What a difference a day makes.
Less than 24 hours after a dismal 8-0 thrashing in Kitchener, the Barrie Colts bounced back in fine fashion, getting a career first OHL hat trick from Cole Beaudoin to soundly defeat the Oshawa Generals 7-1, Saturday night, at Sadlon Arena.
After the Colts got it handed to them Friday, captain Connor Punnett put the loss in perspective when he said the “sun rises (Saturday), it’s a new day. We just got to come ready to play.”
Punnett, who would finish with four assists in the win, and his teammates did exactly that.
“Definitely 8-0 losses are nothing you want to do and the guys after the game were all upset. Then we threw that in the past,” said Beaudoin. “You can’t do anything about it after the game, so we looked forward to the next one and that was today. We just kept going.
“All the guys were positive in the room today, happy. Everyone was moving and there was good energy in the room, and no one was down today. It was a good game today. Proud of the guys.”
It was as good a game as the Colts (4-2) have played early this season.
“We were really happy with it,” said Colts assistant coach Dylan Smoskowitz. “It was a reset (after the loss). That’s not the way we play, the way we practice, and the most important thing was our guys knew that. They took it to heart, and they really wanted to show not only the coaching staff, but themselves that it was out of character.
“We bounced back tonight against a real good Oshawa team and we’re proud of them, and I’m sure they’re proud of themselves.”
Roenick Jodin scored a little more than three minutes in to give the home team an early lead, but it would be early in the second period that Barrie took control of this one.
Beaudoin, Riley Patterson, and Kashawn Aitcheson scored less than eight minutes to go up 4-0 on Oshawa.
“It’s cliché, but you just stick with it,” said Smoskowitz. “We were happy with our first period, and we didn’t want to let our foot off the gas. We kept doing the right things and the right way, just like our pre-scouts and are practice and everything we worked on all week for this game.
“We felt good about it. We’d be OK, and that’s exactly what happened. We got the bounces, the boys stuck with it. A lot of credit to (the players). We pushed through, so everyone was happy with the effort.”
Beaudoin scored on a wraparound past midway through the second and then completed his big night and the scoring in the game late in the third on the power play when he sped around an Oshawa defenceman, cut in front of the net, and slid it around rookie goaltender Noah Bender.
After a big preseason with four goals and four assists in four games, Beaudoin was held off the scoresheet through the first five games.
He was happy to put that slow start behind him.
“That was definitely sweet just to get the guys going there,” Barrie’s 10th overall pick in 2022 said of his three-goal night. “Obviously, just to get the monkey off the back. I just had to keep grinding; I knew it was going to come. Just keep working.”
Smoskowitz was happy to see the Beaudoin finally get rewarded.
“There really is no one that works harder than the kid, and he wants it so bad,” said the assistant coach. “Sometimes you squeeze your stick so much, you want it so bad, and the bounces just don’t come your way. It’s not for a lack of effort, or a lack of understanding or anything like that.
“So, the fact that he got the bounces tonight and he – even the whole team – stuck to the game plan and did what he does best, it’s really nice to see him get rewarded. Now he’s got the monkey off his back, we expect him to keep going with this.”
Stuart Rolofs scored late in the second to get Oshawa (3-3), within four, but power-play markers by Eduard Sale, his first in the OHL, and Beaudoin put the game on ice for Barrie.
Sale’s goal, his third point of the night (1G, 2A), gave the Colts a commanding 6-1 lead, but perhaps even more important it was a huge boost for a Colts power play that has struggled dearly to start the season.
Barrie, which came into the night with one goal on 19 chances with the man advantage, finished 2-for-4.
It was an all-around good night for Barrie specialty teams as the struggling penalty kill held Oshawa scoreless on its three power plays.
“It’s even bigger than just the 6-1, it’s just for the guys to understand it’s early in the season and you want confidence in all aspects of the game, whether it is power play, penalty kill, five-on-five play,” said Smoskowitz. “So, for us to get on the board with one is big.
“They had been doing all the right things, putting in all the extra work with video and extra practice sessions. For us to get on the board with that, not only did it help us tonight win the game, it helped with our confidence and it will be good for us moving forward as well.”
The Colts return to action Thursday night when they host the Flint Firebirds. Game time is 7 p.m.
ICECHIPS: The Colts received good news on the injury to Beau Akey. The Oilers prospect, who left the game early Friday after blocking a shot with his foot and was on crutches following the game, has no broken bones and is expected to return next week. . . Sam Hillebrandt picked up his second win of the season in goal, stopping 25 of the 26 shots he faced. . . A night after giving up eight goals, the Colts were much better defensively and gave up few great scoring chances. “Marty has been harping on us about the defence, so we were just making sure to do our job in the defensive zone,” said Beaudoin. . . Evan Passmore made his OHL debut with Barrie and the young blueliner got into a spirited tilt with Oshawa’s Jonathan Pylypuik and more than held his own.
Banner image via Terry Wilson/OHL Images