It was Joey Keanes late marker in the third period that proved as the winner in a 3-1 Barrie victory over Niagara.
Saturday night saw the Niagara IceDogs coming to town, hoping to close the gap between them and Barrie in he race for the Central Division crown. Not only was Barrie trying to separate themselves, but a win would clinch them a playoff birth.
The last two meetings between these teams the Colts were able to fire over fifty shots each game towards the Niagara net, but were only able to skate away with one of the two victories.
It was the visiting IceDogs that would get the first bounce of the game. Off a Colts clearing attempt the puck bounced way in the air, and before a Barrie defender could clear the danger, Johnny Corneil slid it past Leo Lazarev.
That didn’t phase the boys in blue. After extending his point streak to 13 games on Thursday night against his former club, Aaron Luchuk didn’t waste anytime extending the streak tonight putting home his 43rd of the year on a breakaway. Lucas Chiodo and Dmitry Sokolov tallied assists on the tying goal.
The second period would be full of chances for the Colts. Two powerplays leading to great opportunities to take their first lead of the game but multiple times either denied by Colton Incze or the post to keep the game tied.
The second would end the same way the 1st would, tied at 1.
In the third, during some four on four play the tie would be broken. It was a three on one that saw Barrie move the puck around perefeclty. It was Lucuk throwing it across the ice to Sokolov who dished it back for Joey Keane who drilled it into the empty net. It was his 9th goal of the season to give Barrie their first lead of the hockey game. The assist by Luchuk, also put him back in sole possession of the lead in OHL points.
Before the buzzer would sound the Colts would add an empty netter by Sokolov who put home his 38th of the year.
That wraps up the weekend for the Colts who have now clinched a playoff spot after missing last season. The win also puts them nine points ahead of the IceDogs in the race for the Central Division crown.
The Colts will have one day off before heading to Kingston for a Family day date with the Kingston Frontenacs at 2pm on Monday.