Sports Hockey

MacDonald scores shootout winner, lifting Barrie to 4-3 win over Owen Sound

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

It took some late-game heroics, but the Barrie Colts managed to take their home opener. 

Zach Hall tied the game with 30.3 seconds left and Josh MacDonald scored the shootout winner as the Colts nipped the Owen Sound Attack 4-3. 

The victory saw Barrie improve on its efforts last weekend. 

"I thought we played a much better game than the previous two games," said Colts centre Erik Bradford. "The big thing was for us to play a complete 60 minutes. 

"At times we had bad shifts, but the important thing was we got out of it and stuck to the game plan."

Barrie came out pretty sharp in the first period, but couldn't leave it with the lead. 

The Colts struck first on the power play when Bradford flipped a pass over a sprawled Attack defender and onto the stick of MacDonald. 

All alone in front of the goal, the second-year winger coolly made a quick move and slipped it past Owen Sound goaltender Jordan Binnington to give Barrie a 1-0 lead. 

"Offence by committee is great," Bradford said. "Having three or four lines that can score is great and different guys can rack up goals."

The Attack would respond shortly after when Jaden Lindo sent a pass forward to Zach Nastasiuk, who lost it in his skates. 

But the Barrie native managed to propel the puck forward and push it across the front of the goal before beating Colts starter Mathias Niederberger far side to even the game. 

Although a lot of the action took place in the Barrie end, the Colts had the next best opportunity to score in the opening period. 

Andreas Athanasiou and Bradford, who'd worked together on the first goal, moved the puck around to set up Steven Beyers at the side of the goal. 

But Beyers was unable to get his stick on the puck, keeping the game tied through one period. 

Both teams struck on the power play in the second period. 

Barrie took the lead again when Mark Scheifele got a pass on the side boards and let a shot rip. 

With the help of a couple of players skating through the slot, the puck eluded Binnington and clanked off of the post and in. 

But Owen Sound wound respond again when, following a couple of blocked shots by the Colts, Daniel Catenacci got past the remaining defenders and beat Niederberger high. 

"I think we played a good game overall, but there were definitely some points where we scrambled a bit," said Colts defenceman Alex Lepkowski. 

"We had some bad bounces for guys and sometimes that leads to chaos."

Barrie looked to pull ahead in the third period after some full-on pressure ended with a delayed penalty and a shot by Beyers that went off of the crossbar and in. 

But the goal was called back as the net was off. Although it had been dislodged about 15 seconds earlier, the play was never blown dead and the referee even tried to place it back on its moorings. 

Beyers would get robbed again moments later on the man advantage, when his attempt was knocked aside by Binnington, who was stomach-down on the ice without a stick. 

Despite a strong man advantage, Barrie would concede the next goal, when a well-played dump-in by Owen Sound saw Nastasiuk find Bradford's Daniel Zweep in front of the goal. 

The overager wouldn't miss, burying his clear opportunity for a 3-2 Attack advantage. 

Barrie would get a four-minute man advantage late in the third but couldn't strike, forcing them to pull the goalie in the dying moments. 

The Colts buzzed around the goal until Hall banked one in from a bad angle with just 30.3 seconds to go to tie the game. 

Overtime provided three different power plays between the two teams, but despite a number of opportunities, both goalies held their ground. 

The first four shooters were stopped, but MacDonald ended the scoreless drought by going from right to left and snapping it past Binnington on the low blocker side. 

Catenacci had the last chance for Owen Sound, but he put his attempt into the pad of Niederberger to seal the win. 

"We're coming out to be a contender," Lepkowski said. "Every night we want to prove to our fans and each other what we can do."

Barrie's next contest is at home on Saturday against the newly-renamed Mississauga Steelheads.


Zach Hall: 1G, 1A

Mark Scheifele: 1G, 1A

Steven Beyers: 2A

Josh MacDonald: 1G, shootout winner

Erik Bradford: 1A

Andreas Athanasiou: 1A

Mathias Niederberger: 21 saves



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