The Mississauga Majors have been on a tear this season and that trend continued last Friday night at the Hershey Centre. The Niagara IceDogs were in town to take on the Majors and came out flying and took an early lead just over three minutes into the game. It was a hard-hitting affair with both teams playing physical, but the Majors were able to reap the benefits. The early first-period lead was short-lived as Devante Smith-Pelly was able to squirt the puck past the Niagara goaltender, Mark Visentin, to tie the game at one as the teams headed into the locker room for the first intermission.
The second period remained closely contested with neither team scoring, but both acquiring scoring chances. There was a scary moment in the second period when Majors defenceman David Corrente went down to block a point shot but the puck hit him directly in the side of his helmet; he immediately went down but the trainer was quick to come to his aid on the ice. However, Corrente managed to skate off under his own power and did not miss a shift.
The Majors’ defensive strength was evident throughout the entire third period, as the IceDogs were awarded a powerplay early in the period but could not muster a shot on JP Anderson. Smith-Pelly scored his second goal of the game at 10:48 in the third period, which turned out to be the eventual game-winner.
JP Anderson had yet another stellar game in net, as he stopped 18 of 19 shots in the victory.
Following this game, the Majors had to head straight to Owen Sound to take on the Attack on Saturday.
The Attack are ranked seventh in the CHL Top Ten, with Mississauga occupying the top spot as the team-to-beat in the CHL.
The game was penalty-filled and was a spirited affair for both sides. Luckily, Mississauga was able to capitalize twice on the power play and were up 4-0 at one point. Justin Shugg scored two of these markers to end his seven-game goal-less drought, his longest of the season. The Attack were able to beat JP Anderson to make it 4-1 after the first period. The second period did not have the excitement of the first, but Owen Sound were able to pull to within two partway through the second. After that, Anderson shut the door and the defence of the Majors took over. Anderson stopped 26 out of the 28 shots he faced to earn the Majors yet another victory, securing their number one ranking in the –CHL standings.
Heading into yesterday’s game against Peterborough, the Majors’ record is 19-2-0-1 and have a comfortable nine-point lead over the Niagara IceDogs and Ottawa 67s, who are second in the conference. Throughout the league they are known for their tight defensive play and spectacular goaltending with JP Anderson and Anthony Peters putting out solid performances night in and night out.
With coach Dave Cameron leading the young men, the Mississauga Majors should be the team-to-beat in this year’s Memorial Cup, which is played at the Hershey Centre so the team can win the most coveted trophy in the CHL on their home ice if they continue this play until May. They will look to continue their winning ways this week at home as they face the Barrie Colts and a rematch of Saturday’s game against the Owen Sound Attack.