The Peterborough Petes struggled in their first game back since the Christmas break, losing heavily to the Kingston Frontenacs in a 6 – 1 defeat on December 28th, but they put in a much better performance just 24 hours later.
With the Petes playing at home for the first time since December 16th, they welcomed the Mississauga Steelheads to town for this clash.
The Steelheads were without Owen Tippett for the clash with the Florida Panthers prospect away with Canada for the World Juniors, but that didn’t stop them from running a close game, with the visitors taking the lead 10 minutes in.
Alan Lyszczarczyk grabbed the games opening goal to put Mississauga ahead, cutting in from the goal line into the circles to fire a quick wrister past Hunter Jones, following a fantastic pass by Thomas Harley.
The Petes has to wait until the second period to register their response, and it took just 78 seconds into the middle frame for Cole Fraser to notch his fourth of the campaign as his drive from the point just slipped through Steelheads netminder Jacob Ingham.
Mississauga regained the lead later in the period through Lyszczarczyk’s second of the night, a powerplay strike with him parked in front of the net to tap the puck into the net with very little pressure to stop him.
Despite playing a largely impressive game, Kirk was yet to get on the scoresheet and with the Petes trailing in the third, somebody needed to be a hero.
They left it late but they got it done. With less than three minutes to play Peterborough got their equaliser.
Kirk snuck his way to the front of the net, managing to lose the defenseman, keeping his feet moving to find any chance at a one timed, and in a similar way to a few Petes goals this year, he found the position, opened up his body and when the pass came from Erik Čermák, all Liam Kirk had to do was fire the puck past Jacob Ingham, and he made no mistake as he tied the game at two.
With no further goals in the overtime that followed, Peterborough had to go to a shootout to get their win. Kirk and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev couldn’t find net on their shootout attempts, Nick Robertson scored on his effort, making a nice move past Ingham for the only goal in the shootout to give the Peterborough Petes the victory.
Kirk ended the game with the third star honours after scoring one on his 10 shots of the night, featuring on the second line with Brady Hinz and Christopher Paquette.
After game, Kirk spoke with the media saying “last nights result was definitely not the way we planned, so we knew we had to come in today and grind and battle hard.
Mississauga came out and they played a good game so we just had to play an even better one”
With the goal, it takes Kirk’s point totals on the season to 12 goals and 8 assists for 20-points in 35 games, and with Peterborough currently third in the East Division, they’ll be looking for more results like that as they look to push for a playoff berth.
Featured Image: PTBOToday