Mackenzie Blackwood got the start for the Colts as he looked to earn his third straight victory while Jake Smith would get the nod for North Bay as he looked to help the Battalion even the series.
Mike Amadio would open the scoring for North Bay with just under 7 minutes left in the first. After Blackwood made the initial shot on Mathew Santos, the rebound bounced right on the stick of Battalion’s leading scorer Mike Amadio as he buried his 10th of the postseason.
29 seconds after putting the Battalion up, North Bay’s captain struck again as he received the Maurizio Colella feed in the slot before wiring one blocker side on Blackwood to make it 2-0 Battalion as Mathew Santos grabbed his second assist of the frame on Amadio’s second of the game. With the goal, Amadio tied Justin Scott for the playoff lead in goals with 11.
North Bay lead 2-0 after the first as each team registered 10 shots in the frame.
Like the first, the second period saw a flurry of good chances for both sides as the Colts looked to get back into the game while North Bay sought to extend upon their lead.
Barrie would get one back as the game reached the halfway point as Kevin Labanc’s exceptional play-making ability was on display, setting up none other than Justin Scott who fired one past Jake Smith to re-gain the OHL lead in goal with his 12th of the postseason. Michael Webster recorded the secondary assist on Scott’s marker cutting North Bay’s lead to one going into the third and final frame.
The third period saw the Colts turn it up as they pressed for another third period comeback. Jake Smith was solid for North Bay as he made crucial save after crucial save to keep the Battalion ahead by one. However, Smith couldn’t hang on as a scramble formed in front of the Battalion goal, Anthony Stefano found the puck and slid it by the over-ager with 2:18 remaining in the game. Stefano’s second of the playoffs tied the game at 2-2, which eventually lead to overtime, as Cordell James and Keigan Goetz recorded the assists.
The extra frame wouldn’t last long as 2:35 into overtime, deja vu struck as Labanc once again fed Justin Scott with a beautiful pass as he snapped another one past Smith for his second of the game and league leading 13th of the playoffs to give the Colts a 3-2 win and take a 2-0 series lead over North Bay.
Mackenzie was again solid in net for a third consecutive game as the Devils’ prospect stopped 34 of 36 shots to record his fourth victory of the playoffs.
Games 3 & 4 take place tomorrow and Thursday nights respectively before returning to the Barrie Molson Centre Saturday night for a potential Game 5 match-up. Get your tickets now by visiting BMC Box Office or going to www.ticketbreak.com.