Barrie ties game late but falls 5-4 to Guelph in overtime

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network


The Barrie Colts got themselves to extra time again.


On this occasion, they couldn't get it done.


Barrie's second extended game in a row was ended in overtime, as the Guelph Storm slipped past the Colts 5-4 on Saturday.


“I think, for two periods, we were playing really good hockey, but in the second period, they were getting most of their goals,” said Colts forward Zachary Magwood. “I think if we play with that desperation we'd had in the third, we can win.”


The Storm and Colts are two of the youngest teams in the Ontario Hockey League and as such, they're prone to mistakes.


Both squads gave up the puck in some dangerous areas in the first period, but starters Anthony Popovich for Guelph and Barrie's David Ovsjannikov turned those aside.


Saturday's contest saw Kirill Nizhnikov return to the Barrie lineup after missing the past three games, and the dynamic rookie got the Colts on the board first.


After knocking Guelph's Cedric Ralph out of the play, he got to the front of the net to grab a loose puck off of Joey Keane's initial attempt and Nizhnikov went to the backhand to put one over Popovich.


Barrie's lead was short lived, as Nate Schnarr found Isaac Ratcliffe at the side of the goal and the winger banked a shot off of Ovsjannikov's skate and in to tie it at 1-1 after the first period.


“We need to better stick to our gameplan,” Magwood said. “Once we pot one, we've got to keep that lead.


“If we stick to our strategy that we've got in place here, we're going to be winning some hockey games.”


The Colts would pull ahead early in the second on a power play.


Lucas Chiodo sent a pass across the high slot to Matt Brassard, and although the defenceman didn't get all of the puck, he connected on enough of it to slide it under a sprawling Popovich to make it 2-1 Barrie.


After that point though, the Colts began to ease up.


Guelph consistently dumped the puck into the Barrie zone and would beat the Colts to the puck, creating a good number of scoring chances.


Ryan Merkley, last year's first-overall selection in the OHL Priority Entry Draft, got the puck to Liam Stevens, who tapped it to Matt Hotchkiss, and the winger snapped one cleanly over Ovsjannikov to even up the score.


There were more problems with the Colts on the penalty kill, as Dmitri Samorukov would play the puck in and fellow defenceman Garrett McFadden was the first one to it.


McFadden put a direct shot by Ovsjannikov and the Storm pulled ahead, 3-2, after the second period.


“It could have really been a bunch of things (that put us behind),” Magwood said. “I think we just got away from our game a little bit.”


Barrie entered the third trailing and fired a lot of shots towards the net, but not on it.


With time starting to run out, the Colts began to create more traffic in front, and Chiodo, Anthony Stefano and Cordell James had a shift where they pinned the Storm in their own end for 30 seconds before Popovich froze it.


The Colts top line would win the subsequent draw and move the puck around, and Tom Hedberg took a point shot that James tipped down and past Popovich to even the score at 3-3.


“We just tried to keep it simple,” Magwood said. “We wanted to play more desperate than we had in the first few periods.”


But the fireworks weren't over yet, and former Colt Givani Smith raced into the zone along the boards and sent a pass in front of the goal to Ratcliffe, and he would redirect the puck past Ovsjannikov to put Guelph up again.


In Barrie resident Joe Park's final Ontario Hockey League game, the official was there to whistle down Schnarr as he tripped up Chiodo in the Guelph end with 3:06 to go.


That sent the Colts to the power play, and just 26 seconds later, Stefano walked in from the side boards and fooled Popovich on the blocker side, sending the game to overtime.


Barrie would begin the extra frame with an abbreviated power play, but could not strike.


That opened the door for Guelph, as Schnarr bumped his man off the puck in front of the net and slipped it under another Colt's stick to find Noah Carroll streaking in from the point.


The Carolina Hurricanes prospect blasted a one-timer into the open cage, giving Guelph the 5-4 win.


“It was unfortunate that they potted that one in overtime,” Magwood said. “I think if we'd have played with that desperation earlier we would have been successful.”


Barrie's next contest is Thursday night in Erie.



Anthony Stefano: 1G, 1A
Justin Murray: 2A
Tom Hedberg: 2A

Matt Brassard: 1G
Cordell James: 1G

Kirill Nizhnikov: 1G

Lucas Chiodo: 1A

Joey Keane: 1A
Curtis Douglas: 1A

David Ovsjannikov: 30 saves