It was not the way the Barrie Colts wanted to end their week; a 4-3 loss to Brampton at the Barrie Molson Centre as the Colts suffered their first home regulation loss of the season.
Barrie began the week with two big 5-3 road wins beginning Tuesday in Peterborough and Friday in Oshawa but the wheels fell off Saturday night and the Colts fell to the Battalion for the second time this season.
Tuesday night it was Peterborough that came out of the gate flying and looked to catch the visiting Colts a little off guard.
The Petes opened the scoring before Erik Bradford replied for Barrie to tie the game at one. Peterborough would strike for two goals in the second to take a 3-1 lead after taking advantage of some Colts turnovers.
Mark Scheifele would cut the lead to one with a late powerplay marker to end the second and from there on it was all Barrie.
The Colts would add three more unanswered goals in the third, lead by Captain Ryan O’Connor who scored both a shorthanded goal and a powerplay goal in the period.
Brendan Bell would add an empty netter to seal the 5-3 victory.
“It was a little bit of a struggle for us and we were lucky to come away with the 2 points as we didn’t play our best game.” Said defenceman Alex Lepkowski on the team’s win
Friday night in Oshawa, the Colts took advantage of some suspect goaltending by Generals starter Daniel Altshuller. Steven Beyers and Andreas Athanasiou pounced on big rebounds and found the back of the net to give the Colts a 2-0 lead.
Michael Dal Colle would get the Generals on the board before the period was out but in the second, Beyers would convert on a breakaway for his second goal of the game and third on the season after a nice pass from Scheifele sent him in alone.
Boone Jenner would make it a one goal game again before Barrie’s powerplay went to work. Twice, Zach Hall would set up Anthony Camara down low as he potted his 13th and 14th goals of the season to give Barrie a commanding 5-2 lead.
The Generals would not go down without a fight as Jenner scored his second of the game to make it 5-3.
In the third the Generals peppered Colts goalie Mathias Niederberger with 20 shots but could not beat the German import as he stood tall persevering the lead and picking up his league leading 13th win of the year.
“Those were two big road wins for us.” Bell said. “Being on the road is always tough, you have the bus legs and stuff but it was good to get the four points.”
Brendan Lemieux made his Colts debut in the game, the 16 year old was cleared to play an hour before puck drop. In the third period Lemieux took a huge hit from the Generals big 6’5 Josh Brown and it was the smallest player on the ice coming in and standing up for the youngster.
5’7 Tyson Fawcett without hesitation dropped the gloves with the much bigger Brown and held his own in his first career OHL fight. Fawcett was ejected from the game and received a big applause from the Generals crowd for his effort as he skated off the ice to the dressing room.
“It’s unbelievable when a guy does that.” Lepkowski said. “This team definitely likes each other and we’re all close in the locker room so it’s just a testament to how tight we are.”
The Colts took that momentum from an emotional win in Oshawa the night before back home for Saturday’s game against Brampton.
Scheifele opened the scoring in the first on a powerplay, finishing off a cross crease pass from Hall as he fired the puck over a sprawling Matej Machovsky.
Just over two minutes into the second, Hall and Bell came in on a 2 on 1 with Bell deflecting Hall’s pass in behind Machovsky to double the lead.
“I thought I had a pretty good week, I had Zach Hall give me a few good passes and I was happy to get a few points this week.” Says Bell who had 2 goals and 2 assists in the 3 games.
Brampton would not go away however as Barclay Goodrow and Matt MacLeod would tie the game up at two heading into the third period.
Barrie got caught in their own end and Marcus McIvor fired a shot through a bundle of players in front and beat Niederberger giving the Battalion their first lead of the game.
The Colts pressed for an equalizer but the dagger came at the 15:34 mark. A shot from centre ice was stopped by Niederberger but as he went to pass the puck to his defenceman it hopped over his stick and Nicholas Foglia was right there to chip it over the Barrie netminder to make it 4-2.
“One weak goal isn’t going to get him down. It was just a lucky bounce for them.” Said Bell of the goal on Niederberger.
Scheifele would score his second of the game and 14th on the season with just over 30 seconds to go but it was not enough as the Battalion picked up their first road win of the season and handed the Colts their first home regulation loss of the year.
“We didn’t get to down on ourselves, we knew we could come back but we just left it a little too late.” Said Bell who picked up his 3rd goal of the season in the game.
Next up for the Barrie Colts (14-5-1) a visit from two Western Conference teams as Sarnia (11-7-1) comes to Barrie Thursday night and Windsor (8-8-4) is in Barrie on Saturday before the Colts head to Sudbury (8-10-2) on Sunday for an afternoon contest.
News and Notes:
CJ Garcia made his return to Barrie’s lineup Tuesday night in Peterborough. His first game back exactly one month to the day he got injured against those very same Petes.
Aaron Ekblad’s point streak was stopped at 12 games Friday night in Oshawa. The 16 year old defenceman recorded 4 goals and 10 assists in that span.
Zach Hall suited up for Team OHL Thursday night in Guelph vs. Russia in the Subway Super Series. Hall skated on a line with Ryan Strome and Brett Ritchie of the Niagara IceDogs and was held off the scoresheet as the Russians prevailed with a 2-1 victory.
Mark Scheifele and Anthony Camara will play for Team OHL Monday night in Sarnia in the second game against Russia. Team OHL is looking to avenge victorious after suffering their first loss ever to the Russians. They were 18-0 before Thursday night’s loss.