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Published October 30, 2022

Another blown lead no treat for Colts in loss to Kingston

Barrie has dropped four of six games on home ice this season
Barrie Colts Kingston

Halloween may be Monday night, but the Barrie Colts weren't waiting to dole out the treats this year.

Barrie reached into its bag of sweets Saturday night and whipped out some bad late-game turnovers and costly penalties that the visiting Kingston Frontenacs gobbled up for a 5-4 come-from-behind win at Sadlon Arena.

It marked the second time in three nights the Colts suffered a devastating collapse and couldn't hang on to a two-goal lead in the third period.

On Thursday, they held a 5-1 lead to the Owen Sound Attack midway through the second period before coming apart in a 6-5 shootout loss.

Last night, it happened again as goals by Linus Hemström and Ben Roger drew the Frontenacs even before a shorthanded-marker by Barrie native Alec Belanger with 2:21 remaining capped a sour Halloween-themed night for the Colts.

"You learn lessons and they're ugly lessons right now," said Colts head coach Marty Williamson, who wasn't holding back his disappointment with his team. "You take penalties, you allow teams to get back into games. Five-on-threes in the third. We had opportunities too, but it's silly hockey. "We got guys running all around. We think it's funny, we think it's good, but it's just bad hockey and you pay a price when you make mistakes like that."

Maleek McGowan, with his first OHL goal, and Francesco Arcuri, with his team-leading 10th of the season, also scored for Kingston (7-3-0-1). Rookie backup Mason Vaccari made 31 saves to pick up his win in three OHL starts.

Evan Vierling, along with two assists, Ethan Cardwell and Connor Punnett, each with an added assist, and Tai York scored for Barrie (5-3-1-1), which dropped its third-straight game.

"We just got to figure out how to finish in the third," said Colts captain Declan McDonnell. "It starts in intermission. We got to come out ready to go. We just got to be harder in the third. Both games came down to the third period and we're going in with leads.

"We're taking bad penalties and not getting the job done. We got to be ready to go and learn how to finish out games."

The Colts had plenty of reason to feel good heading into the second intermission. After Arcuri cut the lead to one on a two-man advantage at 17:47, a shorthanded marker a little more than a minute later by Cardwell restored Barrie's two-goal lead.

Hemstrom and Rogers, though, would score a little more than three minutes apart early in the third to tie it 4-4.

The Colts looked to have taken the lead once again when Beau Jelsma beat Vaccari, but the goal was reviewed and disallowed after replays should Jacob Frasca had gone offside just inches before Jelsma crossed the blue line with the puck.

The Colts would appear to get the break they needed late in the game when an Arcuri tripping penalty handed them the man advantage.

But just 27 seconds into the power play, Belanger stuck it to his hometown team when he stole the puck from Vierling at centre, walked in and beat Anson Thornton.  

"That was a tough one," said McDonnell. "That was a dagger, but we just have to find a way to finish games. It's all it comes down to, really."

The turnover proved costly.

"Yep, it was a bad turnover. There's nothing more you can really say about it," said Williamson. "With it 4-4 you think you might have a good chance at getting a good opportunity at the other end and (instead) you give them one."

Two losses for Barrie in games they should have had.

"Four points and we end up with one," said Williamson.

"You can't go back, you got to look ahead (to next week on the road) at Peterborough and Ottawa and take the good parts.

"We can play well for spurts, but until we put 60 minutes together of consistency you shoot yourself in the foot."

So much for home sweet home. Barrie has dropped four of six games on home ice this season.

"We're playing well on the road and we're struggling at home right now," said McDonnell. "It's early in the year, but I think we'll find a way through it."

The Colts continue the search for that full 60-minute effort.

They look good in spurts, but it's not winning them hockey games.

Key injuries to veteran blueliners Artur Cholach and Ian Lemieux have them a little short on the back end, but Williamson says it's still no excuse when you're in early control of games like this.

"We got some issues on our back end and we just can't shut a game down a little bit," he said. "Some of those goals aren't our back end. JR (Roenick Jodoin) makes a poor play behind the goal line that causes a turnover and Vierling tosses a turnover. We go offside on a goal. These are mistakes we can't make if you want to be a winning hockey team or even win consistently."

ICE CHIPS: The Colts open their Eastern road swing Thursday night in Peterborough (7:05 p.m. start), before a trip to the Nation's Capital on Friday to take on Ottawa. . . Barrie outshot Kingston, 35-27. . . The Colts finished 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Frontenacs were 1-for-6. . . In roster decisions that could be made soon, both Kingston and Barrie are awaiting word from NHL clubs on whether they will get their star players back. Kingston's Shane Wright has seen little ice time in his five games with the Seattle Kraken, while Barrie captain Brandt Clarke has already played eight games with the Los Angeles Kings. If both players suit up in 10 games, their NHL contracts automatically kick in.

Banner image via Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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