Colts Fall In Shootout to Battalion
For their final regular season game of the season, the Colts traveled to North Bay to face divisional rival, the North Bay Battalion. Coming in to the game, both the Colts and the Battalion both locked up second and third place respectively in the Eastern Conference, while both awaiting their Round 1 playoff opponents.
In Sunday afternoon’s game, the Colts saw all seven rookies in the lineup, along with Colts prospect Kade Landry who was making his OHL debut.
Just past the mid-way point of the period, the Battalion had a great chance after the rebound came loose in the slot. However, Ovsjannikov would sprawl out and make an incredible save to keep it scoreless.
Then, with less than four minutes to play, the Colts came up with their best chances of the period from the line of Hawerchuk, James and Goetz. At the tail end of their power play, they were able to generate chances, but Battalion goaltender, Jake Smith, would shut the door each time.
It would be with less than a minute to play in the first period when the Battalion would score the first goal of the game. After it looked as though Ovsjannikov had the puck covered, the puck squeaked clear and Mathew Santos was on the doorstop, able to put home his 28th goal of the season.
Through 20 minutes, the Battalion would outshoot the Colts 13 to 7, while the Colts gave up two power play chances to the Battalion, earning only one power play of their own.
Early in the second period, Radke came up with a strong chance for the Colts as he cut through the Battalion zone, but he sent the puck through the slot, but did draw a penalty. However, on the ensuing Colts power play, after the Colts couldn’t keep the puck in the Battalion zone, and the Battalion were able to capitalize with a shorthanded chance. Battalion captain, Mike Amadio, would cut towards the net, sending a pass across the slot to Santos who buried his second goal of the game. Santos’ 29th tally of the season gave the Battalion a 2-0 lead only 2:13 into the period.
Before the halfway point of the period though, the Colts would cut the Battalion lead to one on the power play. After Zach Shankar was sent off for slashing, Ben Hawerchuk would fire a snap shot from the slot past Jake Smith for his 9th goal of the season. Hawerchuk has now scored two goals in two games, as the season wraps up.
With 9:30 to play in the period, Lucas Chiodo was able to intercept a Battalion pass in the Colts zone, and turned to fire a pass to a breaking Aidan Brown. Brown was sprung on a breakaway and made a great forehand to backhand fake, but Jake Smith made a key stop for the Battalion, helping his team hold on to a 2-1 lead.
With six minutes to play, the Colts once again had another great chance. Adrian Carbonara made an outside, inside move, then walked down and made a cross ice pass to Zachary Magwood. Magwood redirected the pass, but again, Jake Smith came up huge and shut the door, as well as stopping another rebound from Giordano Finoro.
The shots in the period were 10 a piece, with the Colts capitalizing on a chance.
The third period would see plenty of back and forth action. It would be the two goaltenders that would keep the game close, with both coming up with important saves for their squads in the first half of the period.
Nearly nine minutes into the final period, the Colts would climb their way back and tie the game off of a goal from Anthony Stefano. Off the faceoff, Stefano was able to rip one past Smith for his 21st goal of the season after he received a feed from Justin Scott who was coming out of the corner.
In the final three minutes of the game, North Bay was buzzing around the Colts zone, but weren’t able to beat the giant Ovsjannikov in goal for the Colts.
Despite one of the league’s leading goal scorer’s, Mike Amadio for the Battalion, running around the Colts zone, North Bay wouldn’t be able to take a lead in the last few minutes of the final frame. With 30 seconds left specifically, the duo of Amadio and Santos nearly beat Ovsjannikov on a wrap around, but again, couldn’t get one past the goal line to score.
Through three periods, the Battalion would outshoot the Colts 37-24.
In overtime, the Battalion would get a great chance nearly a minute into the frame as Cam Dineen was sprung on a breakaway, but Anthony Stefano made a great defensive play to dive and prevent a shot.
Stefano had the best chance for the Colts in the five minute extra frame as he was sprung on a breakaway, but couldn’t finish for his second of the game.
While the final frame would solve nothing, the divisional rivals would need overtime to decide a winner. Ovsjannikov would stop 40 of the 42 shots that he faced in the game, while Jake Smith for the Battalion would stop 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
The shoot out would mirror the overtime frame, as three rounds wouldn’t be enough to decide a winner, but rather we would need five. After Cam Dineen would finally beat Ovsjannikov, Zachary Magwood was stopped, and the Battalion would grab the win.
The Colts will be playing the Mississauga Steelheads in Round 1 of the playoffs. For tickets to Game 1 and Game 2, please visit the BMC Box Office or online at www.ticketbreak.com.
Mississauga @ Barrie, Thursday March 24, 7:30 p.m.
Mississauga @ Barrie, Saturday March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Barrie @ Mississauga, Tuesday March 29, 7:00 p.m.
Barrie @ Mississauga, Thursday March 31, 7:00 p.m.
Mississauga @ Barrie, Saturday April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Barrie @ Mississauga, Sunday April 3, 2:00 p.m.
Mississauga @ Barrie, Tuesday April 5, 7:30 p.m.