Published February 12, 2023

Colts battle back in third, only to fall to Rangers in overtime 4-3

Brandt Clarke was held off the scoresheet for only the third time in 14 games since he's returned
Barrie Colts Kitchener Rangers

The Barrie Colts outshot, outchanced and, for the most part, outplayed the Kitchener Rangers Saturday night at Sadlon Arena, but thanks to Danny Zhilkin and Francesco Arcuri it still wasn't enough.

Zhiklin scored at 3:25 of overtime and Arcuri finished the night with two goals and four points to power the Rangers to a 4-3 victory and force the Colts to settle for a point on a night they felt they deserved better.

"It was a good hockey game," said Colts head coach Marty Williamson. "I thought we played hard and deserved maybe a better fate early. We had a few chances early, but it was a good hockey game."

Looking to give general manager Mike Mckenzie his second-straight win after taking over behind the bench for fired head coach Chris Dennis, Zhilkin skated across the blue line and then fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that appeared to hit Tyler Savard and beat Anson Thornton over his right pad.

"Once it gets to overtime, it can go anyone's way. I thought we had a great game overall," said Colts forward Chris Grisolia, who had one goal and another one called back on the night. "We bring it to OT and get that point at least, but I guess we're a little disappointed not to get the two points."

Beau Jelsma and Evan Vierling also scored for Barrie (28-13-6-2), which moved to six points back of the North Bay Battalion atop the Central Division standings with a game in hand.

The Colts will face the rival Troops Sunday afternoon in North Bay.

"We just got to bounce back," added Grisolia.

Lleyton Moore also scored for Kitchener (23-24-2-0), which couldn't hold on to a pair of one-goal leads in the third.

After Grisolia and Arcuri traded goals in the second, the Dallas Stars prospect struck again for the Rangers a little more than three minutes into the third when he took a feed in the slot from Mitchell Martin and wired one past the blocker side of Thornton.

Barrie would even it up at 2-2 shorthanded almost midway the period when Declan McDonnell sprung Jelsma with a long pass on a breakaway and the Colts centre made a nice move to his forehand to beat Marcus Vandenberg.

Moore would put Kitchener back up two minutes later, but Grisolia appeared to tie things back up shortly after that when he fished out a loose puck in the crease and buried it.

The goal though would be called back, with officials ruling that Savard had pushed a Rangers defenceman into Vandenberg.

Barrie would end up tying it just seconds later when Jacob Frasca's shot squeezed under the pad of Vandenberg and Vierling was there to tap it in.

"It's a little unfortunate. It could have gone either way," Grisolia said of the call on his disallowed goal. "Those calls are tough, but obviously we got the (goal) right after. We got it back, but, yeah, it was unlucky."

The Colts had a couple of decent chances in the extra period, but it was Zhilkin and the Rangers who would go home with the extra point on this night.

"We had a couple of looks there and it comes back," said Williamson. "One of those kind of breaks. Three-on-three hockey can go anyway."

Barrie outshot Kitchener 39-35 and had several good chances early in this one, but Vandenberg kept it close and allowed his team to get its offence going.

"We pushed hard," said Grisolia. "Vierling scored and we brought it to OT and just a tough bounce in overtime. We just got to keep it going into tomorrow."

With about a quarter of the season remaining, the head-to-head games against North Bay are important if Barrie wants to track them down.

A win and they move just four points behind the Troops who have led the Central standings all season. The two teams only face each other one more time when the Battalion come to Barrie next Saturday night.

"That's a huge game for us tomorrow," said Grisolia. "They're ahead of us in the standings and it'd be great if we could pull out the two points. They're a great opponent, but we just got to keep it going and play hard."

The schedule isn't doing Barrie any favours. In the midst of a six games in nine day run, Barrie will play for the third time in less than four days.

North Bay's 4-2 loss to Sarnia was its lone game this week.

"It's a quick turnaround, a tough turnaround for us," said Williamson of the 2 p.m. start at North Bay Memorial Gardens. "It's a big game tomorrow, but you can't over emphasize it. It's just another game for us and we got to go there and try to get out three periods.

"They're sitting up there resting and we got some travel. These are the ones on the schedule that don't work in your favour, but we pulled it out in Sudbury last weekend. We can do it again."

ICE CHIPS: Brandt Clarke was held off the scoresheet for only the third time in 14 games since he's returned. . . Beau Akey (18) assistant coach Dylan Smoskowitz (30) and scratched forward Cooper Matthews (19) all celebrated birthdays on Saturday. . . Former Barrie AAA minor midget forward Cameron Mercer played his first OHL contest in his hometown. . . Roenick Jodoin will complete his two-game suspension for a slew foot on Sunday. . . Kitchener was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Barrie was scoreless on its two chances.

Banner image via Terry Wilson / OHL Images

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