With a well-earned Game One victory under their belts, the Otters met the Mississauga Steelheads in Erie on Sunday for the second game of the OHL Championship Series. Warren Foegele’s go-ahead goal with under two minutes left in the third period put the Otters up 2-1, and DeBrincat’s empty net goal would later secure the 3-2 victory for the Otters.
The Steelheads came to the Erie Insurance Arena ready to play, the prospect of dropping 0-2 in the series before heading to Mississauga a daunting possibility. Though Erie’s Dylan Strome scored the first goal of the game, it was eventually disallowed due to unintentional goaltender interference in front of Mississauga netminder Matthew Mancina. This shifted the momentum in the Steelheads’ favor, and shortly thereafter Ryan McLeod scored on a heavy shot to give his team the 1-0 lead. The Otters headed to the power play late in the first period, and Alex DeBrincat capitalized on their opportunity to tie the game. DeBrincat joined Cirelli on the rush and tapped in the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect’s pass, making it 1-1 entering the first intermission.
The second period was a back-and-forth tug of war between the two offensively gifted teams–but neither would score, shut down by goaltenders Timpano and Mancina and obstruction-style hockey. DeBrincat and the Otters managed to create several scoring chances, but Mancina was equal to the task, leading the Steelheads into the third period with the score tied 1-1.
The goal drought extended eighteen minutes into the third period. With under two minutes remaining, the next goal had the power to decide the winner of the matchup. In the end, it was Erie’s Warren Foegele–blitzing past the defenders on a breakaway–who scored the tie-breaking goal, as he put the puck through Mancina’s five-hole to make it 2-1. DeBrincat would score on an empty net soon after–a vital goal, as Mississauga’s Ryan McLeod scored with the goalie pulled to bring the Steelheads within one goal. The Otters hung on for the 3-2 victory, however, taking a 2-0 series lead into Mississauga.
Warren Foegele had the breakaway go-ahead goal; Alex DeBrincat scored twice; and Anthony Cirelli notched two assists for the Otters. Troy Timpano made 22 saves on 24 shots in the Game Two win.
Ryan McLeod scored both of Mississauga’s goals, and Matthew Mancina stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in the loss.
The Otters meet the Steelheads in Mississauga on Monday, May 8 for Game Three of the OHL Championship Series.