The Barrie Colts began a six game road trip in Owen Sound on Wednesday night as their home has been taken over by curlers as the Ontario Tankard Men’s Curling Championships have taken over the Barrie Molson Centre for the next two weeks.
The Colts headed into the Bayshore looking for some revenge after falling 3-0 to the Attack a week prior in a physical contest that saw Kyle Hope knock the Colts leading scorer Zach Hall out of the game with a thunderous body check.
Barrie would go into the game shorthanded as Mitchell Theoret and Devin Rymarchuk were out with injuries and Andreas Athanasiou was battling the flu. To make up for the shortage of forwards, the Colts dressed eight defencemen as Alex Yuill and CJ Garcia would play on the fourth line with Cody Brown.
Jordan Binnington would once again look to be unbeatable in the Attack goal as the Colts peppered the netminder with 23 shots in the first period.
His best save of the period came on a shorthanded breakaway from Erik Bradford and for the seventh straight period the Colts could not beat Binnington.
Kurtis Gabriel got Owen Sound on the board 9:32 into the first period as he beat Mathias Niederberger off a pass from Kyle Hope.
Gilbert Gabor would add to the Attack lead just 1:58 into the second as a Jaden Lindo pass deflected off Gabor’s skate, off the post and past Niederberger.
The Colts would respond quickly as they were finally able to solve Binnington when Bradford finished off a beautiful pass from Brendon Lemieux to cut the lead to one just 20 seconds after the Gabor goal.
That’s as close as the Colts would get however as two third period goals including an empty netter from Daniel Catenacci would seal a third consecutive win for Owen Sound over the Colts.
4-1 the final and Jordan Binnington was a major reason once again for the Attack’s success over Barrie as he made 37 saves in the win.
Niederberger played well in the Barrie goal stopping 41 of 44 shots fired his way.
The Colts would make just one change to their lineup Friday night in Kingston and that would be in goal as Alex Fotinos got the call to give some much deserved rest to Mathias Niederberger.
The Frontenacs have really struggled as of late, losers of nine straight but they were looking to take advantage of a depleted Colts offence.
No scoring in the first period as both back-up goaltenders (Alex Fotinos and Colin Furlong) went save for save in the opening frame.
In the second it would be Spencer Watson putting the home side on the board first with a goal 3:09 into the period.
Sam Bennett then doubled the Frontenacs lead at the 11:13 mark to make it 2-0 as the Colts goal scoring woes continued.
Rookie CJ Garcia who had been itching to get his first career fight under his belt dropped the mitts with Ryan Hutchinson a minute after the Bennett goal.
Hutchinson wasn’t done there as he dropped the gloves with Colts defenceman Jake Dotchin 5:55 into the third period.
Dotchin waved his arms in the air starring at the Colts bench as he skated to the penalty box to try and fire up his team as the Colts were still trying to solve Furlong. Dotchin was then ejected from the game for removing Hutchinson’s helmet during the fight which warrants a one game suspension.
Dale Hawerchuk juggled up his lines and moved Erik Bradford up onto the top line with Zach Hall and Anthony Camara and that move paid dividends for the Colts.
Bradford fed Ryan O’Connor who found Hall on the far side of the ice and he unleashed an absolute bullet off the crossbar and in to get the Colts on the scoreboard.
Barrie continued to press and with 1:35 remaining it would be Bradford digging the puck loose and Hall fired the puck to a wide open Camara in front of the goal and the power forward popped in his team leading 28th goal to tie the game 2-2.
Overtime would solve nothing so the game headed to a shootout where it was Camara again being the hero, scoring the lone goal as Fotinos stopped all three Kingston shooters and the Colts skated away with a come from behind 3-2 win.
With the shootout win the Colts improved their shootout record to 6-2 on the season as the Colts have fared very well in the shootout so far this season and it always seems to be a different player playing the role of hero.
Next up for the Colts (33-15-2): Their road trip continues with their annual States trip as the Colts head to Plymouth (26-15-9) on Friday night then make a stop in Saginaw (24-21-5) on Saturday before playing an afternoon contest in Sarnia (27-19-3) on Sunday.
News and Notes:
Mitchell Theoret and Devin Rymarchuk are expected to be back skating on Monday and should be in the lineup come Friday night. Theoret has been nursing a knee injury while Rymarchuk is still recovering from an upper body injury that he suffered while playing for Owen Sound.
The Mark Scheifele saga continues as well. The Colts best player has played four games for the Winnipeg Jets but has also found himself in the press box for four games. He is eligible to play one more game before his entry level contract kicks in but the Jets are keeping quiet on what their plans are with the 19 year old.
Scheifele has 0 points in his four games and has spent much of his time on the Jets fourth line but did get a bigger opportunity Friday night in the Jets 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay. The 2011 7th overall pick played 16:47 of ice time as it appears head coach Claude Noel is taking one final good look at his team’s top prospect before a final decision is made on whether or not to send Scheifele back to the Colts.