Hayes Scores Hat-trick, Adds Assist as Petes Beat Steelheads 5-2 at the PMC

St. Patrick’s Day came early to the PMC on Tuesday night when the Petes welcomed the Mississauga Steelheads for a rare early week matchup. Former Petes Justin DeZoete, Stevie Leskovar, and Jack Van Volsen all returned to the PMC for the first time since the trade deadline and the blockbuster trade that sent former Steelhead Owen Beck to Peterborough. The game would see the Petes honour their overage players Gavin White, Avery Hayes, and Captain Shawn Spearing with a ceremony before puck drop.

Mississauga came into the game looking for two points to clinch a playoff spot, while the Petes (who clinched last Friday) would jump right back ahead of Hamilton for 4th in the Eastern Conference with a win. Peterborough has played Mississauga well this season, outscoring the Steelheads 12-4 in two meetings earlier this year. Liam Sztuska would be between the pipes for the Maroon and White for the first time since recording his first career shutout on March 3rd in a 6-0 win in Niagara.

The first period would be a battle of the goaltenders, with both Sztuska and Ryerson Leenders shutting the door early and often. Both teams would have multiple scoring chances throughout the period, but neither would capitalize, resulting in a 0-0 game heading into the break. Mississauga would edge Peterborough 16-12 in shots through the first 20 minutes.

It would be a wild start to the second period, with Mississauga going on the powerplay just eight seconds in. On the Steelheads man advantage, former Pete Jack Van Volsen would one-time a puck past Stzuska to put Mississauga up 1-0. The Petes would not be down for long, as just 1:27 later, Avery Hayes picked up a loose puck and beat Leenders with a quick shot to tie the game at 1-1. The two goals in the first 2:27 would be the only offence in the period and the two teams entered the third period in a 1-1 stalemate. Mississauga would still lead in shots after 40, but the Petes cut the deficit to 31-30.

The final frame was all Petes from the drop of the puck. Seven minutes in, with a man advantage, Brennan Othmann buried his 28th of the season to put the Petes up 2-1. They wouldn’t look back from there. Just two minutes later, Owen Beck blasted a slapshot by Leenders to score against his former team and put Peterborough up 3-1. Mississauga would get a goal back, before Avery Hayes potted goals 40 and 41 on the season to match his career high from last year and give the Petes a commanding 5-2 win.

Avery Hayes led the way for the Petes with three goals and an assist, while Brennan Othmann added a goal and two assists. Owen Beck scored, and Tucker Robertson picked up his 100th career assist. Cam Gauvreau, Brian Zanetti, Connor Lockhart, Konnor Smith, and Sam Mayer all picked up an assist in the win. Liam Sztuska was fantastic in net, stopping 43/45 for his ninth win of the season. 

The Petes are back in action on Thursday night in North Bay when they wrap up the season series against the Battalion. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Fans can catch the game on YourTV Peterborough and Freq 90.5.

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