After a strange turn of events in Friday’s game in Mississauga, the Steelheads took a 2-0 season series lead over the Petes with a 4-3 overtime win.
The game opened at a furious pace, as it took 5:29 of back and forth play before the first whistle was blown.
The Petes earned the first quality scoring chance of the night as Pavel Gogolev and Zach Gallant showed off a give-and-go play as they pushed their way into the offensive zone, but were stopped by Emanuel Vella. Owen Tippett then showed off his elite shot with his first opportunity of the game, but Dylan Wells was there to shut the door.
Gogolev and Gallant would connect again to open scoring for the Petes. After former Steelhead Austin Osmanski moved the puck out of the zone to Gallant, the Detroit Red Wings prospect threaded the puck to Gogolev who was speeding into the slot. His 18th of the season gave the Petes a 1-0 lead at 13:49.
A bench minor for too many men was called on the Petes, and Gogolev was sent to serve the infraction.
The puck had eyes from the point as Nicolas Hague added his league defenceman-leading 24th goal of the season with 57 seconds left in the first period and a man-advantage. Peterborough native Owen Tippett and Mathieu Foget collected assists.
Shots on goal were almost as close as the score, with Mississauga holding a 12-10 advantage after 20 minutes of play.
It would be the Steelheads that found the back of the net first in the middle frame. They took their first lead of the game at 3:00 when Trent Fox chipped in a Ryan McLeod pass over Wells’ shoulder. Hague earned his second point of the night with a secondary assist.
Gallant would head to the sin bin for tripping up a forward Fish, but his team’s penalty killing unit was able to shut the Steelheads down.
Gleb Babintsev was as eager to score his first OHL goal as his team was to get back in the game. At 10:51, the rookie defenceman tied the game at 2 after sneaking into the slot to receive a pass from Brady Hinz. Gogolev picked up an assist on Babintsev’s milestone marker.
The Petes would restore their 1-goal lead just 3:09 later. After breaking in and feeding the puck to Nick Robertson, Chris Paquette got the puck back from his line mate. With a near-open net in front of him, Paquette made no mistake and put away his 13th of the season.
The clubs exchanged overlapping penalties – Ryan McLeod for high sticking and Gallant for slashing – but neither team was able to capitalize on their respective opportunity.
Despite holding a 3-2 lead, the Petes trailed 27-20 on the shot clock through two periods.
The back and forth play between the cross-division clubs continued well into the third period until Alex Black was called for interference at 13:26 while battling for position in front of his net. With the Petes down a man, Ryan McLeod sped into Peterborough’s zone. He was able to cut around the defence, drive across the front of the net, and lift the puck backhand over Wells to the the game at 3 with 4:35 remaining in the third stanza. Vella, the goaltender, registered the goal’s only assist.
The Steelheads continued to lead the shot clock, 34-27, after three periods. The Petes were headed to extra time for the third time in five games.
With neither team able to get anything going in the first few minutes of three-on-three overtime, the Petes appeared to have won the game after a strange play that saw Matt Timms lose his stick at the blue line, pick it up again, and find Gallant who rifled a shot from the circle past Vella. The teams headed to their rooms, but just a short time later, re-emerged to their benches after learning that the play was offside.
2:52 was put back on the clock, and the teams continued play. Just 14 seconds later, Ryan McLeod potted his second of the night to actually win the game for the Steelheads, 4-3 in overtime.
Ryan McLeod, Nicolas Hague, and Emanuel Vella were named the game’s first, second, and third stars.
The Petes are back in action on Sunday, January 28 as they head to the Limestone City to face off against the Frontenacs at 4:00pm. They’ll be back at home for two games next week – Thursday, February 1 at 7:05pm against the Hamilton Bulldogs, and Saturday, February 8 at 7:05pm against the Oshawa Generals. Select tickets are still available for all remaining home games by visiting the PMC Collins Barrow Box Office online, in person, or by phoning (705) 743-3561.