Published December 17, 2022

Jodoin's OT dagger in Guelph gives Hillebrandt first OHL win with Colts

'My whole family was here watching and that was awesome'
Barrie Colts - Guelph Storm

The host Guelph Storm tried to spoil Sam Hillebrandt's first OHL start, but his Barrie Colts teammate Roenick Jodoin had other ideas Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.

On a game-winner that is certain to find its way on highlight reels, the speedy forward took matters into his own hands and raced in from centre ice at 3:34 of overtime to give the Colts a 3-2 decision and hand his rookie goaltender his first OHL win. 

Five minutes after Hillebrandt stoned him with a huge pad save on a one-timer in front, Valentin Zhugin looked to spoil the young goalie's night when he came back to tie the game up at 2-2 with just a little under three minutes remaining.

Jodoin, though, wasn't about to let that happen.

The second-year winger cut into the middle of the ice and then turned on the jets, racing around Guelph defenceman Michael Buchinger before roofing a backhand over the glove of Brayden Gillespie to cap off a night Hillebrandt won't soon forget.

"It was awesome," the rookie said of Jodoin's winner. "The guys played so well in front of me and I can't thank them enough."

The 17-year-old native of Riverview, FL. raced down the ice to celebrate with his teammates and was immediately mobbed by them.

"My whole family was here watching and that was awesome," said Hillebrandt. "I was just trying my best to stay as calm as I can throughout the game."

Hillebrandt has been practicing with the OHL club while getting in starts with the Stayner Siskins of the Provincial Junior Hockey League. 

Colts head coach Marty Williamson was looking to get his young goalie an OHL appearance and thought this was a good weekend with three-games-in-three nights heading into the Christmas break.

"It's nice to give him the win," said Williamson. "He's very calm, I tell you. He's got a great demeanour to him and he sure didn't seem overwhelmed by anything. I never felt he was nervous. He'd been engaged the whole game, so I'm really happy for him.

"I thought it was a great team effort and our guys played well in front of him, and he did a heck of a job when we needed it a few times."

Evan Vierling and Jacob Frasca, who now has 10 points in his last five games, also scored for the Colts (14-9-3-2), who now have won four of their last six games and have points in five of those.

It was the second goal in as many games for Jodoin.

"It sure was," Williamson said when asked if the goal was of highlight reel calibre. "When you have that kind of speed, you can really do some things sometimes. "He played stronger defensively for us and it's funny how he gets rewarded with a real highlight goal when he got his chance for offence, so a real credit to him."

"It was great to see him make a big play like that," added the coach. "It was a heck of a goal."

After a scoreless first, Vierling scored in his fourth-straight game at 6:30 of the second with Barrie on the power play. Max Namestnikov, though, would even things up on a Guelph (11-16-3-1) power play just 51 seconds later.

Frasca would finish off a two-on-one with captain Declan McDonnell at 7:26 of the third to put Barrie on top, but Zhugin would race down the left side and fire it up over the shoulder of Hillebrandt to send this one into overtime.

Barrie opened a busy week with a wild up-and-down 7-5 win at home over the Sudbury Wolves on Tuesday, but Williamson felt his team was much better tonight and played a 'smart game.'

"We had the Sudbury game where I didn't like the game so much, but I liked the score and here I liked the game a lot more and I liked the score too," said the Colts bench boss.

The Colts wrap up the unofficial first half with a home-and-home set against the Central Division-leading North Bay Battalion, beginning Saturday night in Barrie.

North Bay has lost just once in its last seven games.

"We step up in class a little bit with North Bay one of the top teams in the league," said Williamson. "We got to be smart and willing to battle and will need (Anson Thornton) to give us a good game in net."

Game time at Sadlon Arena is 7:30 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Hillebrandt believes one of his strong assets to his game is his composure and that showed last night. "When I talked to (Stayner) they made the same comment about it," said Williamson. "He's very engaged in the game. He's always looking. He's one of those goalies that reads the game well.". . . Barrie outshot Guelph, 34-24. . . Colts were 1-for-5 with the power play, while Guelph went 1-for-2. . . Colts rookie Cole Beaudoin's father, Eric, played three seasons with Guelph from 1997-2000.

Banner image via Collin Jennings - Barrie Colts photo

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