Colts celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with overtime win over Attack
Cardwell notches winner just 41 seconds into extra frame
Ethan Cardwell has worked all season to become more of a complete player.
Friday night the Barrie Colts overager showed just how much progress he’s made.
In the third period the San Jose Sharks prospect raced back to take away a prime scoring opportunity and then delivered the pot of gold on St. Patrick’s Day when he notched the overtime winner to give the Colts a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Owen Sound Attack at Sadlon Arena.
Cardwell’s game winner came just 41 seconds into the extra frame and helped the Colts rally from a 4-2 first-period deficit.
The goal was also his 40 of the season, a career high.
“I’m excited about it,” the 20-year-old said of the special milestone, before turning his focus to the team. “Personal milestones kind of mean nothing. We’re just building toward the playoffs and trying to get better each day and if I can help the team win, that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
Barrie’s big three came through in overtime.
The veteran trio took over the extra frame immediately and Brandt Clarke got it to Evan Vierling who teed it up on the side for Cardwell.
The Colts veteran one-timed a blast just inside the short-side post before Attack goalie Nick Chenard could get across.
“It makes life a lot easier when you’re playing with guys like Vierling and Clarke, so I just tried to find some open ice and just be ready to shoot when the opportunity presents itself,” he said.
Known for his crafty offensive skills, the speedy skater’s big defensive play was probably just as important as his overtime winner.
Cardwell saved what could have been the difference maker when he knocked the puck off the stick of Matthew Papais in the slot just before the Attack winger was going to let rip.
“That’s been my main focus this year. Just trying to take care my defensive side of the puck, finish my hits and just play a hard game and let the rest take care of itself,” he said.
“That was one of those plays you just get back and do everything you can to prevent some goals from going in our net and they’ll eventually go in on the other one.”
It was a prime example of the forward working to become a 200-foot player on the ice.
“When he does, I really think he’s pro material,” said Colts head coach Marty Williamson. “He’s such a strong skater and his assets are so good. There’s a nice little finesse play before the overtime that he made to Vierling and then he shoots the puck and scores.
“So it’s nice to see and he seems to always get rewarded when he plays great defence.”
Barrie (39-16-6-3), which moved to within four points of North Bay atop the Central Division standings, got off to a rough start in this one.
Landen Hookey and Servac Petrovsky put Owen Sound (31-26-5-1) on top a little more than six minutes in. A rocket from Connor Punnett and Jacob Frasca a little more than a minute apart tied things, but goals by Nolan Seed and Ethan Burroughs helped the Attack restore its two-goal lead.
“We were really expecting a big start and we didn’t have it,” said Cardwell, who is 12 overall in OHL scoring with 85 points and extended his scoring streak to 10 games (12-8-20). “It just goes back to our resilient group. Everything went wrong, we had some bad bounces. We didn’t play well in the defensive zone to start the game, but we always kind of find a way and that’s what we did.
“We forced overtime and we came out on the right side tonight.”
After a sloppy first, the Colts tightened up and began their climb back. Beau Jelsma scored his 29 on the power play to cut the lead to one midway through the second and then Callum Chisholm buried a big rebound at 7:34 of the third to tie it at 4-4.
“I thought they shut the door pretty good,” Williamson said of his club’s defensive play. We played two pretty good periods after that. We (gave up) offensive chances in the first, just some miscues and some bouncing pucks. Just sloppy.
“They made us pay and unfortunately it was four, but (Colts goalie Anson Thornton) shut the door and he did a good job for us. I thought the whole team played a much better two periods and played to our assets.”
Barrie which outshot Owen Sound 33-27 on the night, had a 23-13 edge in shots over the last two periods and more importantly controlled possession of the puck.
“We did and we weren’t cheating too much,” said Williamson. “We were doing it the right way. We were patient and it wasn’t like we were scoring a whole bunch of goals. We got one each period and got one in the overtime, but to stick to the program that’s what we were best at.
“We had a couple of chances where we made a miscue, but other than that they were two real good periods.”
The Colts can hit a special benchmark on Saturday night when they host the Niagara IceDogs.
“Forty wins is a good season and that’s what we have a chance to do against Niagara, is get to that 40-win plateau,” said Williamson. “I’ve been at 37, 38 before and it always makes you mad you don’t get to 40.
“Fifty (wins) is kind of that exceptional year, but 40 is a really good season and let’s get that done (Saturday).”
Game time at Sadlon Arena is 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: The Colts were sporting their traditional St. Patrick’s Day green, white and gold uniforms and will do so again tonight when they host Niagara. . . Cole Beaudoin and Carter Lowe played on the same line and the rookie duo were a force on the forecheck all night. They looked like a pair of big street sweepers out there. “We said lets take a look at the future a little bit with these two guys,” said Williamson, who drew Lowe into the lineup. “Beaudoin just has a great engine and Lowe is coming and coming. I think (Lowe) being with us this year has been a big help to him and we’ll really see him take off next year for us.”. . . Vierling had three assists to run his scoring streak to 13 games (12-19-31). The overager is now tied for fourth overall in OHL scoring with 89 points (34-55). . . Clarke recorded two helpers to run his scoring streak to 14 games (8-20-28). . . Orillia native and top NHL prospect Colby Barlow didn’t dress for Owen Sound after he was injured blocking a shot in Wednesday night’s game against Flint.
Banner image via Terry Wilson / OHL Images