Colts blast Bulls 8-2, take 2-0 series lead
Article courtesy of www.thebarrieexaminer.com
The Barrie Colts have taken care of business at home.
And if they can play like this on the road, the Colts could get a long layoff.
Barrie looked very much like its usual dynamic self on Monday, hammering the Belleville Bulls 8-2.
With the victory, the Colts take a 2-0 series lead to Belleville, heading into Game 3 on Wednesday.
“Last game, we didn’t play as hard, and that was the difference tonight,” said Colts centre Cordell James. “We were going hard, we were clicking and we got some bounces.”
The Colts came out much faster than they had in Game 1, and it led a furious, but sometimes unlucky, first period.
Rasmus Andersson hit a post 30 seconds in, and although that didn’t count as a shot on goal, Barrie would still get the first 10 of the game.
The Colts would convert on them too, as on their opening power play, Garrett Hooey pounced on a rebound in front and slipped it past Bulls starter Charlie Graham to make it 1-0 Barrie.
Joseph Blandisi, who didn’t have much success in Game 1, was flying on Monday night.
He created a number of chances in the first few minutes, but eventually wound up in the box, getting called for goaltender interference despite being pushed into Graham and noticeably attempting to get out of the way.
The Bulls would take advantage of that situation, as Matt Luff tipped Stephen Harper’s shot past Barrie goalie Mackenzie Blackwood to tie things up on their second shot of the game.
Belleville would keep up its 50% shooting percentage on a positive bounce during 4-on-4 action.
Harper attempted to make a pass across the middle on an odd-man rush, but it hit a skate and slowed down, sending a trio of players, including Blackwood, in the wrong direction.
That allowed Michael Cramarossa to walk in, pick up the puck and score, putting the Bulls ahead 2-1.
“Obviously, early in the game, we can’t get down,” James said. “We have to know that there’s lots of time left in the game and keep battling out there.”
The Colts wouldn’t be deterred, and it was Blandisi who evened up the score shortly after, converting on a cross-crease pass from Andrew Mangiapane during a delayed penalty.
Barrie would take the lead less than 30 seconds later, as Harpur’s perfectly-placed shot gave the Colts a trio of power-play goals and a 3-2 advantage after one period.
“Last game, we were a little unfocused to begin with, and it was a little too close for comfort,” Blandisi said. “We just wanted to make sure we (came out hard) and won with authority.”
Despite badly outplaying the Bulls, Barrie wasn’t getting full value for its efforts.
That would change in the second period.