Propp's 33 saves, Barrie's five-goal second leads it to 6-0 drubbing of North Bay
Barrie's Lucas Chiodo and Kirill Nizhnikov celebrate after a first-period goal during the Colts 6-0 win over North Bay Saturday. KEVIN LAMB PHOTO
The Barrie Colts had done everything but get a result this week.
Their hard work would pay off in dividends on Saturday.
For the second time in as many meetings in Barrie, the Colts crushed the North Bay Battalion, defeating them 6-0.
“We just wanted to do the little things and keep our shifts short,” said Colts defenceman Kade Landry. “We knew we were at the end of a three-in-three weekend, so we just stuck to our gameplan and put everything on net.”
The Colts, whose only regulation victory in 2017 came three weeks ago against the same Battalion squad, were looking to strike again.
Barrie put some pressure on in the early going and would be rewarded on its only man advantage of the first.
Joey Keane sent a pass to Lucas Chiodo in the slot, and rather than shoot, the Barrie native looked to his right.
Chiodo set up Kirill Nizhnikov, who ripped a shot under the crossbar and past North Bay starter Brent Moran to make it 1-0 Colts.
“That was really important,” Landry said. “We talked about, before the game, that we wanted to get the first goal.
“We wanted to go up on and we did, and that helped us for the rest of the game.”
Christian Propp, getting a rare second start in a week, was sharp in the opening period, turning aside 12 Battalion shots.
North Bay looked to have evened the score on a power play when Brett McKenzie took a pass from Steve Harland and deked around Propp, but the play was called back on a lengthy review after it was determined that the Battalion were offside on the play.
That allowed the Colts to carry a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The Battalion were playing down a man, with just five defencemen dressed, but a lineup error on the gamesheet forced Barrie's Jason Smith from the game after the first whistle, so both clubs were at 17 skaters.
Having lost a player didn't slow down a thing for the Colts in the second, as they went through one of their finest periods of the season.
Ben Hawerchuk got a gift early on, when his low shot somehow went under the pad of Moran to make it 2-0.
Just 31 seconds later, Barrie added to its lead when Anthony Stefano's centering pass hit a Battalion defender and stayed on the short side, allowing Chiodo to pick it up and slip it between Moran and the post.
“It just builds momentum,” Landry said. “When you're starting to get bounces like that by putting pucks to the net, and they find their way in, it builds momentum.
“That spreads through the entire team.”
Despite a couple of outstanding saves from Moran shortly after, the Battalion goalie would get the hook when Giordano Finoro beat him, once again low on the blocker side, to make it 4-0 Colts.
Barrie moved the puck around extremely well, and that allowed it to continue to build on its lead as the period went on.
Stefano would circle the net with speed and set up Hawerchuk in the slot, who skated into the pass and blasted it past North Bay's Julian Sime to extend the advantage to 5-0.
Barrie made it 6-0 before the period was out, after a dish from Hawerchuk landed on the stick of Nizhnikov, who coolly dragged it around Sime before depositing his second of the game.
The only thing left to be determined in the third was whether or not the Colts could get their first goose egg of the year.
Propp did his best to keep North Bay off the board, denying Max Kislinger on a one-timer in front of the net on the Battalion's best chance.
“We talked about tightening up defensively in the third and not giving them anything,” Landry said. “That's exactly what we did.
“We can't say enough about the way he played, and it was a great performance by Propp.”
After the defence matched their goalie's effort on a late penalty kill, Propp would get his first-career Ontario Hockey League shutout in a 33-save effort.
Barrie's next contest is on Wednesday night in Oshawa.
COLTS ON THE SCORE SHEET:
Ben Hawerchuk: 2G, 2A
Lucas Chiodo: 1G, 2A
Anthony Stefano: 3A
Kirill Nizhnikov: 2G
Giordano Finoro: 1G
Tyler Tucker: 1A
Kade Landry: 1A
Joey Keane: 1A
Christian Propp: 33 saves (first-career OHL shutout)