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Scheifele's two goals not enough as Owen Sound edges Barrie 3-2

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

In the tight-checking, physical contests, the Barrie Colts have to find a way to pull out a win.

Although they got a point out of Thursday’s game, it’s still not quite enough.

Kurtis Gabriel scored the overtime winner with 37 seconds left as the Attack nipped the Colts, 3-2.

“I think we went after their defence, and that was our game plan,” said Attack forward and Barrie native Zach Nastasiuk. “We worked it down low, got pucks to the net, and obviously, we executed well.”

Gabriel cut in on the wing before throwing a bad-angle attempt towards the net that took a deflection and beat Colts starter Mathias Niederberger to end the contest.

“I thought we played a pretty good game, but maybe some of the little things we didn’t do too well,” said Colts centre Erik Bradford.

“We took them to overtime and they’re a good team in this league,” Bradford added. “They got a lucky bounce there (by just) throwing it to the net, and they say to throw things to the net and good things will happen.

“They did that and came out with the two points.”

It wasn’t the prettiest first period, but the Colts managed to escape it still tied.

Barrie was having trouble corralling the puck around its own net, and a couple of hiccups nearly led to offensive chances for Owen Sound.

Physically, the Colts were no match for the Attack in the opening frame, as the big wingers, like Bradford’s Daniel Zweep, cycled the puck with ease and drew a couple of penalties.

Niederberger was sharp between the pipes, stuffing Cameron Brace on a short-side attempt as one of his 10 first-period stops.

At the other end, Owen Sound’s Jordan Binnington wasn’t getting much work, as, save for a couple of late shots into his midsection, the netminder was relatively untested.

“We take pride in our defence, and that’s a very highly-skilled team over there,” Nastasiuk said. “Every time, we’re just trying to suffocate them and limit their time and space, and I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”

While Barrie was able to get out of the first period unscathed, it didn’t take long for the Attack to break through in the second.

Just nine seconds in, Nastasiuk beat Colts captain Ryan O’Connor on the left side and snapped one past Niederberger to give Owen Sound a 1-0 lead.

“I think it’s just the hometown luck here,” said Nastasiuk, who also scored in his last visit to Barrie. “There was a lucky bounce and I happened to get behind the defenceman.

“I just took a quick shot on net and it went in.”

As the period went on, though, the Colts started look a little more comfortable, and they nearly evened things up moments later, when Mark Scheifele fired a bad-angle rebound off of Binnington that was precariously close to the goal line.

The play would be reviewed before being called no goal.

Undaunted, the Colts, minutes later, would do something they had only accomplished once in the past three contests against the Attack – score on Binnington.

Zach Hall took a check in order to get the puck out to Mark Scheifele, and the Winnipeg Jets prospect hesitated briefly before wristing one off of the iron and in.

“They’re big and strong and they’re going to be physical on you,” Bradford said. “We like to think we have more speed than them, so we have to use that to our advantage.

“As long as we’re moving our feet, we’re good.”

The game would remain tied for all of 32 seconds, as on the very next shift, Zweep took a shot from the left side that fooled Niederberger to restore Owen Sound’s lead.

But Scheifele would battle and tie the game with a fantastic effort.

After being knocked down in a fight for the puck, Scheifele got up and in position, and Steven Beyers found him with a pass.

Scheifele’s first attempt was blocked, but he picked up his rebound, coolly dragged the puck around Nathan Chiarlitti, and ripped his second shot past Binnington glove side, tying the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes.

“He was going really good for us,” said Bradford of Scheifele. “He was our best player tonight and when a guy like that takes control of the game, we all follow.

“He did a great job for us, and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get the two points.”

Both teams had chances to pull ahead early in the third, but the goalies were there for some big stops.

First, Hall was set up for a one-timer at the side of the goal on a Barrie power play, but Binnington reached across and got the pad down for a great cross-crease save.

“He’s been having our back all year and is probably the best goalie in the CHL in my eyes,” Nastasiuk said. “He bails us out every night and it’s nice to get a win for him.”

Then, a bad redirect sent Daniel Milne in on a breakaway, but Niederberger followed him and shut the five-hole to stymie the Attack forward.

Steven Janes had the chance to be the hero with just over a minute left in regulation, as a rebound and a wide open net presented themselves to him.

But the former Ottawa 67 dinged one off of the crossbar, and the game went to an extra frame before Gabriel scored the winner.

Barrie has now lost three games in a row, two of which to teams that, at least for the time being, are above it in the standings.

“You look at the other teams in the league and they all have top goalies,” Bradford said. “You have to pepper them with shots.

“If you’re going to get 20 shots at a (Malcolm) Subban or Binnington, they’re going to stop maybe 19 or 20 of them,” Bradford added. “We need to do a better job of peppering them with shots.”

The Colts will look to get back on track Friday in Sudbury, before returning home to play Guelph on Saturday.


Mark Scheifele: 2G

Jonathan Laser: 2A

Zach Hall: 1A

Steven Beyers: 1A

Mathias Niederberger: 38 saves

Zach Nastasiuk (Barrie native): 1G

Daniel Zweep (Bradford native): 1G

Chris Bigras (Elmvale native): 1A


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