The Barrie Colts would play a determined effort against the league leading Erie Otters but would eventually fall 7-3.
A high scoring second period would see the Otters offense come alive scoring five times to be the difference maker.
Despite the final score the Colts would keep pace for much of the game, but the high-powered Otters would prove to be too much as star forwards Dylan Strome, Alex Debrincat and Taylor Raddysh would all register multiple point games.
The Erie Otters, currently the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, would make their lone visit to the Barrie Molson Centre on Saturday night.
The young Colts squad knew coming in they would have to bring their very best game and a full team effort to face an experienced Otters team built for a championship run.
Barrie wouldn’t make it easy on themselves as just 13 seconds into this one rookie Kyle Heitzner would get called for a five minute major blindside hit penalty. The Colts would kill off the penalty in its entirety leading to a loud ovation from the home crowd.
The Colts would carry that momentum into the opening tally of the period.
With just under five minutes remaining the Colts would strike. Jason Wilms coming down the right side into the Otters zone would drop to Roy Radke.
Radke skating deep into Otters end rifled a perfect shot from a tough angle off the bar and in passed Otters net minder Troy Timpano, his 17th of the season. Jaden Peca would also pick up an assist on the play.
The Colts penalty kill would hold the Otters 3rd ranked powerplay to 0 for 3 for the period and starting goalie David Ovsjannikov would make 11 saves to give the boys a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Heading into the middle frame you knew Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch would light a fire into his team and they would respond in a big way.
Just over three minutes into the second period, the Otters would add three quick goals to take the lead.
First it was Debrincat catching the Barrie netminder off his post sneaking one in.
Ten seconds later Strome would break into the zone beating the Colts defenders sliding a backhand under the pad of Ovsjannikov and Taylor Raddysh would add the third marker to make it 3-1 Otters.
The Colts wouldn’t quit though, a blocked shot by Curtis Douglas, would see the puck slide all the way back to the Otters zone.
After a hard working fore check, the puck would find Douglas again as he snapped home his 4th goal on the campaign. Peca and Willms would each pick up their second assists of the night.
With just under five minutes remaining the Colts would tie things up. Robert Proner would fire a low shot on net, Radke would be right there on the doorstep to bury the rebound for his second of the game.
That euphoria would be short lived. Once again just ten seconds later, off a scramble in front of the net Warren Foegele would find the loose puck and put the Otters back on top.
Barrie would continue their parade to the penalty box taking three minor penalties late in the third finding themselves down by two men and the Otters would quickly increase their lead to two as Debrincat would snap home his second of the game.
Heading into the final period the Colts would have to get back to the level they played early in this game and overcome a borage of penalties.
Barrie would kill off two more to start the third but the Otters would continue to press.
Darren Raddysh would use a screen shot to add to the Otters lead and later Taylor Raddysh would score from the same spot to cap off an eventful night.
The Colts will now go on a three game road trip beginning next Thursday night in North Bay before having stops in Peterborough and Ottawa.
Barrie’s next home game is March 9th versus the Mississauga Steelheads. Puck drops at 7:30pm.