Published February 5, 2023

Colts dig themselves out of early hole only to fall in overtime to Frontenacs, 5-4

Miscommunication between two Colts inside their own blueline just 1:30 into overtime led to the game winner
Barrie Colts Kingston

After a valiant effort to fight back from an early 4-0 deficit and force overtime, the Barrie Colts couldn't put the cherry on top of a sweet comeback Saturday night against the Kingston Frontenacs.

Evan Vierling brought his team all the way back to tie it with just 52 seconds remaining, but miscommunication between two Colts inside their own blueline just 1:30 into overtime led to the game winner by Christopher Thibodeau and a 5-4 Frontencas victory at Sadlon Arena.

Trailing 4-3, Vierling sent the near sellout crowd into a frenzy in the final minute of play. Brandt Clarke moved off the blueline to his right, bringing most of the Frontenacs with him before sliding it back to the Colts overager who ripped it shortside past Mason Vaccari for the equalizer.

After blowing their early lead, the Frontenacs, though, would catch a break in the extra period when Jacob Frasca and Clarke got their wires crossed inside the blueline, allowing Owen Outwater to steal the loose puck.

Outwater found Thibodeau across the ice who then ripped his second of the night over the blocker of Colts goaltender Anson Thornton for the winner.

"It's a tough way to end it," said Cole Beaudoin, whose fifth of the season brought the Colts to within one 5:03 into the third. "The boys came back, battled hard. Down 4-0, that's tough to get out of. We battled and got it back to 4-4 and to OT, and just a tough way to end it.

"We wanted to bring it home and get the two points, but we got one point out of it."

Coming off a 5-2 win at home against a good Peterborough team the night before, Kingston exploded for four goals on its first eight shots to drive Barrie starter Ben West from the net at 15:30 of the opening period.

The Colts were down, but not out. They rallied, but couldn't cap the night off with their fourth-straight win.

"It's unfortunate, they played hard," Colts head coach Marty Williamson said of his team. "We had two good periods. I thought our third period was outstanding. We didn't give up anything and kept pushing and pushing in the right way.

"Unfortunately, we just dug ourselves a big hole in that first period. To get a point we have to be pretty happy and just put this thing behind us, and get ready for Sudbury (Sunday)."

The win moved Kingston (23-21-1-2) into sixth spot in the Eastern Conference and just four points behind fourth-place Peterborough and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

With the point, Barrie (26-13-5-2) moved within nine points of North Bay atop the Central Division standings.

The Colts dominated the final two periods outshooting the Frontenacs 38-23 in the game, including 16-2 in the third. 

"We were real good for two periods, the second and third period were real outstanding," said Williamson. "They were just a little quicker than us and their passes kind of bounced right to their sticks and they buried some of them. Give them credit, it was just a tough start for us.

"But you got to be awfully proud of (our) guys. There's no quit. We kind of got determined and got a couple of goals back and (Beaudoin) knocks one in and all of a sudden right down to the final minute we're still pushing hard. You got to love the makeup of these guys."

Akey started the rally early in the second when he stepped in from the blueline and ripped a shot past Vaccari with Barrie on the powerplay.

Ethan Cardwell picked the top corner to cut the lead in half midway through the second before Beaudoin was stopped twice in front and then batted his third crack at it out the air to make it 4-3 a little more than five minute into the third.

Barrie poured on the pressure up front starting in the second and with it forced numerous turnovers, leading to several scoring opportunities.

"We were just a little flat-footed in the first," said Beaudoin. "After the first intermission we got together in the room and made sure we got back (into the zone) and battled hard. Play good defensively and we'd get chances in the offensive zone."

The line of Beaudoin, Roenick Jodoin and Tyler Savard was dangerous all night. Whether it was forechecking hard and creating turnovers or Jodoin flying through the middle of the ice on another dangerous rush, they were arguably Barrie's top line all night.

"We need that line," said Williamson. "We had a talk with them this week how important they are to the balance of our team. (Jodoin) is getting healthy again. He had that little spell there and the first weekend he was all rusty, but he looks back to himself.

"Savard is just getting more and more comfortable and Beaudoin has just been a workhorse all year for us."

Beaudoin believes the three make a good fit.

"We played together in Oshawa (last night), it's a good combo," he said. "Savard and I are big bodies, get to the net, and we have JR, a speedy guy that gets around the defence and finds us.

"We're getting it together the last couple of games and hopefully we can keep it going."

The Colts wrap up their three-in-three weekend Sunday afternoon in Sudbury. While the Colts lead the regular season series against their Central Division rivals 3-2, four of the five games have been one-goal decisions.

"They got some firepower up there," Beaudoin said of the Wolves, who have had only four teams score more than the 182 markers they've potted this season "We just got to play our game, play good defensively and that creates offence.

"If you don't play good defensively, the can get a couple of goals on us quick. So, we need to make sure to lock it down and then go in the offensive zone."

Game time at the Sudbury Community Arena is 2:05 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: A relieved Vierling skated by the Colts bench after his tying goal and simulated throwing a monkey off his back. The goal was his first in 10 games. . . Jodoin had a penalty shot in the first period, but was stopped by Vaccari. . . Cooper Matthews missed his third straight game last night. The winger was injured in Flint a week ago when he got hit from behind. "He should be ready next weekend," said Williamson. . . Last night marked the first game against their former teams for Barrie's Braden Haché and Kingston's Ian Lemieux. Haché drew an assist on the night, while Lemieux had a pair of helpers. . . Colts drew another near sellout last night with 3,972 fans in attendance.

Banner image via Terry Wilson / OHL Images

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