Published March 8, 2024

Colts fail to close out Steelheads in third, fall 4-3 in overtime

Colts blow 3-1 lead
Colts fail to close out Steelheads in third, fall in overtime Barrie blows 3-1 late 3-1 lead

Make that two straight games the Barrie Colts have let their opponents off the ropes and failed to close out the win in the third period.

Only this time, there would be no late-game heroics to save the day.

Chas Sharpe, on the power play, and Finn Harding, with 2:50 remaining, scored to tie it. Then Lucas Karmiris fired home the winner from the high slot at 2:25 of overtime to help the Mississauga Steelheads rally for a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Colts, Thursday night, at Sadlon Arena.

The loss comes just 48 hours after Barrie blew a similar 3-1 lead in Peterborough on Tuesday night and then needed a Zach Wigle overtime winner to edge the Petes 5-4.

There’d be no salvaging a solid effort in the extra period this time.

The Steelheads hung on to the puck for the whole overtime, before Karmiris walked in over the blue line and snapped one from the middle of the ice past the glove hand of Ben West to give Mississauga (33-21-7-0) its first win in overtime this season after seven losses.

“I don’t like the two penalties at the end,” Colts head coach Marty Williamson said of the delay of the game call on Grayson Tiller and roughing call on Roenick Jodoin. “It’s a careless play, (Tiller) shot it over the glass and that gave them some momentum to get it 3-2. Then (Jodoin) gets us a power play, but he’s got to give him an extra shot and it makes it four-on-four.

“You can’t do those kinds of things if you want to close out games and we’ve had a little trouble with that. In Peterborough, we had a 3-1 lead and we couldn’t close it out. Here we get a 3-1 lead and we couldn’t close it out.”

Barrie held control for most of this one after Bode Stewart scored midway through the first and then Beau Jelsma ran his scoring streak to 13 games (13-11-24) with a shorthanded marker early in the second.

Angus MacDonnell cut the lead to one less than three minutes later, but Barrie (25-29-4-0) looked in fine shape after Stewart notched his second at 11:39 of the third.

That was until the Steelheads came to life on Sharpe’s power-play goal less than two minutes later.

“For sure, it was a tough one,” Colts forward Kyle Morey, who assisted on both Stewart goals, said of a game the Colts should have had. “I thought we played a good overall game for the most part.

“We kind of slipped in the last 10 minutes, but we got to build off that and bring it to North Bay Saturday.”

The good news for the Colts was they did get a point out of the overtime loss and combined with Peterborough’s 4-2 loss to Ottawa last night now lead the Petes by 10 points for eighth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Barrie still holds two games in hand on Peterborough, who have just eight games remaining.

“We’re pushing hard to get that ‘x’ (clinched) beside our name and then get focused on playoffs and see who we got to play,” said Williamson. “That’s been the goal from Jan. 10th on, can we get ourselves into the playoffs.

“Every point matters, so we’ll take it. It’s not perfect, but we’ll take it.”

Barrie looked well on its way to its fifth win in six games against the Steelheads this season. The penalty kill was solid holding the visitors to one goal on four tries, but the power-play unit came empty on five chances when some success would have been the difference in this one.

“We did a lot of good things,” said Williamson. “We played a pretty solid game other than those mistakes at the end. I thought our penalty kill did a really good job until that last one, kind of a bobbled puck and then they found the back door guy.

“Our power play struggled a little bit. We did catch some good looks, we just didn’t quite cash in. Hopefully we can get those going. We got two tough teams coming in on the weekend in North Bay and Oshawa.”

West was outstanding through the night, turning aside 43 of 47 shots, before getting beat by a long shot in overtime he normally would have had.

“Yeah, he’d probably like to have it back, but it’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Williamson. “He plays a hell of a game and unfortunately it kind of found its way in.”

The Colts busy final stretch of 11 games in 18 days continues on Saturday night when they welcome in the North Bay Battalion, before closing out the week with a trip to Oshawa on Sunday night.

“Obviously, those are two top teams in our conference, so we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game those games and hopefully come out with a strong performance,” said Morey.

Game time against North Bay on Saturday is 7:30 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Morey has really found a home between Stewart and Jodoin. Acquired at the deadline from Kitchener, the centre had his first goal with Barrie against the Petes and has eight points over his last nine games. “Definitely getting more comfortable here, building chemistry with the guys in the room,” said the 18-year-old. “It’s a close team, so that helps build chemistry on the ice. Me, Jodoin and Stewart have been playing well, so hopefully we can keep it up and finish off the season strong.” . . . In the middle of a busy stretch drive, Williamson played all four lines. The fourth line of Chris Grisolia between Carter Lowe and Shamar Moses was good all night. “I thought they gave us some good scoring chances and I’d like to see one go in for Lowe or Moses because they’ve been working awfully hard,” said Williamson. . . Barrie is five points behind Kingston with two games in hand. Just five points separate the top six teams in the Eastern Conference.

banner image: Terry Wilson, OHL Images

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