hands of overage forward James Hardie, who has been at the centre of things all season for Mississauga. Hardie has had another historic season, recording 80 points (37G, 43A) in 63 games and breaking numerous records. The Steelheads potential playoff success heavily looks to the production of Hardie, who led the team in playoff points in last year’s run.
You can watch all away games by purchasing CHL TV, accessible on the CHL mobile app, in addition to Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire, and online at watch.chl.ca.