November 14, 2012

Steelheads Beat 67's, Former Teammate Windsor 5-4

Newly acquired 67’s netminder Clint Windsor did his best to get a win in his first start with his new squad, but it was his previous team, the Mississauga Steelheads, who would walk away with a 5-4 win over the 67’s who have dropped four in a row.

Windsor made 31 saves in his debut, including a 12-save performance in the opening period, a period which has cost the 67’s a number of games early on this year.

"I'm sure there are a couple he would've liked back but I thought he was pretty calm in the net and he made some good stops,” said Chris ByrneSpencer Martin, whose solid play caused Windsor to be the odd man out in Mississauga, made 26 stops at the other end.

Steelheads forward Dylan Smoskowitz seems to be making a habit of scoring the first goal in games this season.  For the second time this season against Ottawa, Smoskowitz had his team’s first two goals of the night.  Mike Vlajkov and Remy Giftopoulos scored between the two markers from Mississauga’s leading goalscorer.

The visitors started to pull ahead late in the second.  Trevor Carrick scored on the powerplay and Josh Burnside walked through Ottawa’s defence before beating Windsor.  Sean Monahan kept the 67’s in it with a late second-period goal.

It wasn’t until a late penalty to the Steelheads that the scoring started up again.  With Ottawa on the man advantage, Carrick and Giftopoulos each scored their second goals of the game.  Despite having Mississauga ice the puck three times in the final minute, however, Ottawa couldn’t convert and even up the game.

Mississauga is now tied for first in the Eastern Conference while Ottawa sits ninth place, four points behind Sudbury for eighth with one game in hand. 

Game sheet can be found here.

Assorted Notes:
  • Sean Callaghan is the team's closest to the ten-fight limit now with his fourth of the year, a decisive win over Jacob Graves in between whistles.
  • Mississauga's third goal was on a powerplay that resulted from a phantom penalty on Ryan Van Stralen.  Their fourth goal came after Smoskowitz got away with interfering with Giftopoulos in the neutral zone.  Byrne, however, didn't put any blame for the loss on the officials.  "We've got enough work here for ourselves that we don't need to worry about other people's jobs. Worrying about calls one way or the other isn't my job."
  • With two assists tonight, Ottawa-born Steelheads forward Riley Brace now has points in his last four games against his hometown team.
  • Monahan is proving to be an interesting story for this struggling 67's team.  He has now moved into a tie for second in league scoring.  Surely, scouts can't overlook a prolific scorer on a non-playoff team.

Hardest Working 67's as Selected by the Team1200: Brett Gustavsen

Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
  • No Three Star gallery for the game as I was unable to grab a shot before they turned around.  
  • Lots of little things improving: better compete along the boards, faster to the puck, better cycling.  But there's still room for improvement: clearing passes that actually clear for example and in the second period I wondered if they actually had a breakout system. But all in all steady improvements.  
  • A couple of the goals against Clint were deflections.  I thought he had a pretty good start (loss notwithstanding).  He fills the net, doesn't let out too many rebounds, steers shots into the corners and handles the puck with confidence.  Think he'll do fine.  
  • Tyler Graovac has to be one tired hockey player:  5 games in 6 days including two he had to fly to.  He's earned some rest.  But just for a bit.  
  • With all the trade action on the weekend, thought it would be interesting to take another look at the roster:  8D and 11F; 4 16 year olds; 4 17 year olds; 5 18 year olds; 6 19 year olds and 1 20 year old; regularly dressing 6 rookies (Mississauga dressed 2 last night - they only have 4).  Perhaps not the youngest team in the OHL but with 2 OA openings, certainly not the oldest. 
  • You can see the rookies are starting to play with more confidence and authority. 
  • Had a quick chat with Daniel Walsh - things are improving but it takes the time it takes to recover from a concussion.  
  • Every player wants to win; this record has to be tough on the team.  But I have to say that even with the losses, I like how the team has pulled it up since last Friday. 

Some pictures from the game:

Clint Windsor (great name)

Click here to see more game pictures.

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