It was a long road trip for the Mississauga Steelheads, losing all six away games and dropping down the list a spot. Good thing they already clinched a playoff spot.
Sunday night, the Oshawa Generals downed the fish 4-1 with a spectacular performance by Gen’s goalie Ken Appleby –stopping 24 of 25 shots. Steelheads’ goalie, Spencer Martin, also had good game, with a similar overall performance by only halting 22 shots.
Overall, this performance should not overshadow Martin’s great efforts over the year and his historic action at the Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects game on Jan. 16. He saved all 16 shots for Team Orr, helping them to a 3-0 win.
And with a performance like that, Martin stood modest about his play and team.
“I think the whole team helped out with this one and we owe a lot of credit to the forwards and the defence for coming back,” The 17 year-old Oakville native told the OHL website after the Prospects game in Halifax, NS. “This is an experience I will remember forever.”
The experience is definitely something for him to remember. Playing alongside coach Bobby Orr and some of the best NHL prospects in the world is an honour, it’s just unfortunate to join your club during a losing streak. It’s also demotivating.
Martin boosted his confidence after his solid play at the prospect game and his team needs to try to nourish his hot streak. Even though they played top teams like the Generals, Barrie Colts, and Plymouth Whalers during the road trip, they also lost to the Windsor Spitfires –which should have been a must win for the club.
Their next two games are on Jan. 23 and 25 against the Sarnia Sting and Saginaw Spirit, respectively. Sarnia are expected to challenge the Steelheads and after losing to the Spitfires last Sunday in a 5-4 scoring affair, they are hungry. Martin will handle what he can and just like during the prospect game and his last couple of starts, he will stand between the pipes calm. But, will his team provide the defence and scoring they need to overcome the challenge?
Martin is a young goalie with tons of potential and he definitely shows it, but can the Steelheads and captain defenceman Stuart Percy help the cause? After playing so hard for your team and in such a paramount tournament with an excellent clean sheet, losing the game seems it can demotivate a young player from performing the same way.
Martin’s consistency should motivate a team to work harder in supporting the streak. We will see if the Steelheads can clean up at home and start their own streak before playoffs start and how they can support Martin after his successful season.
Massive tornadoes hits Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people.How you can help