Special teams haven’t been all that special for the Mississauga Steelheads this season, but they shone on Sunday in a 4-1 victory over the London Knights at the Hershey Centre.
Every goal in the game came on the man advantage, helping Mississauga take over sole possession of first place in the OHL’s Central Division.
The loss by the Knights kept them seated in second place in the overall standings, three points behind the Soo Greyhounds.
The Knights put 18 pucks at the Mississauga net in the first period, firing away through two and a half power plays of their own, but could not beat Matthew Mancina or the league’s 20th ranked penalty kill.
In the second period, the story was eerily similar. Fifteen more pucks found their way to Mancina and he turned all of them aside again.
Mississauga put their power play to use, going three-for-three in the middle period. The first goal came off the stick of top NHL draft prospect, Nicolas Hague who fired a shot in from the left side of the London zone.
Another top prospect for the draft, Owen Tippett scored his 32nd of the year on a man advantage to put the Steelheads up 2-0. Tippett is projected as high as a top-5 pick by some scouting services and when scouts talk about him, it isn’t long before the word “shot” comes up. The Peterborough native blasted one short-side on Knights’ goalie, Jordan Kooy, who did not give Tippett much open net to shoot through.
Right off the face-off on a third power play, the puck was put to the London net and swept in by Nathan Bastian to make it 3-0.
The clock seemed to move at double-time early in the third period as the Steelheads chipped the puck out of their zone and chipped away the first eight-plus minutes.
With 11:38 left in the third, the Knights went to the man advantage and London Head Coach Dale Hunter pulled goalie Tyler Johnson, who had started the period for the Knights. London held the puck for over a minute and got a goal on a half-slapper from Cliff Pu to get on the board at 3-1.
London pushed for more, but came up empty. Tippett sealed things and moved past Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters, into the OHL goal-scoring lead as he tapped a pass into an empty net with just over a minute to go.
Mississauga became the first team to beat the Knights twice in regulation time this season.
Next up for the Knights will be three games in two and a half days, beginning with a matchup against the Spirit Friday night at Budweiser Gardens. The Knights go to Saginaw Saturday and then face the Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday afternoon. All games can be heard on AM 980.
Photo Credit: (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)