Barrie's undermanned squad takes game to OT, falls 3-2 to Owen Sound

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

Barrie's Zach Magwood tries to fight off a check from Owen Sound's Sean Durzi in first-period action on Thursday night. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

Barrie's Zach Magwood tries to fight off a check from Owen Sound's Sean Durzi in first-period action on Thursday night. MARK WANZEL PHOTO


The Barrie Colts, with all of 16 skaters, were up against a team with 14 straight wins.


But in a game of crazy bounces, the hard-working Colts nearly pulled it out.


Petrus Palmu potted the overtime winner as the Owen Sound Attack edged the Colts 3-2 in a bizarre contest Thursday night.


“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Colts goaltender David Ovsjannikov, who made 37 saves on the night. “We prepared for it during the week, and we came out and played hard today.”


When a service dog dropped the ceremonial faceoff with its mouth, it was a suitable beginning to wild evening.


The Colts, playing with just 16 skaters Thursday due to injuries, got some very unlikely help from the Barrie Molson Centre's active boards and glass.


Jason Smith fired a shot over the net, but the puck would then ricochet off of a stantion and come straight back out, hitting Owen Sound starter Emanuel Vella in the back.


With no time to react, the goalie could only turn around and watch as the puck hit him and crossed the goal line, giving Barrie a 1-0 lead.


“I haven't seen that (before),” said Smith with a laugh. “I just got the puck and shot it, and it went over the net and took a weird bounce off the glass, went off of the goalie and in.


“It was kind of a weird one.”


The powerful Attack, winners of 14 straight contests, came to life shortly after.


Owen Sound would keep the puck in the Barrie zone during an entire power play, with 54 seconds of it being a two-man advantage, but somehow could not beat Ovsjannikov.


First, the Czech pushed across his crease to stymie Kevin Hancock, who had an otherwise open net.


Moments later, Ovsjannikov got out to the top of the blue paint and flashed the leather, denying Palmu on a point shot.


“From the beginning, I was seeing the puck good, and I was comfortable during the game,” Ovsjannikov said.


The stellar play of the Colts netminder couldn't keep the Attack off the board for much longer though, and Aidan Dudas took advantage of a sharp pass from Markus Phillips by redirecting the puck into the far corner of the goal, tying the game at 1-1.


The Colts would escape the period with that score line, despite taking a pair of interference penalties, one of which came after Jonah Gadjovich dropped his stick and tried to play a puck with skate, but missed and was subsequently bodychecked.


“We just wanted to work hard every shift and win the puck battles,” Smith said. “We wanted to have a good mentality through the game.”


While Barrie would kill that penalty, they weren't able to stop an old teammate from giving Owen Sound the lead.


Passing along an almost even plane and taking advantage of the odd-man situation, Matt Schmalz fed Maksim Sushko, who in turn slipped the puck past the last defenceman to Cordell James.


The former Colts captain beat his old teammate to the blocker side, making it 2-1 Attack.


Barrie continued to find a way to stick with Owen Sound, and managed to tie things up thanks to another weird goal.


Jason Willms bumped an Attack defender at the Barrie blue line and stole the puck, going down the ice on a 2-on-1.


Willms fed Magwood, who got a chop on his hands as he skated towards the net, causing the forward to lift his stick.


It was no matter, as the free-flowing puck drifted under Vella and in to tie things at 2-2 after 40 minutes.


“Those goals were pretty crazy,” Ovsjannikov said. “But if you work hard, good things will happen to you.”


In the third period, both teams tried to crack down on the opportunities given to the other.


Nick Suzuki backhanded a puck way over the goal that bounced off of the mesh and came back down hard, forcing Ovsjannikov to reach over his own net and catch it when the play wasn't blown dead.


“I was just trying to focus on the guy on the puck and leave the other guys to my teammates,” Ovsjannikov said. “They played a great game today.”


With the win streak on the line, Owen Sound turned things up.


Schmalz found Dudas on the other side of the crease, and the rookie looked to have Ovsjannikov beat, but the goalie sprawled out and stopped the puck with his arm while lying on the ice.


“He was outstanding tonight,” Smith said of his goalie. “He pushed us to overtime, for sure, and in my books, he was our first star.”


The Attack outshot Barrie 14-3 in the third, but the Colts managed to hold on and get the game to overtime.


Both teams had chances early, with Ovsjannikov having to stand tall to deny Suzuki, while Ben Hawerchuk just ran out of room on the short side at the other end.


Dudas sent a pass up the ice that hit a stick and slowed down enough for Palmu to get it and make a quick move before beating Ovsjannikov on the blocker side, giving the Attack their 15th-straight win.


“I think this is a good game to build on for us,” Ovsjannikov said. “That's a really good team at the other end, and it shows that if you work happen, good things will happen for us.”


Barrie's next game is Friday night in Mississauga against the Steelheads. The Colts return home Saturday to take on the Oshawa Generals.



Jason Smith: 1G

Zach Magwood: 1G

Jason Willms: 1A
Curtis Douglas: 1A
David Ovsjannikov: 37 saves