After struggling to score all season, the Mississauga Steelheads have finally turned it around.
They’ve scored 11 goals in the last two games, providing a much-needed offensive outbreak.
On Wednesday evening, the Steelheads put four past Belleville’s Charlie Graham, before Malcolm Subban replaced the overwhelmed goaltender.
The team continued its surge on Friday, in a 5-1 win against GTA rival Brampton Battalion.
“I think we are developing some chemistry between our lines,” said Mississauga’s head coach James Boyd, after Friday’s win.
“We’ve had some guys out of the lineup with injuries.”
This week saw rookies Damian Bourne and Sam Babintsev notch their first goals of their major junior careers.
Moreover, the team has generated a balanced attack, with nine different scorers in the last two contests.
Team captain Stuart Percy spoke about the team’s strategy in developing offensive chances deep into the opposition’s end.
“We’re cycling teams low and we’re getting good looks to the net, we’re crashing the net hard and taking advantage of our opportunities,” he said.
“We’re getting good traffic, and the guys got the hot sticks right now, so hopefully that keeps going.”
Mississauga had relied heavily on fifth-year veteran Riley Brace for the majority of the team’s scoring prior to this week. Brace attained 82 points last season, and is the team’s leader with 17 this year.
Playing on a line with Josh Burnside and Dylan Smoskowitz, the team’s first line has found some chemistry as the first month of the campaign reaches its end.
“Burnie has unbelievable speed, you can put the puck into a certain area and he’ll be the first one there,” Brace said of his line mate.
“Same goes for Smoskowitz and his shot, he has a high-caliber shot. You can put the puck within two feet of him and he’s either going to put it in the net, or produce a rebound for Burnie or myself.”
Despite the team’s newfound balanced offensive strike, Boyd has isolated Brace as the catalyst for Mississauga’s surge.
“Riley does have chemistry with his new line mates and so far this year, as Riley Brace goes, so does the Steelheads. He’s been the straw that stirs the drink offensively.
“If he’s not scoring, he’s definitely attracting attention from other teams that frees up other guys to put the puck in the net. Riley has been a leader for us this year, and the team chemistry, part of that comes from his leadership.”
With veteran leadership, and four lines contributing equally it would appear that Mississauga has solved its offensive woes.
The Steelheads next game is against Sudbury on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Hershey Centre.