(Photo Via: guelphstorm.com/ Tony Saxon)
GUELPH – In a game that saw two teams going in opposite directions, the Mississauga Steelheads came away with a 5-2 road win against the Guelph Storm on Sunday afternoon.
Cole Carter opened the scoring for the Steelheads just 4:24 into the game. The Orleans, Ont., native potted his 18th of the season in the early going, giving him a goal streak of three games, and scoring in 4 out of his last 5 games.
Mark Shoemaker would respond shortly after for the Guelph Storm as he would score his first of the season less than 3:00 after his team went down in the early going. Shoemaker, originally from Mississauga, Ont., was playing in his 231st career game and recorded just his 6th career goal. His last goal came on November 15th of 2015 when he was playing with the North Bay Battalion, the goal contributed to a 7-3 Battalion win over the Barrie Colts.
Cole Carter would then take over. Already scoring in the opening frame, Carter would add another with 8:26 left in the period. Then, just 0:27 into the 2nd period, Cole Carter would score his 3rd goal of the game and 20th goal of the season to give his team a 3-1 lead over the struggling Guelph Storm.
Owen Tippett would add a goal of his own around the midway mark of the 2nd period. It was Tippett’s 29th of the season and continued his goal streak now to 5 games, he has six goals in that time frame. Tippett was selected 10th overall in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers.
Trent Fox would join in on the action as he netted his 19th goal of the season with 3:49 left in the middle period. Fox, a native of Chatham, Ont., scored his 2nd goal in as many games. Before that he had gone 8 games without a goal, his last coming on January 28th, when he scored two in a 4-1 Mississauga win over Sudbury.
Trailing the Steelheads 5-1, Guelph would score in the final frame. Zach Poirier would net his 6th goal of the season with 12:42 left to play in the game. The Mountain, Ont., native scored his 2nd goal in 3 games, which ended his 8-game goalless drought. Three of Poirier’s six goals on the season have come in the month of February.
That would be as close as the Storm would get, falling 5-2 the final. It was Emanuel Vella picking up the win for the Steelheads, recording his 15th win of the season on his 18 save effort. His record improves to 15-9-1 on the year with a 3.09 GAA and a 0.901 SV%.
Anthony Popovich will be credited with the loss. The Belleville, Ont., native played the first two periods, allowing 5 goals on 31 shots. Nico Dawes came in relief of Popovich and made all 9 saves in the final frame to keep the deficit to 5-2.
With the loss Guelph has now dropped 7 straight games and find themselves sitting in 8th place in the OHL Western conference. They will play their next game Friday when the host to Flint Firebirds and try to get back into the win column.
As for the Steelheads, they are winners of four straight games and are trying to keep pace with Oshawa, Ottawa, and North Bay to figure out seeding at the bottom of the OHL Eastern conference. Mississauga will play their next game on Wednesday night when they travel to Oshawa to take on the Generals in an all-important OHL Eastern conference matchup. Puck drop will be at 7:05pm from the Tribute Communities Centre.
First Star: #18 Cole Carter – 3 Goals, +4, 6 shots on goal – Mississauga
Second Star: #41 Nicolas Hague – 3 Assists, +2, 4 shots on goal – Mississauga
Third Star: #9 Michael McLeod – 3 Assists, +4, 2 shots on goal, 47% Faceoffs (7/15) – Mississauga