The Mississauga Majors took on the Brampton Battalion on Friday in OHL action. The Majors looked to continue their stellar season with the fight against a bitter rival.
From the drop of the puck, the Battalion wanted to play a physical game against the Majors, but to no avail as it was the Majors successfully throwing their weight around. They had control from the start and did not let up throughout the game, controlling the pace for most of the game.
After a slow start for both teams in the first period, the Majors were rewarded for their hard play late in the first as a bouncing puck found its way behind the Brampton goaltender, Dennis Saikkonen, after Derek Schoenmakers batted the puck out of the air to give the Majors the 1-0 lead. The goal was quickly reviewed when Saikkonen argued that it was a high-stick that led to the goal. The goal was deemed legal, giving Schoenmakers his third goal of the season.
The Majors’ penalty kill was superb on this night. Brampton could not even muster a shot on goal in their mid-second period powerplay. The Majors successfully shut down passing lanes and cleared the puck at every opportunity to kill off the penalty. Devante Smith-Pelly continued his hot-streak, stepping into a rebound to beat Saikkonen on the low-glove side. After the goal, the bad blood continued as Smith-Pelly was hit during the celebration of the goal.
The Battalion picked-up their play in the later part of the second period. Their powerplay finally connected when Ian Watters accepted a cross-ice pass and beat J.P Anderson on the high-glove side to make the score 2-1 after two periods.
The third period brought about more fisticuffs and was headed by Gregg Sutch being called for checking from behind, which could have given the Battalion an opportunity to tie the game. However, it was the Majors who took advantage of the call, as Rob Flick was able to pick off the cross ice pass from Kyle Pereira to go in uncontested on Saikkonen. He took full advantage of the opportunity and coolly slid it into the gaping net.
The goal was all the Majors needed. J.P Anderson shut down the Battalion for the rest of the game to secure his 10th win of the season.
The win moves the Majors to 14-2-0-0 on the season and they continue their dominance at home as they have yet to be defeated at the Hershey Centre. Hopefully their superiority at home continues throughout the season and into the Memorial Cup, which they will host in late May.