Colts lose heartbreaker in double OT
NORTH BAY, Ont. – Ryan Kujawinski scored at 3:49 of the second overtime period to lift the North Bay Battalion to a 4-3 victory Thursday night over the Barrie Colts, giving the Troops a 3-1 lead in their second-round Ontario Hockey League playoff series.
Kujawinski, who also had an assist, finished off a two-on-one rush with Nick Moutrey, rifling the puck from the edge of the right-wing circle over the glove of Barrie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.
Moutrey contributed one goal and two assists, while Marcus McIvor and Mike Amadio also scored. Goaltender Jake Smith made 16 saves before a sellout crowd of 4,137 at Memorial Gardens.
Roy Radke scored two goals and Rasmus Andersson the other for the Colts, who rallied for three goals in the third period after trailing 2-0 through 40 minutes. Blackwood faced 49 shots.
Barrie hosts Game 5 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, while a sixth game, if necessary, would be played at North Bay at 6 p.m. Sunday. The game at Barrie can be seen live in North Bay on TVCogeco Cable 12 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
Kujawinski’s fifth goal of the playoffs ended the fourth-longest game in Battalion history. The longest was a 3-2 loss to the host Belleville Bulls on April 23, 2009. Nick Palmieri scored on a power play at 18:44 of the second overtime period in Game 5 of a conference final that Brampton won in six games.
“Once we got up 3-1 in the third period, I thought we were in good control of the game,” said coach Stan Butler, whose Troops have earned three straight wins, the last two at home.
“But we gave up a couple of goals I’m sure Jake would like to have back. It was one of those games that could have gone either way. Barrie kept battling, and they found a way to even the game up and they had as good a chance to win as we did.”
The Battalion, which forged an 8-3 edge in shots in the first overtime period, had the best early chances after Kevin Labanc went off for delay of game 51 seconds into the frame. Blackwood denied Brett McKenzie and Kyle Wood, and Kujawinski hit the post.
Barrie’s best chance came in the 17th minute when Brendan Lemieux’s wrister appeared to handcuff Smith. Garrett Hooey tried to jam home his own rebound at the left post in the 19th minute.
The Battalion scored once in each of the first two periods, but the Colts clawed their way back into the game at 4:03 of the third when Andersson worked into the slot and beat Smith with a wrister to the glove side.
Moutrey restored the Troops’ two-goal lead 40 seconds later, taking a cross-ice pass from Kujawinski and whipping the puck over Blackwood’s blocker from deep in the left circle. It was Moutrey’s third goal of the postseason.
Radke struck at 8:54, charging down the left wing, cutting to the net and tucking the puck inside the left post. He then tied it 3-3 at 13:50 on an attempt to send the puck across the goalmouth. The disc hit Wood’s stick and caromed off the right post and the left pad of the fallen Smith before flipping over the goal line.
North Bay dominated the first period, outshooting the visitors 16-4 and putting them under siege, with McIvor scoring on the power play at 13:49. Blackwood stopped the defenceman’s shot from the right boards, but the rebound went off the left skate of defender Chadd Bauman into the net. McIvor’s first goal of the playoffs was assisted by Miles Liberati and Alex Henriksson.
Brandon Prophet drew a double minor for spearing at the end of the first period, and the Battalion power play struck again at 2:46 of the second. Nick Paul carried the puck through the right circle, waited for Jonathan Laser to commit and slid a pass to Amadio, who beat Blackwood low to the stick side from deep in the left circle. Moutrey had the other assist on Amadio’s fifth postseason goal.
The net looked to be dislodged by Blackwood, using his right skate, as the puck crossed the goal line and, after a video review, referee Brent Coulombe’s original signal of a goal was upheld.
The Colts, who were outshot 14-6, again were pinned in their own end for extended periods. Blackwood faced tough chances from Kujawinski, Moutrey, Wood, Brenden Miller, Austin Kosack, Zach Bratina and Ray Huether.
Smith thwarted a charging Cordell James in the 10th minute, stopped a Lemieux shot from the blue line in the 19th and turned away an Andersson drive seconds later from the right wing with Labanc lurking.