Barrie's offence pushes it to 4-3 overtime win against Ottawa
Colts forward Ben Hawerchuk hits the brakes after he redirects a shot into Ottawa's Olivier Lafreniere. The Colts would win 4-3 in overtime. ZACH MACPHERSON PHOTO
The Barrie Colts have had their share of ups and downs this year.
They entered the break on a high.
The Colts showed some offensive prowess rarely seen this season as they edged the Ottawa 67's 4-3 in overtime Saturday night.
“This was a crucial game for us,” said Colts forward Jason Willms. “Coming into this, we wanted to end the first half on a high note and I think tonight we proved we can play with the top teams.
“We used our speed well, got on their defence early, and I think that led us to the two points.”
Having had almost a week off between games, the Colts were fresh.
That being said, it took a little bit of time for Barrie to get the rust off.
No one had more of it than Ruan Badenhorst, who made his first start in net of the season.
But the Tiny Twp. native was sharp early, making a cross-crease stop with another Simcoe County player, Barrie product David Pearce, barreling down hard for the 67's.
“I thought he was outstanding,” said Willms of Badenhorst. “We really rallied around him, and he came in and was lights out for us.
“We couldn't have got the two points without him.”
Neither team would get too many scoring opportunities, but Badenhorst and Ottawa's Olivier Lafreniere, who played for the York-Simcoe Express in his draft year, were shutting the door.
The only shot that would beat either in the first period was from Ottawa's Artur Tyanulin, who swung around the net with the puck and slipped it beyond Badenhorst on the far side, giving the 67's a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Entering the second, Barrie needed a boost to get things going.
It was rewarded with a 1:59, 5-on-3 power play, with the latter infraction coming on a faceoff violation right after the 67's had been initially penalized.
The Colts had plenty of space to work, and their top line came through.
Matt Brassard took a shot from the left side that Lafreniere stopped, but it would deflect out to the right, and from there, Anthony Stefano picked a difficult angle over the goalie's left shoulder.
Barrie's inspired play would continue, with its second line scoring a goal not like many seen this season.
Zach Magwood plowed past a couple of men and carried the puck up the boards before finding Ben Hawerchuk in the middle of the ice.
The centreman wasted no time feeding the puck to Lucas Chiodo on his left, and with a man on him, the Barrie native swooped across the crease and tucked the puck into the far corner to make it 2-1 Colts.
“We got a lot of offence going and we got on the puck really quick,” said Colts forward Jaden Peca. “We were having a good, hard forecheck, not giving any time or space to their defencemen.”
Impressive goals were the norm in the second, even for Peca, who hadn't notched one yet this year.
Peca made a dangle around a defenceman and deked at a high speed, but Lafreniere got his right pad out to make the save.
The rebound ended up behind the net, and Aidan Brown sent it back out to Peca, who fired a low shot through Lafreniere's five-hole for his first-career OHL goal and a 3-1 Barrie lead.
“I got the puck down low, made one move, went to my backhand, but the goalie made a nice save,” Peca said. “I got tripped up in the corner, turned around, and Brownie gave me a nice back-door feed that I put home.”
After scoring a few brilliant goals, the Colts began to forget their structure, and got burned on an odd-man rush the other way.
Tyanulin would send a pass across to Austen Keating, who snapped a shot through the wickets of Badenhorst, reducing Ottawa's deficit to 3-2 after two periods.
But Cam Lizotte got a major penalty and ejection for a check to the head with a minute to go in the second and when Hawerchuk accidentally cleared the puck over the glass early in the third, it led to an extended 5-on-3 for Ottawa.
It only needed three seconds of it, as Patrick White wired a shot into the top corner to tie the game at 3-3.
The teams wouldn't get anything else, as both were content to send the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, Magwood got an open lane and carried the puck up the ice on a 2-on-1.
He found Giordano Finoro across the blue line, who returned the puck to Magwood, allowing the Barrie forward to make a quick deke before putting the winner past Lafreniere.
“I think I jumped right out of my seat,” Willms said. “It was a nice relief.
“Three-on-three is always exciting, and it's more exciting to be on the winning side than the losing side.”
The Colts are now off on their winter break. Barrie's next game is at home on December 29 against the Niagara IceDogs.
COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Zachary Magwood: 1G, 1A
Lucas Chiodo: 1G
Anthony Stefano: 1G
Jaden Peca: 1G (first-career OHL goal)
Matt Brassard: 1A
Ben Hawerchuk: 1A
Jason Willms: 1A
Aidan Brown: 1A
Tom Hedberg: 1A
Ruan Badenhorst: 23 saves