After dropping two in a row to the Belleville Bulls at the Yardman Arena, the Mississauga Steelheads put themselves in a good spot winning Game 3 by a a score of 2-1 at the Hershey Centre.
Belleville still leads the series 2-1, but the mountain isn't so high now. To win the series James Boyd and his club know that they have to win at least once at the Yardman Arena, but he also knows his team must win their home games. And so far so good, after dropping game one 8-1 and game two 4-1 in the Friendly City it was back home to Sauga for Game Three on Sunday and for Game Four this Tuesday.
Game Three is arguably the most important game of a series one team ether goes up by a game, or it puts the choke hold on, three games to none, or in this case a team shows that they aren't dead. One of the things we remember about Boyd's Belleville Bulls team in 2003-2004 was that no matter how bleak things might have looked they never gave up. His Steelhead team this season is no different. Game Three was more of what we thought we would see in this series lowing scoring and tight checking.
After the game one blow out , Coach Boyd turned to former Bull and Belleville native Tyson Teichmann. The Steelheads still lost Game Two, but Teichmann was really strong making 37 saves, after the horn sounded, his teammates all came to meet him to let Tyson know he did his part. His fine play lead to the start in Game Three and he was the games 1st star making 31 saves. Tyson was really clutch, just what his team needed. I wondered when we would see Tyson in this series. I was sure we would, I just didn't know when. After Game One it was no surprise that Boyd turned to Tyson in Game Two. Coaches know their players and play hunches and its no secret that things didn't turn out in Belleville the way that anyone wanted it to, where Teichmann is concerned. Tyson was an 1st Rd draft pick of the Bulls. And he handled all the pressure that comes with having that accomplishment. But for added pressure Teichmann was the first ever Belleville born player selected by the Bulls in the 1st round of the OHL draft and was also the first-ever netminder chosen by the Bulls in the first round, not to mention his dad is also a former Bull. He struggled and with the emergence of Malcolm Subban, Tyson was dealt to the Erie Otters, his time in Pennsylvania was rough to be honest, it was a weak club, it wasn't what ether party needed, but for Tyson a tiny light appeared he was dealt to the London Knights. He didn't play a lot in the Knights championship run but he was there and taking it all in and watching CHL goaltender of the year Michael Houser prepare. This spring when the Steelheads entered the post season it didn't matter if Tyson was helping Spencer Martin prepare or preparing himself to play, the Steelheads are going to benefit from Teichmann's playoff experiences. All that along with the fact that every player loves to burn their former team, James Boyd has a wild card that could really work in his favour. After the game Coach Boyd told the Intell that he thought Teech was the difference. "I thought Teech was the difference in the game" he said "It was a similar story to Games one and two with them scoring first, but we weathered that storm this time. Then, when we had power play chances and didn't score, they had some and Teech came up huge." Even Coach Burnett knew Teichmann was a big reason his club came up short, saying that "We had our chances, but Teichmann was solid. He's a good goalie and we're not surprised to see him playing so well."
If the Bulls want to bounce back they must say out of the penalty box, the game winner was scored on the power play. They gave the Steelheads six chances and Mississauga scored on the last one. In Games One and Two the Bulls only gave up six power play chances combined. It makes for a long game and a short bench, guys who kill penalties get wore down and the guys that don't get cold. Belleville has had the top ranked PK unit must of the season, but a lot of that success is because they don't take a lot of penalties. When you only have to kill two or three a game its not bad, any more they that and if they come in a string its tough.
In Game Four if Mississagua wants to win, Teichmann will have to be at his best. My guess is the Bulls will be flying and will be trying to end it early so they can sit back and do their thing. If the Steelheads can withstand the early pressure and wait for the pace to slow down and lure the Bulls in to some bad penalties ?? Who knows.