Connor Bunnaman would score shorthanded minutes into the third period and stand up as the game winner as the Kitchener Rangers would defeat the Barrie Colts 3-1 Saturday afternoon at the Barrie Molson Centre.
The Colts would need a bounce back effort coming off their worst defeat of the season Thursday night. Looking for a much better afternoon in the nationally televised game versus the Kitchener Rangers.
The Colts were looking to get the jump on a red hot Rangers squad who were playing on short rest after a win the previous night over the Guelph Storm coming out with a strong first period, but with no room for error the Colts could only shut down the Rangers attack for so long before the offense broke through.
With just over ten minutes remaining in the opening period Luke Bignell would spring Aiden Brown on the breakaway, Kitchener’s starting goaltender Chris McGonigle would stand tall making the pad save but Brown would draw a powerplay for the Colts as he was cross checked to the ice.
While on the man advantage The Colts would work the puck back to TJ Fergus, he’d fire a low shot towards the goal, McGonigle would make the initial save but Jason Willms would get a couple wacks on the puck banging home his 11th goal of the season to give the Colts the first lead of the game.
That would be Fergus’ first point as a Barrie Colt and Lucas Chiodo would pick up the secondary assist on the goal.
The Rangers would put the pressure on late with the man advantage, but Colts starting net minder Leo Lazarev would make a number of key saves in the closing seconds of the period to hold the 1-0 lead for the Colts heading into the intermission.
Four minutes into the middle frame the Rangers would get the equalizer. Cole Carter would make a quick bank pass to himself behind the Barrie goal and find Adam Liška outfront one timing it to the far side past Lazarev.
Barrie would get their first big opportunity in the second with seven minutes remaining. Justin Murray would come streaking off the left wing and blast a shot off the glass. It’d bounce right back out for Jaden Peca but he would be robbed by the glove of McGonigle to keep the game tied.
At the other end, the Rangers would continue to pepper Lazarev with 17 shots in the period but his solid play would come up big on several goalmouth scrambles to hold off the Rangers offense.
Just over three minutes into the final frame with the Colts on the powerplay, instead it would be the Rangers captain Connor Bunnaman picking up a clearing attempt and breaking in alone to beat Lazarev five hole putting the Rangers in front for good.
At 5:36, Kitchener would add the insurance marker. With Barrie down two men, Kole Sherwood would circle the Barrie zone before stepping into one firing it by the glove of Lazarev to make it 3-1 for the Rangers.
The boys will now head down to Oshawa Sunday afternoon for a 6:05pm puck drop versus the Generals.
Tickets for upcoming home games can be purchased in person at the Colts Store located in the Barrie Molson Centre, by calling 1-866-9-GET-TIX (1-866-943-8849), or online at ticketbreak.com/BarrieColts