Barrie scores three in the third to slip past Owen Sound 5-4
Owen Sound Attack forward Zach Nastasiuk, a Barrie native, scores his team's first goal of the game against Barrie Colts goalie Mackenzie Blackwood during first-period OHL action Thursday at the Barrie Molson Centre. MARK WANZEL PHOTO
Inconsistencies aside, the Barrie Colts got the win they were looking for.
It involved a two-goal comeback and using both goalies, but they’re just happy to get the two points.
The Colts scored three unanswered goals in the third period to eke out a 5-4 victory over the Owen Sound Attack on Thursday night.
“I think we kind of beared down a bit in the third and started sticking to the structure,” said Colts defenceman Jonathan Laser. “It’s nice to hold the lead but it’s also nice to see us come back (and win).”
The Colts had far more shots in the opening period, but ended it tied.
Barrie started pressuring Owen Sound starter Brandon Hope early on, taking nine of the game’s first 10 attempts on goal, but the veteran was equal to the task, never being called upon to do much more than be in position.
The Colts would beat him though, thanks to an impressive effort by Garrett Hooey.
After a good forecheck saw Hooey take the puck off of Thomas Schemitsch, the veteran circled the net before finding Brendan Lemieux, who beat Hope low on the short side to give Barrie a 1-0 lead.
The Colts had three power plays in the first, but their woes on the man advantage continued, and would eventually lead to a goal against.
Aaron Ekblad tried to move the puck out of his own end, but instead went straight into Zach Nastasiuk, and the Barrie native had a clear path to the goal.
Nastasiuk deked and put the puck over the right arm of outstretched Barrie goalie Mackenzie Blackwood to even the score.
The Attack must have had a scouting report telling them to go high blocker on Blackwood, because they did that three times, and scored on each opportunity.
Just 16 seconds into the second period, Daniel Milne took a pass from Nastasiuk and surprised Blackwood, putting one over his right shoulder to give Owen Sound the lead.
The Attack made it 3-1 a couple of minutes later when Kurtis Gabriel openly carried the puck on his backhand to set up a high blocker shot, which beat Blackwood and ended his night, having given up a trio of goals on six shots.
“We had to play better in front of him,” Laser said. “It’s defensive responsibility as a whole team.
“It’s good to get the win and he’s been good for us all year.”
Barrie would get back into the game on the power play, although it was thanks in part to the Attack’s inability to clear their own zone on a few occasions.
Jake Dotchin sent the puck across to Ekblad, who beat Hope on the glove side to make it 3-2.
But Owen Sound would regain a two-goal cushion before the period was out, when Kyle Hope snapped a shot over the glove hand of Daniel Gibl, who had replaced Blackwood.
Barrie got an extended 5-on-3 to finish the second and open the third, but it wasn’t until the fourth man got back on the ice that the Colts could strike.
Andreas Athanasiou fired a shot through the five-hole of Hope to make it a 4-3 deficit, and the goal gave the sniper 46 on the year, tying Ryan Hamilton for fourth in Colts single-season franchise history.
“We know what we needed to do in the third,” Laser said. “Coming down the stretch, these points are important and we just kind of came together as a group and battled it out.”
Barrie tied the game on another man advantage, this time in a 4-on-3 situation.
With Lemieux parked in front of the net, Ekblad teed up a point shot that was tipped in by the winger for his second of the game.
It was the player that initially gave the Colts a lead that eventually restored it.
Hooey won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Laser, whose point shot was then deflected in by the former Belleville Bull, giving the Colts a 5-4 lead with just 5:01 to go.
The Attack had an offensive-zone faceoff in the dying moments, but Hooey won the draw to kill off the final two seconds and give the Colts a victory.
“There’s always things for us to work on,” Laser said. “We’re always trying to play with the lead, but it’s good to see that we can battle through some adversity and win even when we’re maybe not on our game the whole time.”
Barrie’s next contest is on Sunday in Niagara. The Colts’ lone remaining home game Saturday, March 15, against Peterborough.
COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Aaron Ekblad: 1G, 2A
Brendan Lemieux: 2G
Garrett Hooey: 1G, 1A
Kevin Labanc: 2A
Zach Hall: 2A
Andreas Athanasiou: 1G
Jonathan Laser: 1A
Jake Dotchin: 1A
Mackenzie Blackwood: 3 saves
Daniel Gibl 15 saves