Vella Gets Shutout as Steelheads Score Four

The Niagara Ice Dogs were in town to take on the Steelheads for some Friday night hockey. Mississauga was riding a 7-4 win over divisional foes the Barrie Colts on Thursday, while Niagara had a 4-1 win of their own against Saginaw.

There was a back and forth pace to the game, with both teams trading chances. The Steelheads drew first blood with a slapshot from Nicolas Hague to make it 1-0, only 5:52 into the period. Mississauga struck again less than 10 minutes later when Trent Fox tipped in an Owen Tippett shot to extend the Trout’s lead 2-0. The Steelheads got some chances to tally another before the period ended, but couldn’t find the back of the net before the buzzer sounded. At the end of the frame, shots were 9-7 for the IceDogs.

The second period started off quiet on Mississauga’s end, but Niagara was firing off shots. Vella shut the door and kept them off the score sheet. The Steelheads received the first power play opportunity of the game when Kirill Maksimov was called for interference. Mississauga capitalized on the man-advantage, with Owen Tippett scoring his 28th of the season at 5:53 of the frame. Less than five minutes later, the Steelheads would have a penalty of their own to kill off, when Albert Michnac was called for high-sticking at 10:36 into the period. The IceDogs did not score on the ensuing power play, keeping the score 3-0. Mississauga ended the frame on the penalty kill as Michael Little was called for high sticking. Shots were 30-16 for Niagara after 40 minutes.

Mississauga entered the third period with 32 seconds remaining on the Little penalty, but killed it off with ease. The Steelheads’ penalty kill units saw a lot of ice time in the final frame, as captain Michael McLeod got caught with a high sticking double-minor at 4:38 into the period. Some of the penalty was negated when Kyle Langdon was called for interference. Niagara did not score on their power play, keeping the score 3-0. Cole Carter sealed the deal with less than three minutes to play when he tallied his 17th goal of the season, giving the Steelheads a 4-0 win. Emanuel Vella achieved his second shutout in three starts.

The Steelheads will travel to Guelph on Sunday for a 4:00 PM tilt against the Storm.

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