Colts Come Out On Top With 4-1 Win Over Wolves
Story Credit: Stephen Sweet The Barrie Examiner
It wasn’t their prettiest effort of the year, but it worked.
A slow start and some rough play wouldn’t stop the Barrie Colts from getting a lead and keeping it for the rest of the contest.
Barrie would score in every period en route to a 4-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves at home on Thursday night.
“We just kept things simple,” said Colts defenceman Matt Brassard. “We knew Sudbury was hungry for wins coming in, they’re on a bit of a losing streak, but we can’t take any game lightly.
“We just came out today and played a simple game and came back after a tough loss (on Sunday).”
The Colts came out with a lacklustre first period and were fortunate to end it all square.
Barrie had trouble corralling the puck at times, and it led to a scoring chance just seconds in for Chad Heffernan that was denied by Colts starter Mackenzie Blackwood.
He was the busier of the two goalies in the early going, as it took Barrie over four minutes to get a shot on goal, one of five it had during the first.
The Wolves, who sit in last place in the Eastern Conference, were the team showing offensive-zone cohesion in the first 20 minutes, and it led to them taking a lead.
Pavel Jenys sent a pass to Jacob Harris on the right side, and he cut towards the net, backhanding a pass to the front of the crease.
That allowed Heffernan to skate into a shot and he blasted it by Blackwood to make it 1-0 Sudbury.
“I don’t think we got off to the strongest start,” said Colts defenceman Brandon Prophet. “Moving forward, I think we need to play the full 60 (minutes).
“We need to get off to a quicker start and get things going right away.”
Barrie looked to be headed into the intermission down a goal, but were gifted an easy one by the young Wolves squad.
Andrew Mangiapane dropped a pass to Kevin Labanc, who ran out of space and had to curl before throwing a puck towards the front of the net.
In his haste to get back into the play, Wolves forward Dmitry Sokolov stuck out his stick and deflected the puck past his goaltender, Zack Bowman, and in to tie the game at 1-1.
“Hockey’s a game like that,” Brassard said. “There are bounces all over the ice.
“Tonight, I guess the bounces went our way to get that one.”
Mangiapane’s assist on the goal extended his point streak to 12 games, which is now the largest one for any player in the OHL this season.
Josh Carrick would become the focal point of the second period for both positive and negative reasons.
Seeing plenty of ice time, the third-year defenceman kept the puck in the offensive zone on a couple of occasions and sprung forwards with breakout passes.
He would receive a feed of his own in the offensive zone, when Julius Nattinen fired a sharp pass from the right corner to the slot.
Carrick snapped a shot over the arm of Bowman to give Barrie a 2-1 lead.
“Once things get going our way and we get the ball rolling, we seem to be pretty successful,” Prophet said. “When (we get a lead), that’s when we start to loosen up and play a better game.”
Just a few minutes later, Sudbury’s Patrick Murphy sent a pass across the middle of the ice in the Barrie zone and continued to glide along after the dish.
Carrick lined him up for what, on replays, looked like a shoulder-to-shoulder check.
Murphy went down and that sparked things between the two teams, most notably with Heffernan deciding to throw a few punches at Blackwood.
Carrick’s hit was ruled to be a check to the head, and since Murphy was injured on the play, the Colts defenceman was given a major penalty and game misconduct.
But the Colts would kill off the Carrick infraction, even after Murphy, Sudbury’s top offensive defenceman, returned to the ice to play on that same man advantage.
The chippy play continued into the third period.
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Colts power play went 1 for 3 on their opportunities tonight, along with scoring a short handed goal. They didn’t allow the Wolves to get anything going on their power play chances, forcing them to 0 for 3 on the night. Mangiapane extends his point streak to 12 games. Julius Nattinen extends his streak to 7 games. Kevin Labanc and Rasmus Andersson extend their point streaks to 7 games. Michael Webster now has 50 career assists in the OHL off of an assist on Labanc’s first goal.
The Colts move to 13-7-0-0 after Thursday night’s win and do a U.S. weekend, taking on the Flint Firebirds and the Saginaw Spirit. They return home on Thursday, November 26th to face the Owen Sound Attack. For tickets to that game, visit the BMC Box Office or www.ticketbreak.com.