Majors start slow, but defeat Peterborough 3-0

The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors remained perfect at home and flexed their defensive muscles as they defeated the Peterborough Petes 3-0 on Friday night at the Hershey Centre.

Captain Casey Cizikas and Joseph Cramarossa scored 32 seconds apart in the third period to open up the game for the Majors (4-1), who bounced back nicely after suffering a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Ottawa 67’s last Sunday.

Peterborough (1-6) failed to score for their second straight game and have now gone 144 minutes and 46 seconds without finding the back of the net.

Rob Flick added an empty-netter for the Majors.

Cramarossa was named the first star for his hard-nosed game, and the centre credits his teammates for helping him find the back of the net.

“I’m on a good line with Flick and [Gregg] Sutch.” Cramarossa said. “We know what we have to do. We have to pressure them, take the body and be physical. That’s how we play our game.”

Mississauga looked weak through the first two scoreless periods, a result of too many cute behind-the-back passes, and Cramarossa admits they weren’t getting to the net.

“That was the message to us during the second intermission. Get bodies in front, screen the goalie and get pucks on net.”

A fight between Peterborough’s Derek Mathers and Mississauga’s Alex Cord in the second half of the middle frame seemed to spark the Majors.

A different Majors team showed up in the third period, scoring less than a minute apart in the first five minutes to jump ahead.

Chris Doyle, a point-per-game player in his four years in the QMJHL, finally got his first point as an OHL skater, assisting on Flick’s empty-netter in the game’s dying seconds.

Petes goaltender Andrew D’Agostini was busy between the pipes and stopped 33 shots in the loss.

Mississauga’s defence still their strength

The Majors did a great job neutralizing Petes’ star and leading scorer Matt Puempel.

Puempel was held off the scoresheet Friday night after putting up five goals and nine points in his first six games.

Brett Flemming looked great on the back-end and set up several offensive chances in leading the Majors to victory.

Mississauga only allowed 14 shots on goal and held Peterborough to just three shots in a dominant third period.

Anderson the best penalty killer

The Petes’ best scoring opportunities came on the power play, but Mississauga killed off all four, relying on goaltender J.P. Anderson to keep the team focused from the net out.

He picked up his first shutout of the season, and looked sharp when his team was short a man, while doing a much better job seeing the puck than in his last start against Ottawa.

The netminder allowed six goals before being pulled just over halfway through that contest, but showed his ability to bounce back against the Petes, swallowing up rebounds and deflecting stray pucks out of danger areas.