Colts park Generals
The Barrie Colts terrorized Michael Zador.
Twenty-three shots in the first frame. Nineteen in the second. Fifty-five in total.
The Oshawa Generals goalie, who came under siege early in particular, kept things closer than they should have been in a 6-4 Colts win before 3,957 fans at the Barrie Molson Centre on Thursday.
Zador stoned Colts forward Luke Pither with his glove early in the second period. It was one of many saves the Generals seemed to feed off.
Barrie, despite its toying ways against much-younger Oshawa, was limited to an underwhelming 3-2 lead midway through the game.
Eventually, though, not unlike many opponents to face the Colts this year, Zador and the Generals came unhinged. The Colts, who take chances with confidence, burn opponents with their aggressive, up-tempo style.
"We're a high-powered offence," said Colts captain Stefan Della Rovere, who opened the floodgates with his 17th on the year, making it 6-2 in the third period before Andy Andreoff's second of the game and Christian
Thomas' goal with the extra attacker closed the gap to 6-4.
Barrie scored three times in the second period and added two more in the third. It was more than enough against a Generals squad who, forced to play something other than the trap, couldn't answer to the Colts' deep and explosive forward troops.
Import forward Alexander Burmistrov led the way with a pair of goals and a helper. With one more goal, he'll become the seventh player to join the team's 20-goal club.
Della Rovere is three goals away from becoming the eighth Colt to reach the 20-mark.
Scoring is what the Colts, with a combined 265 tallies, do best. It carried them against Oshawa.
"It's a good feeling, knowing that if we're down by a goal or it's tied, we're going to play great in our own end, and we can score a bunch too," said Taylor Carnevale, who notched what wound up being the game-winner, his 22nd goal of the year.
The Colts attacked in tidal-wave fashion in the first frame, out-shooting the young Generals, 23-3.
It could have been 5-0 Barrie had it not been for the work of Zador.
Pither's 31st of the season - directed in by an Oshawa defender seven minutes into the frame - gave the Colts a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Kyle Clifford potted his 22nd in between Burmistrov's second-period pair.
Oshawa fought back on a second-effort tap-in goal by John Padulo to make it 3-1 before undisciplined play on the part of the hosts gave the Generals genuine life.
Andy Andreoff's power-play goal - his first of two on the night - cut Barrie's lead to 3-2 midway through the middle frame.
Barrie allowed three goals on seven Oshawa power-play opportunities, and lack of discipline is always dangerous and increasingly serious around this time of the year.
"We need to bear down and play hard hockey, certainly keep the sticks down and the elbows low," Della Rovere said. "We're capable of killing (penalties), but ... against Windsor, they have a great power play."
The Spitfires will be the ultimate test for Barrie when they come to town Saturday, as both teams jockey for first overall.
"This gets us ready for Saturday. It's a big game for us," Carnevale said.
"If you can't get excited for that game, I don't think you should play hockey."
It was win No. 46 on the year for Barrie. The Colts need three more to match the franchise best 49-win mark set in 1998-99. The win also gives the Colts 94 points, bringing them closer to hitting the 100-point mark for the first time since 1998-99.
Mavric Parks, who introduced his newly designed Colts-themed mask, made 32 saves for the win.
Colts goalie Peter Di Salvo is expected to get the nod on Saturday.