Coming off an emotional win over the Belleville Bulls, the Barrie Colts headed south for an afternoon matchup against the Niagara IceDogs.
The Colts would open the scoring on the man advantage at 7:10 of the first period when Mark Scheifele put home his 36th of the season. Steven Beyers and Ryan O’Connor were credited with the assists. Just moments later a spirited tilt between Dylan Corson and Ondrej Kopta got both of their respective benches fired up.
The Niagara IceDogs would find the score sheet at 11:29 when Brett Ritchie notched the game up at 1 – 1 with his 40th goal of the year. After offsetting minors, both teams would skate 4 on 4 where Erik Bradford regained the lead for Barrie. Aaron Ekblad broke into the IceDogs zone before making a cross ice pass to Bradford who ripped it top corner on goaltender, Christopher Festarini. Jonathan Laser also picked up an assist. The battle between these two teams continued late in the frame when Devon Rymarchuk and Anthony DiFruscia would also drop the gloves.
The Colts outshot Niagara 17 – 6 in the opening frame and had a 2 – 1 lead.
A roughing minor to the Colts at the end of the first period saw them start the second period a man down. Just 49 seconds in Barrie would capitalize shorthanded when Zach Hall tapped in a Mark Scheifele pass to go ahead 3 – 1. Niagara kept pushing the pace and would crawl their way back to tie the game. Goals by Mack Lemmon and Ryan Strome saw the Colts lead disappear and the game was tied at 3.
After goaltender, Alex Fotinos made a huge stretch save; Barrie would turn the puck the other way before re-taking the lead. Anthony Camara would drive to the IceDogs net and bang home a Zach Hall pass for his 36th goal of the season. Mark Scheifele was also credited with an assist.
The seesaw battle continued as Mack Lemmon scored his second of the game with 58 seconds to go in the second period, tying the game at four. Shots were 25 – 15 after forty minutes in favour of Barrie.
At 8:53 of the third period the Niagara IceDogs would take their first lead of the hockey game. On the man advantage Carter Verhaeghe would put his team ahead 5 – 4 when he picked up his own rebound off the back boards and shoveled it up an over a sprawling Alex Fotinos.
The Barrie Colts would not back down and responded with their own goal less than two minutes later. Mark Scheifele would net his second of the game as the puck just crossed the line to bring the game to a five all tie.
A late cross-checking penalty to Mitchell Fitzmorris of the IceDogs would prove costly for Niagara. Completing the hat-trick, Mark Scheifele rifled home a wrist shot top corner, blocker side on goaltender Christopher Festarini to retake the lead 6 – 5. Despite the scoreboard netminder Alex Fotinos kept his team in the game with some big saves, as the Colts would hold on for the 6 – 5 win.
The Barrie Colts improved their record to 42-19-2-2 and have now won six games in a row. Barrie sits tied for first place with the Belleville Bulls in the Eastern Conference with 88 points. Next up for the Colts is the Kingston Frontenacs who will visit the Barrie Molson Centre, Thursday March 14th at 7:30. Click here for tickets.