Sports

Barrie's early scoring struggles amount to 4-1 loss to Sudbury

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

 

When you don't take care of business early, the opportunities can dry up later.

 

The Barrie Colts had some great chances to score in the first period during Saturday night's game but could not find a way to strike.

 

That would hurt the Colts, who fell 4-1 to the Sudbury Wolves at the Barrie Molson Centre.

 

“The forwards did great getting a lot of chances and creating things, but we definitely need to bear down in those situations,” said Colts defenceman Cam Lizotte.

 

The Colts were trailing 2-0 after a period of play, but that might not have been indicative of how things were going on the ice.

 

Barrie created a number of quality chances, but no one could capitalize on them.

 

Anthony Stefano set up Lucas Chiodo in front of the Sudbury net for a one-timer, but Wolves starter Zack Bowman made the stop, and then would deny Cordell James on the rebound as well.

 

Sudbury went the other way and Barrie native MacAuley Carson set a pass into the high slot for Dmitry Sokolov, who cleanly snapped a shot by Colts goalie Christian Propp to make it 1-0 Wolves.

 

Later in the period, the Colts would be denied, and shortly after, would wind up with the puck in their net once again.

 

Kirill Nizhnikov sent a feed into a prime scoring area for Jason Willms, who went high glove, but Bowman would just get a piece of it to tip it wide.

 

The Wolves came back the other way, and Darian Pilon tipped Conor Ali's shot down and past Propp to give Sudbury a 2-0 lead.

 

“We need to clean up in our zone and stick to our man and eliminate their chances,” Lizotte said.

 

Before the first period was out, both Zachary Magwood and Giordano Finoro would have a clear view of the twine with the puck on their stick, but neither could hit the target, keeping Barrie behind by two after 20 minutes.

 

“It's definitely frustrating sometimes when you know you can't get that first one in,” Lizotte said. “We knew that we were all over them and needed that (goal) to get rolling.

 

“It's definitely something where we have to stick to the system, get pucks deep and hopefully, something happens.”

 

The Colts were still trying to pot their first of the game, but the Wolves were playing a little stronger defensively in the second and not giving up as many opportunities.

 

Chiodo and James nearly connected on a cross-crease one-timer, but the captain's shot went just wide.

 

After all of the quality chances, it would be a long shot that finally beat Bowman.

 

Tom Hedberg fired an attempt from the point that Bowman spotted late and only got part of his glove on, and the puck fluttered past him and in to put Barrie on the board.

 

But just 17 seconds later, David Levin blasted home a setup from Reagan O'Grady to restore Sudbury's two-goal lead at 3-1.

 

“We definitely need to be ready after goals against and goals for,” Lizotte said. “They're going hard and we need to be ready and be behind the puck.”

 

Barrie got a pair of power plays early in the third, but it created virtually no chances out of them, failing to register a shot on goal during the latter.

 

Sudbury would continue to shut down the middle of the ice, not allowing Barrie many shots from anywhere other than the perimeter.

 

Other than a dump-in that Bowman mishandled, there wasn't much to really test the Wolves goaltender through much of the third.

 

Barrie pulled its goalie with 1:20 left, but just 10 seconds later, Carson set up Liam Dunda to score on the empty net from the blue line to round things out.

 

Barrie's next contest is on Wednesday night in Owen Sound. The Colts return home on Saturday, November 12 when it hosts the North Bay Battalion.

 

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COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Tom Hedberg: 1G
Joey Keane: 1A
Anthony Stefano: 1A
Christian Propp: 24 saves

MacAuley Carson (Barrie native): 2A