In this edition of the CHL Game of the Week, the Mississauga Steelheads travelled north of the 401 to Sadlon Arena for a Saturday night matchup against the Barrie Colts.
It started as an explosive first period offensively from the Steelheads, where they scored four goals. However, Barrie found their rhythm as the game progressed, and became the quicker team in all situations.
Let’s take a look at three takeaways from this Central Divison matchup, and some of the standout performances that came from it.
Barrie Finds A Way To Win
The Colts did not back down from the pressure after being down 5-2 and proved it with their third-period comeback. Ethan Cardwell was the play driver in this game, getting one goal and three points on the night. His chemistry with Beau Jelsma continues to impress, and they showcase that they can be among the league’s best in sequences. Jelsma finished the night with a pair of goals and three points as well.
After a tough first period for Ben West, who allowed four goals on 13 shots, it was time for a change. Anson Thornton entered the game and was positionally sound for the rest of the night, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Tonight reminded everybody that Steelhead’s goaltender Alessio Beglieri is still a rookie and struggled to finish this game. Barrie weaponized their offensive strategies to get pucks to the net, and park bodies in front.
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The atmosphere at Sadlon Arena was electric throughout this game. Since the two cities are relatively close, there were multiple sections that contained a majority of Steelheads fans in them. However, once Barrie started to find their groove, the crowd pops from each consecutive goal could be heard from the 400 highway. Always a great rivalry between these two organizations.
Owen Beck Continues To Dominate
After scoring six points in the previous game against the Hamilton Bulldogs, Beck was ready to back that up a night later. He scored two goals in the first period, and they were in typical fashion for him.
He creates the controlled zone entry on a three-on-two play off the rush in the first one. With multiple options to choose from, he elects to skate through the middle of the ice, and use the defender as a screen to score. Although West likely wanted to stop that puck, it was the excellent execution that allowed it to occur.
In a similar fashion to his second goal, it was another wrist shot from the top of the slot. Kai Schwindt, freshly promoted to the first line, excelled at finding the passing lane for Beck on this play. Almost every Colts player on this shift struggled with their defensive assignments, and that allowed Beck to become open for the shot.
Kai Schwindt Moved To The First Line
Steelheads head coach James Richmond decided to move Schwindt up to the first line after Friday night’s game against Hamilton. After producing a career-high in points with five in that game, it was clear that Beck and Schwindt had natural chemistry.
In terms of what he did in this game, he was tied for the team lead in shots with five, alongside Zander Veccia. He excelled at creating controlled zone entries, and thus, was able to generate many scoring chances.
The Florida Panther prospect is hoping to take that next step in his game this season. After scoring 17 points in 68 games last year, he already has eight points through nine games to begin this season. That’s the bet that the Panthers were making when they signed him as an undrafted player in the off-season.
The Colts are back in action Sunday afternoon, as they play the Noth Bay Battalion at North Bay Memorial Gardens at 2 PM.
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