Aurora native scores all three Brampton goals in 3-2 win
With Blake Clarke of the Brampton Battalion closing in, Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad sets up a play during Ontario Hockey League action on Thursday night at the Barrie Molson Centre. The Colts lost the game, 3-2. MARK WANZEL PHOTO
The Barrie Colts couldn’t win a 60-minute game in just a period.
But as per usual, they gave themselves an opportunity to do so.
After dropping behind 3-0 thanks to Barclay Goodrow's natural hat-trick, the Colts came up just short, falling 3-2 to the Brampton Battalion on Thursday night.
“I thought we were good right off the bat, but then that first goal against really stunned us,” said Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk. “We had great momentum in the third, but it was just too little, too late.”
There have been a number of occasions where the Colts, despite not playing a complete game, have pulled out a victory, making things look better than they were.
“I think part of the issue there sometimes is, when you’re winning hockey games, people don’t think there are any issues,” Hawerchuk said.
“Now that we’ve lost a couple, we’ve got to put our work boots back on, and get back to paying a little more attention to detail.”
The opening period was devoid of true quality scoring chances, which is usually what happens when the Battalion play a successful frame.
Barrie saw most of its good opportunities come on the power play, but were unable to strike.
Justin Scott had a couple of attempts in the first, including a wraparound in the dying moments, but he was turned aside by Brampton starter Matej Machovsky.
“We were getting chances in the first two periods, but their goalie was making some great saves,” Scott said.
At the other end, Colts goaltender Mathias Niederberger bailed out his defencemen when Mike Amadio slipped a puck past them to Brandon Robinson, standing at the top of the crease.
But Niederberger made the stop and grabbed the rebound, with both Robinson and Matt MacLeod on the doorstep, looking to pounce.
Brampton would find a way past Niederberger in the first period, when Goodrow took a pass from Dylan Blujus beat the German import on a harmless-looking shot to give the Battalion a 1-0 lead after one period.
Goodrow would strike again early in the second, when he took a pass from Jamie Lewis and put it through Niederberger’s five hole, along the ice.
That goal, 25 seconds into the second period, would spell the end of Niederberger’s night, as he was replaced by Alex Fotinos.
“Bergy wasn’t on tonight,” Hawerchuk said. “When that second goal went in, I said ‘that’s not him’.”
Fotinos did his part in relief, making a number of good stops, but he couldn’t keep the Battalion from building on their lead.
On a man advantage, Blujus and Patrik Machac moved the puck around to get Fotinos out of position before sending a pass to Goodrow, who blasted one home to complete his natural hat-trick and give Brampton a 3-0 cushion.
Some of the younger Colts tried to spark the team in order to get Barrie back into the game.
Brendan Perlini went across his own blue line and rocked Brampton’s Blake Clarke with an open-ice hit.
“We’ve been in so many tight games, we haven’t had the chance to get them as much ice time as we’d like,” Hawerchuk said.
The check coaxed Brendan Childerley into dropping the gloves to defend his teammate, but Perlini, four years his junior, would not go.
As a result, Barrie received a five-minute power play, but only created one good opportunity, when Anthony Camara sent a pass from the slot to Mark Scheifele, standing in his customary goal-scoring spot on the left side of the net.
But Scheifele was robbed by Machovsky, who reacted quickly and got the blocker arm out to make the stop.
“Machovsky played a great game,” Hawerchuk said. “He made great stops on Scheifele and Camara, and that can make a big difference.
“Their guy made some great saves.”
Despite five man advantages through 40 minutes, the Colts still found themselves trailing 3-0 after two periods.
“I think sometimes, with good skill guys, we almost think that we have to move it around too much instead of getting shots through and outworking the penalty killers,” Hawerchuk said.
“When we’re at our best, we’re shooting pucks on net and then we’re using our skill to recover pucks and turn it into chances.”
Barrie came out in the third period looking like the Colts team that has shown up for most third periods this season.
They peppered Machovsky with 14 shots in the frame, and started to do the little things to find a way through.
Scott, seeing time on the top line, put a puck on net, which caused a rebound for Scheifele.
While the centreman wouldn’t score, his stymied attempt would fall to Camara, who slapped home his 18th goal of the season.
That marker, which made it 3-1, was Barrie’s first goal in 109 minutes and 51 seconds.
“It was exciting,” said Scott, who earned his first-career OHL point on the play. “I was just trying to keep it simple out there, and I’ll take any shifts I can get.”
The Colts pulled the goalie late and got their seventh power play of the night in the dying moments, and they finally managed to score on a man advantage.
Ryan O’Connor’s point shot went through a screen and beat Machovsky with 16.3 seconds to go, bringing the deficit to 3-2 and giving Barrie one last-ditch chance to tie the game.
But the final desperation attempt went wide, and the Colts dropped their second game in a row.
“In the third period, we got back to playing the way we usually do,” Scott said. “We got two goals, but it was too late.”
Barrie’s next contest is on Saturday night, when they host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Mark Scheifele: 2A
Anthony Camara: 1G
Ryan O’Connor: 1G
Justin Scott: 1A (first career OHL point)
Steven Beyers: 1A
Alex Fotinos: 11 saves
Mathias Niederberger: 10 saves
Cameron Wind (Barrie native and Battalion defenceman): 1A