IceDogs lose back-to-back vs Petes
Kyle Akitt (@JustKyle51)
Brandon Caputo (@Caputz13_AGM)
Photo Credit: vivideyephotography
In the 2nd half of the back-to-back versus the Peterborough Petes, the Niagara IceDogs were back home on Country Night at the Meridian Centre. Fans were encouraged to break out the plaid and celebrate country music for this game. The IceDogs were definitely looking to lasso themselves a win in this one, after falling to the Petes the night prior by a score of 4-2.
The IceDogs going into this game were sitting in last place still in the OHL and 10 points behind the 8th and final playoff spot, in which the Petes and Sudbury Wolves are currently tied for at 41 points. The IceDogs have not had the best luck in trying to catch both teams in the last quarter of this OHL season, being ridiculed with injuries left and right, it has not been easy for Coach Burke to keep the momentum up with his team and trying to build some sort of stable chemistry.
Currently on the injury list for the IceDogs were forwards Cameron Peters, Declan Waddick, Liam Van Loon (suspension), 2020 OHL 2nd overall pick Pano Fimis, and San Jose Sharks draft pick Danil Gushchin, who is the teams leading scorer in both goals and points going into this one.
LW - Aiden Castle C - Dylan Roobroeck RW - Anthony Agostinelli D - Alec Leonard D - Dakota Betts
G - Josh Rosenzweig
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The IceDogs would set the tone early in this game as forward Juan Copeland would score his 7th goal of the season not even 2 minutes into the game. It would not take long for the Petes though to answer back as forward Tucker Robertson finds the back of the net. IceDogs would then go to the powerplay shortly after and one of the newest members of the IceDogs forward core Daniel Michaud would score to regain the lead. With that being a 4-minute powerplay, the IceDogs would still have 2 minutes left at their disposal and forward Juan Copeland would score his second of the game and 8th of the season to make it a 3-1 game. The IceDogs were firing on all cylinders in this game early on, trying to erase the lost from the night prior to the Petes.
While the IceDogs fought to keep the momentum, it wasn't without some BIG saves from goaltender Josh Rosenzweig, who recently returned from injury and kept the 2 goal lead intact for Niagara, including one save on a breakaway from Petes leading scorer Emmett Sproule.
In a mirrored image of the 1st period, the Petes would be the one to score within the first minute of the period with San Jose Sharks prospect Artem Guryev scoring on a brutal shift by the IceDogs first line. The IceDogs would recover quickly and turn back the momentum as the period went on. After some chances by both teams offensively and a scramble in front of IceDogs goaltender Josh Rosenzweig, the puck would find the back of the net by Petes forward Tucker Robertson, scoring his 2nd of the game and tying the game at 3. The Petes would also add 2 goals late in the 2nd to send both teams to the locker room with Peterborough up 5-3 in what was a tough way to end the period.
The third period would be a struggle for the IceDogs to gain back any momentum in this game. The Petes would do a good job hemming the IceDogs in their own end and playing excellent defensively, eliminating any scoring chances created. Josh Rosenzsweig was called upon again on several occasions to come up with some big saves to not let the game get out of hand. The Petes would get the empty netter with just about 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd period to seal it 6-3 for the visitors.
A big home and home with a team directly ahead of the IceDogs in the standings goes for not as they pick up 0 out of a possible 4 points. Niagara will be back at it on Sunday afternoon vs the Mississauga Steelheads trying to get the wheels turning in the right direction once again. Full capacity was the best positive of tonight, as the returning Meridian Centre crowd was lively in cheering on their hometown team throughout the entire game.
Jersey House Player of the Game: Juan Copeland (2 goals)
Photo Credit: OHL Images/Brandon Taylor