Mississauga jumps ahead early as Barrie falls, 4-2

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

Leo Lazarev and Justin Murray try to shut the door on Albert Michnac as the Colts battled the Steelheads. KEVIN LAMB/PHOTO

Leo Lazarev and Justin Murray try to shut the door on Albert Michnac as the Colts battled the Steelheads. KEVIN LAMB/PHOTO

The Barrie Colts had been jumping out in front of a lot of teams lately.

They got a taste of their own medicine on Saturday night.

The Mississauga Steelheads were quick out of the gates and never looked back, defeating the Colts 4-2.

“We came out and didn’t have a very strong start,” said Colts forward Kyle Heitzner. “The biggest thing for us tonight was that we weren’t disciplined and took too many penalties.

“Good teams are consistent, and we are a good team, but we kind of laid an egg tonight.”

The Steelheads, coming off of a dramatic overtime win on Friday night, carried that momentum into Saturday’s contest.

Mississauga dominated the early stages of the first period, using its speed to cause havoc for Barrie.

It would lead to the end of an impressive shutout streak of over 130 minutes for Colts starter Leo Lazarev, and it wasn’t pretty.

Nicholas Canade took a shot from well out that Lazarev stopped, but looked the wrong way as the rebound bounced off of his pad and to the left.

That gave Cole Schwindt plenty of time to jump on a rebound and give the Steelheads a 1-0 lead.

“Right off the bat, we weren’t ourselves tonight,” said Colts forward Aidan Brown. “We weren’t prepared.

“We have to come out hard, force their ‘D’ to make mistakes, and that will help things go our way.”

Mississauga doubled its advantage after a giveaway up the middle was caught by Jacob Cascagnette, who promptly wristed a shot over Lazarev’s glove.

“They came out hard,” Heitzner said. “After winning 6-0 (on Thursday night), as a group, I think we let off the gas.

“At the end of the day, we’ve just got to be better as a team.”

At the other end, Barrie native Jacob Ingham wasn’t getting much work early between the pipes for the Steelheads, but the Colts would come strong as the period neared its end.

Heitzner dropped a pass to Kirill Nizhnikov, who rifled a shot that felled Mississauga defenceman Merrick Rippon.

The Orillia native picked up the loose puck and fed Nizhnikov again, who this time blasted a shot off of the post and in, cutting Barrie’s deficit to 2-1 after the first.

“He’s a guy who can bury the puck, so I’m going to try and get it to him as much as I can,” Heitzner said. “I kicked it from my skate to my stick and he was still open, so I gave it back to him and he had a nice finish.”

It would be Mississauga that got on the board early in the second though, re-establishing its two-goal lead when Shaw Boomhower snapped a quick one past Lazarev on the blocker side.

Barrie would come back with some pressure of its own, and moments after Jason Willms was robbed by Ingham’s right pad, the Colts centre got a pass on the near side and fired a one-timer in.

But the Steelheads would pull ahead 4-2 before the period was out, when Nicholas Hague’s power-play goal pushed Barrie a pair back going into the third.

“It’s tough,” Brown said. “We have to keep our foot on the pedal and we can’t let up as soon as something doesn’t go our way.”

The Colts took four penalties within the last five minutes of the second, albeit three of them – a pair of puck-over-glass calls and a too many men – were not the physical type.

“It’s pretty tough,” Heitzner said. “We hav e a good penalty kill, but especially when we’re down in the game, we can’t be taking penalties.

“We’ve had a couple of bad bounces with guys shooting it out, and obviously, that’s an accident, but it’s just tough.”

In the third, the teams traded penalties, and Barrie wasn’t able to get much going on the power play, which limited its opportunities.

The Colts would pull Lazarev late and Zach Magwood, with his seven-game point streak in jeopardy, got a pass at the side of the goal, but he couldn’t beat Ingham, who shut the door on every Barrie chance in the third.

Barrie’s next contest is Friday night in Ottawa.

Jason Willms: 1G
Kirill Nizhnikov: 1G
Kyle Heitzner: 1A
Tyler Tucker: 1A
Kade Landry: 1A
Justin Murray: 1A
Leo Lazarev: 24 saves
Jacob Ingham (Barrie native): 26 saves