PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK WANZEL – BARRIE EXAMINER
It’s hard to run and gun with the top offensive team in the league.
Yet the Barrie Colts nearly managed to pull one out.
Travis Dermott’s third-period marker was the winner as the Erie Otters defeated the Barrie Colts 6-5 on Thursday night.
“Obviously, you never want to see a turnout like that, but I think we fought hard tonight,” said Colts captain Aaron Ekblad. “I thought we may have taken too many penalties.
“A few guys, including myself, were trying to do too much out there, but it’s all a learning experience.”
The first period was chock full of action, enough so to make both general managers, who were in the building Thursday night, worry about their ability to keep the puck out of the net.
Barrie started the scoring when Tyson Fawcett sent a smart pass over to Brendan Lemieux, who out-waited Erie starter Devin Williams before slipping the puck around him.
Jake Evans came back and tried to stop the shot, but it deflected off of his stick and in, giving the Colts a 1-0 lead just 1:22 in.
Barrie wouldn’t hold the lead for long, as the OHL’s leading scorer, Connor Brown, made a nice toe-drag before roofing the puck past Colts goalie Daniel Gibl.
Erie would pull ahead during a four-minute short-handed situation, as Andre Burakovsky broke up the ice on a 2-on-1 and fed Michael Curtis.
The overager cut to the middle of the ice before slipping one through the legs of Gibl.
Barrie would draw even on its next man advantage, as Jake Dotchin took a pass from Zach Hall and, from the point, blasted a shot over the glove hand of Williams.
But, in a first period reminiscent of their rebuilding season three years ago, the Colts surrendered the lead again when Dane Fox fired home his 47th goal of the year, in just his 41st game.
Burakovsky and Curtis hooked up once again, with the Swede finding his linemate in the high slot, to give the Otters a 4-2 cushion after one period.
Erie began the second on a man advantage, and Connor McDavid showed off some of his exceptional talent.
Standing at the left post, McDavid got the puck on a pass from behind the net, and, with some quick stick work, moved the puck around Gibl and slipped it beyond him by the right post.
McDavid goal, just 37 seconds into the period, gave the Otters a 5-2 lead.