Austen Keating scored 55 seconds into overtime to give the host Ottawa 67’s a 4-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads in their OHL season-opening contest, Sept. 21, at the Nation’s Capital.
With the Steelheads caught on a line change, Tye Felhaber raced down the open ice and patiently moved around sliding Mississauga defender Ryan Barbosa before feeding the puck in front to Keating. The Ottawa veteran cut into the crease past Steelheads goalie Jacob Ingham and buried the backhand winner.
It was a night of firsts for a couple of Steelheads as rookies Filip Reisnecker and James Hardie notched their first career OHL markers.
After Felhaber had given Ottawa the lead at 11:09 of the first period, Reisnecker, the 24 overall selection in this year’s CHL Import Draft, tied the game a little more than two minutes later when he buried a loose puck off a goalmouth scramble.
Graeme Clarke put Ottawa back on top just past midway through the second, but Hardie drew the Steelheads even once again a little more than a minute later on a misplay by Cedrick Andree. The Ottawa goalie turned his back on a shoot-in behind the net that kicked off the boards and slid to side of the crease. Hardie, Mississauga’s eighth overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, spotted the loose puck and raced in, before tapping it into the open net.
Mitchell Hoelscher put the hosts back in front late in the second, but the seesaw battle would go to overtime when Richard Whittaker deflected a bouncing point shot by Barbosa to tie the game at 8:25 of the third.
Andree turned aside 31 of 34 shots to earn the win, while Ingham made 20 saves in goal for Mississauga.
The Steelheads are back in action on Sept. 23, when they take on the Niagara IceDogs in their home opener. Game time is 2 p.m.
Photo: Jacob Ingham and the Mississauga Steelheads kicked off their 2018-19 OHL regular season with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa 67’s. Aaron Bell/OHL Images photo