Published October 1, 2023

‘Two out of three ain’t bad' for Colts on opening weekend

Eduard Šalé - Barrie Colts

When you’re playing three games in three nights, “Two out three ain’t bad.”

With apologies to Meat Loaf, if you were going to sum up this opening weekend of the OHL season for the Barrie Colts the title of the 1977 rock hit will do just fine.

After getting out of the gate with a pair of home-and-home wins over the North Bay Battalion, the Colts fell short of a perfect weekend by dropping a 4-2 decision to the Owen Sound Attack, Saturday night, at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.

Not a bad way to start for a young team facing a tough test of three games in three nights right off the bat.

“Like the song says,” said Colts head coach Marty Williamson, before adding a chuckle. “Three out of three is tough to start. It’s kind of nice now, we get a big chunk of practice here with five days before our next game Saturday and more practices before the next weekend.

“We got to iron some things out. Our young guys got their eyes as to what this league is all about and how tough it is, and we’ll be better.”

Down 3-1 with just 4:23 remaining, Riley Patterson got the Colts (2-1) within one when he banged home the rebound in front off a Cooper Matthews point shot.

Ben Cormier, though, would ice it for Owen Sound (1-1) with just a minute remaining when he fired it into an open net.

“We had a pretty good push in the third and we just didn’t get it,” Williamson said of the tying goal. “The issue with youth is they lack consistency, and we weren’t a very consistent team. I thought (goalie Ben West) was outstanding in net for us, but there were just too many mistakes.

“We got it to one and gave ourselves a chance and get the goalie out to see if we could get a shot, but we didn’t execute too well on the breakout and we end up going down 4-2.

“Overall, pretty happy with the weekend.”

The Colts had the lone goal of the opening period, grabbing the lead midway through on an impressive individual effort by Jacob Frasca.

The overager picked up a loose puck at centre ice and made a nice move to slip inside of Attack defender James Petrovski before walking in and ripping it short side over the glove hand of goalie Carter George.

The wheels, though, would come off in the second. The Attack came out flying and got on the board just 1:39 in when Landen Hookey, parked in front of the crease, swatted in a rebound.

Just under six minutes later, with Owen Sound on the power play, Deni Goure rifled a cross-ice feed from Cedrick Guindon past West to put the Attack on top for good.

Owen Sound would outshoot Barrie, 16-7, in the frame.

“We knew there was going to be a push back, there always is,” said Williamson. “You got to be able to handle it and the first couple of shifts we didn’t handle it well, where we were on our heels.”

Sam Sedley would record his third point of the night and score what proved to be the eventual winner halfway through the third when his point shot bounced off a Colt in front and past a helpless West.

Barrie pressed in the third, outshooting Owen Sound 17-11, but George, who stopped 31 of 33 shots, held the fort.

“Then I thought we pushed back in the third. It was a really good third period for us,” said Williamson. “We were on our toes and kind of made a few line changes, and I think it energized us. We just couldn’t get the game tied up.”

While it may have been their third game in three nights, the Colts showed they still had plenty left in the tank in the third.

“I really don’t think fatigue played into the weekend,” said the Colts head coach. “Where it plays in is mental fatigue. When you get them dialled in, get mad at them, we dialled in in the third.

 “They had the energy to do the right things. I just thought our mental decisions weren’t good, especially in that second period.”

The Colts will get a much-needed break with their next game not until next Saturday night when they host the Niagara IceDogs.

It will be the lone game of the weekend. With the next contest after that coming the following Friday in Kitchener, Barrie will play just once over the next 13 days. Key for a team that has practiced little together with a full roster.

“That’s the big thing. We’ve been missing these three guys and it changes up some lines, so we need to get some chemistry,” said Williamson. “A good hard week of practice will iron out some things, so guys are all on the same page. I think the chemistry is something we’re lacking right now.”

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

ICE CHIPS: West, who sparkled in the season-opening win over North Bay on Thursday, made 29 saves and was good again Saturday. His late first period robbery of Servac Petrovsky, when he came across the crease to make a huge glove stop on a two-on-one, may be an early candidate for save of the year. “He gave us every chance. All you can ask of your goalies is to give you a chance and he did a real good job of that. Goaltending is the least of my worries through the first three games. It was outstanding.” . . . Seattle Kraken prospect Eduard Sale recorded his fourth assist and had a point in all three games this weekend. . . Owen Sound was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Barrie was 0-for-2. . . Carter Lowe got into his first game of the season.

Banner image courtesy Terry Wilson / OHL Images

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