Sunday, December 2, 2012

Steelheads lose in OHL's longest shootout

As posted on the website, December 2, 2012

The Mississauga Steelheads and London Knights had their work cut out for them this afternoon at the Hershey Centre.

After they couldn't determine a winner through regulation and overtime, they engaged in a 19-round shootout, the longest in Ontario Hockey League history.

When the dust settled, the Knights prevailed 4-3 with a shootout winner from leading scorer Seth Griffith to extend their winning streak to 15 games.

"I've never been part of a shootout that went that long before," said Riley Brace, a fifth-year forward who scored a goal and an assist in regulation for Mississauga.
"Give London credit, their goalie (Kevin Bailie) made the big saves and he's good in those situations.

"(The shootout) was pretty funny, but at the end of the day, we would've liked to come out of this with two points and snap their winning streak."

Griffith, who sits second in OHL scoring with 50 points, also scored on London's first shootout attempt while Dylan Smoskowitz extended it past the minimum three rounds. Mississauga's Stuart Percy and Trevor Carrick and London's Matt Rupert and Josh Anderson also tallied in the shootout.

The shootout broke the OHL's previous record of 14 rounds, set by the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit in 2008. The world record belongs to the DEL's Straubing Tigers and EHC M√ľnchen, who needed a 21-round shootout to solve a winner in Germany two years ago.
Smoskowitz and Josh Burnside scored late in the third period to help the Steelheads overcome a 3-1 deficit. Earlier in the third, Rupert and Chris Tierney scored 47 seconds apart.

Max Domi opened the scoring for London in the first period.

London earned the win despite being outshot 39-24 through regulation and overtime. It was their third game in as many days this weekend.

"(Mississauga) came out hard, but we had a pretty good game going," said Knights coach Dale Hunter.

"We jumped on them early in the third and they never gave up and battled back, but the end result was us winning in the shootout."

Bailie finished with 36 saves while Spencer Martin turned aside 21 shots for the Steelheads. The Steelheads went 1-for-6 on the power-play while the Knights finished 1-for-3.

With five minutes to go in the third, Smoskowitz re-directed a Carrick point shot after some strong forechecking forced a London turnover.
Burnside tipped in a pass from Brace a minute later during a power-play to tie the game at three.

Meanwhile, Brace's goal midway through the second period brought a barrage of teddy bears on the ice.

Sunday was Mississauga's annual teddy bear toss game, where fans throw stuffed animals on the ice whenever the home team scores its first goal.

The game is organized each year by Sleeping Children Around the World, an organization that will use proceeds from bear sales to build beds for children in underdeveloped countries and buy mosquito nets to protect children from malaria.

All bears tossed on the ice were donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Peel Region.

The loss was Mississauga's third straight, but Martin feels a four-game road trip beginning Friday against the Sudbury Wolves can help cure what ails them.

"Home or away, we're going to keep moving in the right direction and work hard in practice," said Martin. "We've played some tough teams this weekend and showed a lot of promise in the last two periods against Niagara and the whole game today."