Barrie native Ingham makes 36 saves as Mississauga beats Colts 3-2
Colts forward Jason Smith tries to hunt down Mississauga's Nic Hague in first-period action. Barrie would fall 3-2 to the Steelheads MARK WANZEL PHOTO
It was a game that the Barrie Colts were in from start to finish.
But without the necessary firepower, even three goals against were too much.
Barrie pushed ahead in the third period, but couldn't hold on in a 3-2 loss to the Mississauga Steelheads Thursday.
“I think they just found the extra gear, and once we got the lead, we couldn't tighten up,” said Colts goalie Christian Propp. “They ended up pulling through with the win.”
The Colts, in their first home game in almost two weeks, came out with some jump in the opening 20 minutes.
Kirill Nizhnikov, a Steelheads first-round pick this season, looked keen to strike against the team he was drafted by, tipping a Roy Radke attempt on net while heading to the goal with speed.
A moment later, the Russian hit the brakes, then sent a pass forward to Jason Willms, who broke in alone.
On both occasions, the Colts were denied by Mississauga starter Jake Ingham, as the Barrie native was sharp through most of the first.
His only real lapse was what allowed the Colts to get on the board.
Tyler Tucker took a point shot that Ingham stopped, and he held his position, believing he'd caught the puck.
However, it had bounced free to his right, and Zach Magwood was there to sweep it home to give Barrie a 1-0 lead.
“Playing a Central Division rival, the boys always get fired up,” Propp said. “When you get pucks deep, that's when we really play our best hockey.”
Mississauga would come right back, as Ryan McLeod set up Trent Fox from behind the goal line, and the winger would snap a well-placed shot past Propp to tie things at 1-1 after a period.
The Steelheads would pick up the pace in the second, circling the offensive zone and creating chances.
One of their best ones would actually come on a breakaway, when Michael McLeod went in alone, but Propp stuck with him and threw out the left pad for an impressive stop.
After Barrie withstood the early pressure, it would mount an attack of its own.
Lucas Chiodo weaved his way across the goal crease and tried to slip a puck around Ingham, but the rookie would grab it with his glove.
The leather would prove handy a few minutes later, as former minor midget Barrie Colt got the left hand going to nab Magwood's hard shot.
A scoreless period sent the teams to the third.
Mississauga had the best chance early on, when Nathan Bastian stole a puck in the Barrie zone and set up Owen Tippett on the far side.
Propp had to stay upright, and in doing so, managed to get a glove on Tippett's attempt before batting away a rebound chance from the winger.
“I think you just read scouting reports and know what tendencies are,” said Propp, who put in another solid performance between the pipes on Thursday. “But I definitely think my defence played great in front of me.
“They kept them to the outside and anything that was in front of me, they let me see, so I can just do my job back there.”
It would take a good bounce to break the deadlock.
Magwood threw a puck towards the goal that deflected into the slot for Smith, who was all alone.
The former Steelhead made a couple of quick moves and slid the puck under Ingham's pad to make it 2-1 Colts.
“When you get the bounces, it makes the difference,” Propp said. “You get those when you're working hard in practice, and Smith is a guy who works (hard) in practice.
“He deserved that bounce for sure.”
Tippett would not be denied for long though, as he got a pass from Stefan LeBlanc in the high slot and ripped it past Propp, this time aiming blocker side, to tie the game at 2-2.
Spencer Watson would give the Steelheads the lead, when his shot off of a faceoff win hit a Colts stick and beat Propp high.
The Colts would get a late power play and pull the goalie, but the Steelheads protected the front of the net, now allowing any shots to get through.
Barrie's next game is Friday night in Sudbury. The Colts return home Saturday to take on North Bay.
COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Jason Smith: 1G, 1A
Zach Magwood: 1G, 1A
Tyler Tucker: 1A
Kade Landry: 1A
Christian Propp: 33 saves
Jake Ingham (Barrie native): 36 saves