Despite scoring the opening goal of the game for the third straight game, the Barrie Colts fell to the Steelheads 2-1 on Tuesday night.
After the first two games of the series, you knew this series would be a tight one. The first period of Tuesday nights game three proved that way as well. Both teams battled back and forth to a physical but scoreless opening frame.
Nearing the midway mark of the second period the goose eggs would be broken. On a great play moved down low by Lucas Chiodo and Aaron Luchuk the puck would come to Luchuk who patiently waited for an opening between Jacobo Ingham and the post. He put it on goal and it sat on the goalline for what felt like an eternity before Dmitry Sokolov came in and pushed it across the line to open the scoring. The goal was his 2nd of the playoffs.
Less than a minute later it was Leo Lazarev coming up with a big stop point blank to keep the fish off the board. Lazarev came into the game off one of his best performances as a Colt in a 38 save victory on Monday night.
Moments later it was the Russian net-minder again coming across his crease to deny a wrap around attempt right on the line.
Late in the period after both Luchuk and Ryan McLeod took offsetting minors it became four on four hockey, opening up some ice for both teams to skate.
During that time it was the home team taking advantage. Michael McLeod was able to walk in and turn the puck to his backhand before putting it past the glove hand of Lazarev to tie the score at one.
Early in the third off a faceoff win by the Steelheads Owen Tippett grabbed the puck and carried it to the top of the Barrie zone. He made a couple moves to avoid some bodies and absolutely blasted one through the protection of Lazarev to give the fish a 2-1 lead.
This was the third straight game where the Colts score first and the fish respond with the next two goals of the game.
The two teams would battle back and forth the rest of the game with Barrie getting a couple of chances near the end but the home team was able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
The win gives the Steelheads the 2-1 series lead as well. The series will resume on Thursday in Mississauga for game 4 at 7pm. Game five will happen in Barrie on Saturday night at 7:30pm.