IceDogs Hooked Once Again By Steelheads
Written by: Kyle Akitt (@JustKyle51)
Edited by: Brandon Caputo (@Caputz13_AGM)
Brandon Taylor/OHL Images
Only two days removed from their last game played, the Niagara IceDogs (10-21-1-1) were back at the Meridian Centre in a rematch against the 1st place in the OHL Eastern Conference Mississauga Steelheads
(27-8-1-3). Both teams were on their own kind of streaks going into this one, with the Steelheads running a
4-game win streak while the IceDogs were on a 3-game losing streak.
The IceDogs would have an interesting lineup, to say the least. To start, due to injuries, defencemen Landon Cato, Andrew Wycisk, and forward Cameron Peters were all sidelined. Not to mention the final game of a
4-game suspension to Danil Gushchin, this would lead to head coach Billy Burke to put together a lineup of 11 forwards and 5 defensemen. A tough test, especially against a tough team like the Steelheads, who lead the season series versus the IceDogs at 4-1.
This week for the IceDogs would be more than busy as after this game, the IceDogs will play 3 straight games starting Friday with the Ottawa 67's, Saturday against the Peterborough Petes, and Sunday versus the 67's once again, the ladder two being on the road.
(LW) Brice Cooke (C) Daniel Michaud (RW) Brenden Sirizzotti (D) Isaac Enright (D) Dakota Betts (G) Joseph Costanzo
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The IceDogs looked to see the tone early on with the makeshift lineup they had to structure with the current injuries. Unfortunately it would be the Steelheads to strike first with forward James Hardie (29th) getting a puck past goaltender Joey Costanzo on a breakaway for a 1-0 lead. Eventually, the IceDogs would continue the pressure to not let the Steelheads control the game from here and it would eventually lead to a highlight-reel goal from IceDogs forward Declan Waddick. This would mark his 2nd career OHL goal and a beauty to say the least.
Mississauga would not let the IceDogs go without a fight and near the end of the 1st period, after a flurry of passes in the IceDogs zone, Steelheads forward Ty Collins would score his 11th goal of the season to give Mississauga a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd period.
It would be the Steelheads to start the second period with a dagger to the IceDogs side and that dagger would be given by former IceDogs player and now Steelhead forward: Jake Uberti, scoring his 10th goal of the season and 2nd against his former team in as many games, giving Mississauga a 3-1 lead. Uberti was traded back on January 9th to the Steelheads for a 2nd round pick in 2023 and a 3rd /4th round pick in 2025. He has since scored 3 goals for the Steelheads including the one at this point of the period.
Another one of the Steelheads top players would strike for the 4th goal of the game and it would be forward Luca DelBelBullez with his 21st of the season. He is having an exceptional season that has him now ranked 11th on the NHL North American Central Scouting Rankings.
Both teams would battle it out in the first half of the 3rd period while trading some scoring chances. The IceDogs would eventually find some light in a comeback when rookie forward Juan Copeland scored past Steelheads goaltender Joe Ranger and cut the lead to 4-2.
It wouldn't take long for the Steelheads to answer and stop that momentum train in its tracks as the Steelheads top line would strike again and forward Ty Collins would get his 2nd goal of the game and 12th of the season. This would put the Steelheads up 5-2 and put any sort of comeback behind the IceDogs. Kai Schwindt makes it 6-2 as another turnover in the defensive end leaves Costanzo with virtually no chance on the play.
Just one of those nights where what could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Mississauga wins the game 6-2 and outshoot the IceDogs once again in large numbers, this time by a 46-20 total.
Jersey House Player of the Game: Declan Waddick
Photo Credit: Vivid Eye Photography