MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Sophomore forward Casey Cizikas capped a brilliant offensive performance by scoring the winning goal in a shootout as the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors edged the Niagara IceDogs 4-3 Friday night in the Ontario Hockey League.
Cizikas, who was forced out of the lineup to start the season with a back injury suffered during an exhibition game, beat Niagara netminder Mark Visentin from close range in the shootout after the IceDogs fought back to tie the game late in the third period and send it into overtime, where neither team was able to break the deadlock.
"This feels amazing," said Cizikas, who figured in all three Mississauga goals in regulation time - scoring twice and assisting on the other. "I was struggling for my first four games back, but I got a couple of lucky bounces. Things went my way tonight but getting the win is the most important thing."
Cizikas' second goal of the night midway through the third period was a short-handed effort that put Mississauga (6-4-0-0) ahead 3-2. He also earned an assist on Kyle Neuber's third goal of the season that staked the Majors to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Cizikas' heroics overshadowed an outstanding performance by Niagara's Marco Insam, who scored all three goals for the IceDogs (3-7-1-4). Insam's third of the night came with just under a minute remaining in the third that tied the game 3-3.
The Majors outscored the IceDogs 2-1 in the shootout. Jared Gomes had the other Mississauga marker in the shootout. Mathew Sisca scored the only Niagara goal in the shootout.
Visentin stopped 33 of 36 shots on the night. Mississauga goalie Chris Carrozzi made 39 saves.