Colts Blow By Ice Dogs, 6-3
The Colts played their second of the three straight games as they visited the Niagara Ice Dogs Friday night in a Central Division showdown. The team looked to win their third straight as they beat Mississauga and Ottawa in their previous two games.
The game started with a physical presence as each side deserved some thundering hits to fire up their troops.
The Colts would open the scoring as Zachary Magwood took the Keigan Goetz pass and rifled a wrist-shot past the glove of Ice Dogs’ netminder Alex Nedeljkovic. Goetz and Josh Carrick were rewarded with the assists on Magwood’s 6th of the season.
With 1:55 left in the first, an aggressive forecheck from the Ice Dogs would lead to Niagara’s tying goal. Jordan Maletta would receive the puck in the slot, spin and slip one through the legs of Mackenzie Blackwood for his team leading 31st of the year, while Graham Knott and Brendan Perlini recorded the helpers.
The second period would see the Colts step it up, recording three goals in the frame to take a 4-1 lead going into the third.
Kevin Labanc would give the Colts a 2-1 lead at the 11-minute mark of the period. After creating a turnover, Julius Nattinen would set up Labanc in the slot, and he made no mistake firing one by Nedeljkovic for his 37th goal of the year. Anthony Stefano would record the secondary assist on Labanc’s 117th point of the season.
The Colts would extend their lead to 3-1 with just over 5 minutes left in the frame. Barrie would catch a break as Julius Nattinen’s harmless looking shot from just inside the blue line would squeak past Nedeljkovic for his 20th of the season as the goal was unassisted.
The Colts would net their third goal of the period with 28 seconds left remaining, and while being shorthanded. After fighting off three Ice Dogs’, Andrew Mangiapane sent a diving poke check pass to Kevin Labanc who deked to the backhand for his second of the game and 38th of the season. Mangiapane picked up the only helper.
The third period would see Niagara begin to generate a comeback, scoring two goals in the first seven minutes to cut Barrie’s lead to 4-3. The first came just two minutes in the period as rookie Ben Jones shovelled the Aleksandar Mikulovich rebound by Blackwood for his 4th goal of the season.
Niagara’s third goal would come via captain Anthony DiFruscia. As the Ice Dogs broke into the Barrie zone, Stephen Harper’s shot would bounce off Blackwood, off the leg of DiFruscia – who was charging to the net – and in the Colt’s cage to cut their lead to one. Joshua Ho-Sang would also record an assist on DiFruscia’s 21st of the year.
Niagara would amp up their attack and inched closer to their desired comeback. However, Mackenzie Blackwood stepped up his game as he stopped everything coming his way to hold off the Ice Dog pursuit. Blackwood’s play would pay off as the Colts put the game away with 1:33 left when Julius Nattinen would receive the Mangiapane feed and bank it off a Niagara defencemen and past Nedeljkovic for his second of the game and 20th of the year.
Justin Scott would add an empty net goal en route to the Colts taking an exciting game over the Ice Dogs with a final score of 6-3.
Mackenzie Blackwood would have one of his best games of the year, stopping 49 of 52 shots for his 24th win of the season. With two points tonight, Kevin Labanc now has 118 points, moving him within three points of Sheldon Keefe’s single season record for points in a season.
The Colts return to the BMC Saturday night when they host the Owen Sound Attack. Get your tickets now by visiting BMC Box Office or going to www.ticketbreak.com.