A three goal third period by the Colts finished the comeback against the defending OHL Champions in Erie Friday night in a 4-3 victory.
A year ago these two teams were polar opposites, with the Erie Otters winning the OHL Championship and the Barrie Colts finishing last place. This year is a complete flip flop as the Colts come in as one of the better teams in the league while Erie finds themselves in a bit of a rebuild.
The boys in blue knew that isn’t an excuse to take a team lightly though as their first meeting this year was too close for comfort as Barrie squeaked out a wild 7-5 victory.
After getting off to a quick start on Thursday night, the Colts were flying in the opening minutes in Pennsylvania. Barrie would get some real good scoring chances throwing the first three shots of the game towards the Erie net and the best being a backhanded opportunity for Jason Willms who was stopped point blank.
Scoring wouldn’t get started until the midway point of the opening frame. On a faceoff inside the Barrie zone, Erie would win the draw clean and right to Cade Robinson who hammered it home past Kai Edmonds to open the scoring.
Moments later at the end of an Erie powerplay the Otters were looking to strike again but it was the Colts rookie goaltender coming across with the left pad to make a huge stop to keep the score at 1-0.
In the second period it was the Otters who would strike again. On an innocent looking rush it was Robinson again finding the back of the net. He came in with speed one on one with a Barrie defender before ripping home a wrist shot that went through the Colts defenseman and past Edmonds to extend the Otters lead.
Just a couple of minutes later, Barrie was looking to get one back. It was the fourth line coming up with a great chance. Sam Rhodes gained a little bit of room to step into a wrist shot, and was able to beat the goaltender but not the goal post to keep it at 2-0 Erie.
The Otters would answer again. This time on a two on one Kyle Maksimovich took the pass and snapped one past Edmonds on the blocker side to pad the Erie lead.
Barrie would find the score sheet and it was the newest member striking again. Aaron Luchuk would take advantage on a Barrie powerplay to net his second as a Colt and 30th of the season. On the powerplay a shot came from the point before being tipped. The puck sat loose at the side of the net for the overage forward to put home to cut the Erie lead to two after two periods of play. Andrei Svechnikov and Jason Willms tallied the assists.
Just under eight minutes into the third period the Colts would cut the lead to one. Barrie would work it into the Erie zone. It was Ben Hawerchuk moving the puck over to Lucas Chiodo who placed a perfect touch pass on to the stick of Jaden Peca who had a tap in to cut into the Erie lead. The goal was Peca’s 4th of the season.
This night marked the first time OHL Champion and now Barrie Colt T.J. Fergus made a trip back to his old home with the Erie Otters last season.
Just after Barrie had cut the lead to one Erie would take a penalty to give them a man advantage. On the powerplay it was Fergus who fired one through a screen and into the back of the net. The goal was Fergus’ 4th of the season.
The boys weren’t done, it was the fourth line once again leaving their mark on this game. On a point shot from Chris Cameron, it was Aidan Brown supplying the screen and tipping it in for his first of the season to give Barrie their first lead of the game and would it would hold up to be the game winner. Kyle Heitzner picked up the second assist.
Erie would put up a huge fight at the end with multiple chances but couldn’t find the answer to Edmonds, who kept it out.
Erie has now dropped nine games in a row, while the Colts have now won two in a row. Barrie will look to complete the weekend sweep tomorrow night with a big tilt against their Central Division rivals in the Niagara IceDogs who are hot on their heels. This game will be the final game before the holiday break.
Next Colts home game won’t be until December 28th vs. the Sudbury Wolves at 7:30pm. Tickets still available.