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A Spirited Effort

February 8, 2015
By

February 7, 2015 – Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Mississauga Steelheads

MISSISSAUGA, ON – The pressure was on following a Friday night loss to the Barrie Colts, and for the Mississauga Steelheads, losing was not an option after falling to a tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With back-to-back games on the road, the Trout needed a full team effort to reverse their fortunes, and on Saturday night, they got just that.

Having hosted the Saginaw Spirit only once this season, the Trout looked to sweep the season series with a win at the Dow Events Center. The teams entered the game with different looks from their previous meeting, as a trade earlier in the season saw Jimmy Lodge join the Steelheads, while Jesse Barwell and Greg DiTomaso headed to Saginaw. With all three players performing well for their new clubs, the matchup drew a near sellout crowd in Michigan. The home side would give their fans reason to cheer early, as the Spirit put the Steelheads back on their heels to start the game with great pressure. Jacob Brennan did a great job to weather the storm however, sending the Steelheads back down the ice with an opportunity of their own. An offensively-charged period saw its first goal at the 4:22 mark as Saginaw opened the scoring with a point shot from Jacob Ringuette finding the back of the net. Mississauga came right back on the attack however, as 29 seconds later Stefan LeBlanc responded with a shot off of the wing to tie the game; Josh Burnside and Sam Babintsev picked up assists on the goal. The teams would continue to trade chances, highlighted by a close call for Nathan Bastian on the doorstep, and a big breakaway save by Brennan on Connor Brown. With both teams looking for a spark, the gloves would hit the ice midway through the first as Cody Thompson picked up a decisive victory over Jacob Ringuette; unfortunately it would result in a Spirit power play that they wasted no time taking advantage of. Dylan Sadowy picked up his 35th goal of the season with Barwell picking up an assist on the play at 13:39, however the Trout would once again answer right back. This time it would take only 13 seconds for Lodge’s backhand to find the back of the net from the slot, as Jason Smith and Everett Clark picked up assists on the tying goal. The final marker of the period would come late and with Blake Clarke in the box for the Spirit; Brandon Devlin let an absolute blast loose with 44 seconds to go in the period, giving the Trout a 3-2 lead heading into the intermission – LeBlanc and Babintsev picked up the assists on the goal.

Both teams looked to keep the offense going early in the second, and the teams continued to exchange great scoring chances. Fortunately for the defenses, the goalies came to play in the period, exchanging great saves to keep the game close. The next marker would not come until the 13 minute mark of the period as Bastian’s snapshot extended the Steelheads lead with Bobby MacIntyre and Michael McLeod notching assists on what looked like a broken play. MacIntyre had previously come close twice leading up to the scoring play. He would find himself with another opportunity before the end of the frame as he led the Steelheads’ forecheck in suffocating Saginaw’s offense. Bastian’s goal would stand as the lone second period marker, sending the Steelheads into the break with a two-goal lead.

An aggressive start to the third period by Saginaw saw them faced with an early penalty. Mississauga, not looking to experience one of Saginaw’s recent comebacks, took full advantage of the extra man advantage as Captain Bryson Cianfrone ripped home a pass from Burnside and Babintsev to make it 5-2 early in the third. With enough offense on the board, the Steelheads would lock down on defense, effectively shutting down any further Saginaw opportunity to close out a big road win.

The victory allowed the Steelheads to keep pace with the also-victorious Peterborough Petes as the teams battle for the final playoff spot in the East, remaining one point behind the 7th-place Kingston Frontenacs. The Steelheads will look to build off of the win tomorrow afternoon with a 4:05 PM start against the Sarnia Sting. The Trout will remain on the road for another two games following this weekend, with their next game at home coming on Monday, February 16th against the Erie Otters. The annual Family Day Game is already SOLD OUT!

THE MISSISSAUGA NEWS THREE STARS

1 – Sam Babintsev

2 – Jacob Brennan

3 – Dylan Sadowy

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Ontario Hockey League Stories from February 7, 2015

  • Troops’ Comeback Nets Shootout Victory – North Bay Battalion
  • Bulls Fold in Shootout to Troops – Belleville Bulls
  • Petes double-up on Spitfires – Windsor Spitfires
  • A Spirited Effort – Mississauga Steelheads
  • Otters Earn Big Rebound Win – Erie Otters
  • Saginaw Finishes Weekend With Loss to Mississauga – Saginaw Spirit
  • Morning Skate: Bulls Host Troops – Belleville Bulls

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Article source: http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4924824

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