Published December 18, 2022

Colts make it three straight with 6-3 win over Battalion

Evan Vierling and Jacob Frasca each scored twice and Anson Thornton made 42 saves
Barrie Colts North Bay Battalion - CP

The Barrie Colts commitment at both ends of the ice has them playing some of their best hockey of this OHL season.

Evan Vierling and Jacob Frasca each scored twice and Anson Thornton made 42 saves as the Colts continued their strong run into the holiday break by doubling up the North Bay Battalion, 6-3, Saturday night at Sadlon Arena.

Barrie (15-9-3-2) has racked up three-straight wins and will look to put a cap on a perfect week when they conclude the home-and-home weekend set with the Central Division leaders Sunday afternoon in North Bay.

"We want consistency to our game and that's what we're starting to see now," said Colts head coach Marty Williamson, whose club now has points in seven-straight games. "We're not giving up seven goals a game and we're keeping the chances down and we're playing better hockey."

Ethan Cardwell and Roenick Jodoin, in his third-straight game, also scored for the Colts who moved into third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Thornton held the fort early while the Colts built a 3-0 lead midway through the second, but he certainly had some defensive help from his teammates.

The Colts are buying in on the defensive side of the game and it's helping them win hockey games.

"A 100 per cent," said Williamson. "That's the biggest change. Our forwards are helping out our defence.

"We've always believed our goaltending is above average, they're some of the best in the league. So we can use that as backup to help them out."

Josh Bloom, Owen Van Steensel and Kyle Jackson scored for North Bay (21-9-0-1), which had won six of its last seven games coming in.

Three times the Troops got the lead to within two, but every time the Colts had an answer and came right back themselves.

"I thought we played very well," said Williamson. "We were consistent with our game and we did a good job. We were patient and when they gave us opportunities, we buried them."

Frasca and Vierling, who also added a helper, continued their torrid pace of late on the scoresheet.

Frasca has four goals and 12 points over his last 6 games and has already surpassed his OHL career highs with 12 goals and 32 points in 29 games.

Vierling has goals in five-straight games, racking up six goals and 12 points over that stretch. In just 23 games this season, the crafty centre has 14 goals and 37 points.

Drafted by the New York Rangers in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Vierling went unsigned and is playing his overage year as a free agent.

He is leaving it all on the ice in an effort to get a pro contract.

"He really is," said Williamson. "He's playing that way and again he's playing at both ends and that's what you have to do."

After Sunday afternoon's contest, the Colts won't return to action until Friday, Dec. 30 in Owen Sound. If they're to head into the holiday break on a winning note, they likely will have to play even better in North Bay.

"They're a good hockey team and you know they're going to respond, but we need to go up there and just keep building on what we're doing," said Williamson. "Keep in our bubble and go out there and play a good hockey game and let the chips fall where they fall."

Game time at the North Bay Memorial Gardens is 2 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: The Colts and the OHL family are mourning the tragic death Saturday of London Knights forward Abakar Kazbekov. The 18-year-old Russian forward fell to his death Saturday from a downtown London, Ont. apartment building. “Today I join the entire OHL community in mourning the devastating loss of London Knights player Abakar Kazbekov," said OHL Commissioner David Branch in a statement. "Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends in Russia and his teammates, billets and friends here in Canada.” . . . Beau Jelsma and Tai York each added two assists. . . North Bay outshot Barrie 45-24, including 31-14 over the final two periods. . . . Thornton has faced 40-plus shots in four-straight games and won three of them.

Banner image via Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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