Colts Drop Second Straight Game; Lose 5-2 to IceDogs
Story Credit: Stephen Sweet
With the big guns out of the lineup, the Barrie Colts needed a lot of guys to step up.
Unfortunately, there weren’t too many volunteers.
The Niagara IceDogs outplayed the Colts for much of the night, defeating Barrie 5-2 on Saturday night.
“We had a couple of our top scorers out of the lineup, but that’s where the younger guys and even our veterans have to step up and make a name for themselves,” said Colts defenceman Josh Carrick. “We’ve just got to be better tonight.”
The Colts were in tough on Saturday without Andrew Mangiapane and Brendan Lemieux.
Mangiapane was greatly missed on the man advantage, which lacked cohesion in the early going.
Lemieux’s absence, meanwhile, was made all the more difficult when taking on a physical IceDogs squad that flexed their muscles in the first period.
“It’s hard (to play without them), but we’ve still got to step up and play our game,” said Colts winger Aidan Brown. “We can’t let a couple of guys out of the lineup ruin our mojo.”
Niagara got on the board first when Christopher Paquette sent a pass to Johnny Corneil, and from the right face-off dot, the IceDog snapped a shot past Barrie starter Mackenzie Blackwood.
The Colts could well have ended the first behind by more than a goal were it not for the outstanding play of Blackwood, who looked rested after getting a rare night off on Friday.
Barrie’s workhorse made 15 stops in the first, including a pair of great reaction saves with his blocker on Pavel Jenys and Joshua Ho-Sang.
“It’s no excuse for us to play that way,” Carrick said. “I think we came out a bit slow and that can’t be happening.”
But the magic would run out early in the second with a goal Blackwood would like to have back.
Jordan Maletta took a shot from well out, without traffic, and it slipped under Blackwood’s blocker arm and in, giving Niagara a 2-0 lead.
On the same shift, Vince Dunn sent a puck towards the net for Joshua Ho-Sang, who one-touched a pass to Maletta, and the overager wasted no time burying the attempt past Blackwood, making it 3-0 IceDogs just 56 seconds into the middle frame.
“There was quite a bit of emotion and penalties in that game,” Carrick said. “That doesn’t matter for us.
“We have to keep it simple and stick to our system.”
Brendan Perlini would top them all with a fantastic performance on Niagara’s fourth goal.
The former Colt toe-dragged the puck across the middle of the ice, and, while using his frame to keep the Barrie defenders at bay, snapped a shot across his body and off of the crossbar and in.
“We weren’t playing our best,” Brown said. “We weren’t playing physical, we weren’t getting pucks deep, and that’s kind of our game, a hard-working one, and they took advantage of it.”
It wasn’t as though the Colts weren’t getting chances, but the pucks refused to go in.
Adrian Carbonara picked off an errant pass in front of the Niagara net and took a quick shot that was turned aside by IceDogs goalie Brent Moran.
Ben Hawerchuk jumped on the rebound, but couldn’t tuck it around the netminder.
Brandon Prophet nearly got Barrie on the board in the dying moments of the second period, but he couldn’t get his stick on a loose puck near an empty net.
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