Special teams prevail, Colts win 4-1 over Rangers
In the heat of a heavy holiday schedule, the Barrie Colts extended their winning streak to four games after defeating the Kitchener Rangers 4-1 at the Barrie Molson Centre tonight. The Colts are now 7-3 in their last 10 games, and have outscored their opponents 21-9 in the past four wins. Tonight also marked Head Coach Dale Hawerchuk’s 300th game behind the bench for the Colts.
The previous meeting between the Colts and Rangers this season saw the Rangers defeat the Colts 4-3. Last season the two teams split their regular season meetings, with the same thing happening this season.
Kevin Labanc would record two goals for the Colts tonight, while also adding an assist, and Michael Webster and Andrew Mangiapane would also add goals of their own. The Colts went 2 for 8 on the power play, and were perfect on the penalty kill forcing the Rangers to go 0 for 9.
The Colts would take advantage on the power play just seven and a half minutes in to the game when Michael Webster scored the opening goal. After Justin Scott fed Garrett Hooey breaking into the Rangers end, Hooey outmuscled two defensemen before feeding Webster in the slot with a one-timer pass. Webster made no mistake and put home his third goal of the season.
Less than three minutes later, Kevin Labanc extended the Colts lead when he scored a short-handed goal. Labanc broke up the play at the Colts blue line and beat the Rangers down the ice before pegging top corner on Matt Greenfield. The short-handed tally was Labanc’s 13th of the year, and a league leading 9th short-handed goal for the Colts this season.
The Rangers would up the tempo in the second period, outshooting the Colts 13-9, but Mackenzie Blackwood shut the door on their chances. It would be the Colts on the power play that would allow them to extend their lead. A pretty passing play from Joseph Blandisi and Labanc resulted in a one-timer goal from Andrew Mangiapane. The goal was Mangiapane’s 17th of the season, and extended his point streak to four games.
The Rangers spoiled Blackwood’s chances at his first shutout of the season at 13:30 when Justin Bailey retrieved a miss shot and threw it in the crease. The puck bounced in front and snuck past Blackwood to make it a 3-1 game. The goal was Bailey’s 17th of the season.
Labanc would put home an empty net goal for his second goal of the night with just under two minutes to play, and gave the Colts a 4-1 lead. Brandon Prophet assisted on the goal.
Four Colts extended their points streaks in tonight’s win. Labanc has now gone 14 games recording a point, dating back to November 1st. He has 10 goals and 17 assists during that time, while Blandisi extended his point streak to 10 games after adding an assist on Mangiapane’s goal tonight. Since November 15th, Blandisi has recorded 6 goals and 10 assists. Scott and Mangiapane each move in to a four-game point streak. Scott has 1 goal and 5 assists during that time, and Mangiapane has 3 goals and 3 assists.
Blackwood, tonight’s first star, stopped 28 of 29 shots he faced tonight for his 10th win of the season.
The Colts look to continue their streak tomorrow as they head out on the road to face the Mississauga Steelheads at 2:00pm. It will be the second time the Colts and Steelheads face each other this month, as the Colts took the first meeting 5-3.