SOTI Weekend Preview – Continuing the Home Stand
The Steelheads look to keep the win streak alive as the Flint Firebirds and Ottawa 67’s make the trip to Mississauga.
With 3 games in 4 days this past weekend, the Steelheads were looking to secure some much needed points. The Trout had some familiarity this weekend, with two games against the divisional rival Ice Dogs. Then came a tough test against the division leading North Bay Battalion, who had beat us handedly in our past two meetings this season. The Blue and White came to play this weekend, winning all three games and scoring a total of 16 goals through the three games.
Great performances from Zander Veccia and James Hardie propelled the Trout. Veccia totaled 8 points (5G, 3A) this past weekend, including his first career hat trick. Hardie totaled 9 points, (1G, 8A) including two 4 assist performances, good enough to earn him the OHL Player of the Week nod.
Heading into the weekend, the Mississauga Steelheads currently stand 5th place in the Eastern Conference (21-18-4-0). The Trout have their eyes set on the Peterborough Petes who are just three points ahead. With an exciting couple of games ahead, including the Steelheads Cultural Celebration game this Sunday, it will be a weekend fans will not want to miss.
Fight with the Firebirds
The Steelheads will face off against one of the American teams, the Flint Firebirds this Friday night at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre at 7:00 PM. The Trout will look to sweep the season series, as they won the earlier meeting between the two back in October by a score of 2-1.
The Steelheads will need to keep an eye on speedy centreman Amadeus Lombardi, who has consistently been the best player for the Firebirds this season. Lombardi, drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round this past NHL Draft, has been scoring at a high pace during the 2022-23 OHL campaign, securing 53 points (25G, 28A) in 43 games.
The Steelheads will look no further than red hot Veccia to provide some offense for the Trout. After the trade deadline, it seems that Head Coach James Richmond has been relying on Veccia in a larger role. The sophomore forward has done more than step up to the plate, he has flourished in his greater responsibilities. Since the deadline, the right-winger has scored 11 points (5G, 6A) in 6 games.
You can purchase tickets to the game by clicking here.
Cultural Celebration in Mississauga
The Steelheads will wrap up the weekend on Sunday, with a meeting against the Ottawa 67’s at home at 2:00 PM. The game will be Mississauga’s inaugural Cultural Celebration night, which looks to celebrate the diversity of the city through the game of hockey, with vendors, intermission performances, and more! You can purchase tickets to the game by clicking here.
This game will serve as a massive test for the Steelheads, as the 67’s have been dominant throughout this season and currently stand alone at first in the OHL. The Steelheads will also be looking to even the season series on Sunday afternoon as in the previous meeting, the 67’s narrowly edged out Mississauga in overtime by a score of 4-3.
The Trout will certainly look to centreman Luke Misa, who has massively stepped up to the plate since the trade deadline. The sophomore has emerged as the Steelheads strongest option in terms of taking faceoffs, often being relied upon heavily by the coaching staff. He has been on a tear as of late, scoring 6 points (3G, 3A) in his last 3 games, including a shorthanded marker. Playing an important role on the backend is defenceman Chas Sharpe, who has five assists in his last three games. The assistant captain ranks second on the team in points and first among Steelheads defencemen. His 24 assists this season are good enough to place him in the top ten for all OHL defencemen in that category.
The 67’s roster has a large amount of firepower that the Trout will look to contain. Standing front and centre is newly acquired centreman Logan Morrison, who has already tallied 6 points (1G, 5A) in the three appearances since being traded. The former Hamilton Bulldog is no stranger to the Steelheads, having put up 13 points (2G, 11A) against Mississauga in six games this season. In terms of the defensive side to Ottawa’s game, both of their goalies lead the way. Their impressive tandem of Collin MacKenzie and Max Donoso have been lights out this season, posting 0.928 and 0.905 save percentages respectively.
This matchup has all the makings of being a fantastic game, so fans should be excited for the Steelheads final Sunday home game this season at the PFFC.