Sports Hockey

Camara scores late winner as Barrie beats Sarnia 5-3

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

Barrie Colts forward Andreas Athanasiou attempts to break through the Sarnia Sting defence during first-period Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night at the Barrie Molson Centre. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

Barrie Colts forward Andreas Athanasiou attempts to break through the Sarnia Sting defence during first-period Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night at the Barrie Molson Centre. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

The Barrie Colts keep finding ways to win.

Even though they still carried over some of the mistakes they made last weekend, the Colts managed to make sure that they got two points this time.

Anthony Camara scored the go-ahead goal on a giveaway as the Colts knocked off the Sarnia Sting 5-3 on Thursday.

“I think we got back to our game a lot quicker than we did (in) last week’s loss against Brampton,” said Colts winger Andreas Athanasiou.

“I think we got a little bit comfortable again today, but we got back to (our game) quickly.”

Sarnia head coach Jacques Beaulieu felt that his team was very much in it, save for one unlucky bounce.

“We made one mistake that cost us the hockey game,” “It is what is. They’re young kids and they’re going to mistakes.

“You just have to move on to tomorrow night.”

The Colts, who are now 6-0 on Thursdays this season, got off to the start they needed to in order to pick up a first-period lead.

Despite the pedigree of these two teams, there wasn’t much offence to be had by either side until Barrie got a power play near the midway mark of the period.

Mark Scheifele circled in the offensive zone before dropping the puck to Ryan O’Connor at the point.

The Colts captain waited for Camara to set up a screen in front before wristing a shot that beat Sarnia starter J.P. Anderson cleanly on the blocker side to give Barrie a 1-0 lead.

Scheifele nearly had a goal of his own shortly after when he again circled in the Sarnia end before shimmying around a defender and blasting a shot, but his attempt rang off of the post.

“Both teams were sort of feeling each other out,” Beaulieu said. “It was like an American Hockey League game where you were just chipping it in, chipping it out.”

Barrie would extend its lead before the period was out in a four-on-four situation.

Alex Yuill stepped over the Sting blue line and dropped the puck to Tyson Fawcett, who in turn sent a hard pass to Athanasiou, waiting just above the right face-off dot.

Athanasiou one-timed the attempt and beat Anderson to give the Colts a 2-0 lead after one period.

The Sting would come to life in the second, and after testing Barrie goalie Alex Fotinos with just four shots in the first, Sarnia would pound 18 on him in the middle frame.

Like the Colts, the Sting would finally get through on the man advantage.

Connor Murphy took a pass from Alex Galchenyuk and fired a low shot that appeared to bounce before beating Fotinos, bringing the deficit to 2-1.

Though most of the shots were from a distance, Sarnia would continue to pepper Fotinos, and they evened the score when Murphy sent a pass to Reid Boucher up the middle, springing him for a breakaway.

The New Jersey Devils draft pick snapped a wrist shot over the glove hand of Fotinos to tie things at 2-2.

That score line wouldn’t hold up for long, though, as just over a minute later, Athanasiou snatched the puck out of the corner and went inside-out to beat a defender as he circled in front of the goal.

Athanasiou took a low shot that beat Anderson to the corner, restoring Barrie’s lead at 3-2 after 40 minutes.

“It was just one of those games,” said Athanasiou, who picked up his 10th and 11th goals of the season on Thursday. “You come in, you feel good, and I felt like my legs were going.

“I had Fawc and (Steven) Beyers, who were playing well and moving fast, and they opened up a lot of ice for me.”

The Colts still didn’t look to have everything together, and that led to Sarnia re-tying the game in the third.

Galchenyuk sent a pass up to Charles Sarault, who went up the ice with Boucher on a two-on-one.

Sarault got the lone deep defenceman, Michael Webster, to commit before lofting a pass to Boucher, who blasted home the one-timer to even the game at 3-3.

Sarnia nearly pulled ahead a few minutes later when, once again, Boucher scored on a Sarault feed.

But Galchenyuk and O’Connor had already gone into the net, dislodging it before Boucher’s snipe made it in.

The difference-maker in the end turned out to be one bad play.

A Sarnia defender corralled the puck as the last man back in his own end, and blindly threw it to his left.

Camara was waiting right there for it, and he buried the puck to give the Colts a 4-3 lead.

“We have a lot of power on this team, and the capabilities to do a lot of good things, and I think it was just us realizing that we weren’t going to blow it,” Athanasiou said.

“Last week, we got a little too comfortable, and we need to get that out of our game like we did (later on tonight).”

Sarnia would create a couple of chances in the dying moments, but Alex Lepkowski got the puck out of the zone, and eventually it found its way over to Brendan Bell, who put it in the empty net.

“We can’t turn pucks over,” Beaulieu said. “Especially with teams like Barrie, which live off the rush, they counter-attack real quick and you can’t turn it over.”

Alex Fotinos was solid in his first start in three-and-a-half weeks, making 27 stops and consistently playing at the top of his crease.

“He’s had a little bit of rough bounces when he’s played, but he played good for us,” Athanasiou said. “Even in previous games, he’s made a lot of big saves for us and today was a good win for him.”

The Sting continue their northern road-swing tomorrow night against Sudbury.

Barrie will host the Windsor Spitfires on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.


Andreas Athanasiou: 2G

Ryan O’Connor: 1G

Anthony Camara: 1G

Brendan Bell: 1G

Alex Lepkowski: 1A

Alex Yuill: 1A

Josh MacDonald: 1A

Steven Beyers: 1A

Tyson Fawcett: 1A

Mark Scheifele: 1A

Alex Fotinos: 27 saves


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