Published March 5, 2023

Frasca pots winner in third to lead Colts past Steelheads 3-2

Held Mississauga to just five shots in final frame
Barrie Colts Mississauga Steelheads - Frasca

It may have been a controversial game winner and resulted in a lengthy video review, but for Jacob Frasca and the Barrie Colts all that matters is it counted.

Striding to the front of the net, the veteran forward hit a loose puck with his left skate past Mississauga Steelheads goalie Ryerson Leenders and into the net to break an early third period tie and power the Colts to a 3-2 win, Saturday night, at Sadlon Arena.

"I'll take it," said Frasca of the disputed goal that would stand as the decisive one in a tight contest. "A 2-2 game and I get the third one, and getting the momentum for the rest of the game is huge. We played solid defence for the rest of the game and that just proves our culture in the room and the coaching staff too.

"To get that win is huge and how we bought in for the third is great."

The play was initially ruled a goal by referee Scott Ferguson and would stand after a closer look upon. Steelheads head coach James Richmond vehemently argued that it was kicked in, but to no avail.

"I was lucky I had my stick or skate on the ice," said Frasca of his sixth game-winning goal of the season. "Luckily I put it in and I was happy it went in."

Barrie head coach Marty Williamson wasn't sure what happened on the play.

"I haven't even looked at it," he said after the game. "All the goals that counted are goals, so I'm happy with that.

The Steelheads would nearly tie it midway through the final frame when Kasper Larsen stepped into the high slot and wired one that beat Barrie goaltender Ben West, but hit one post and rolled just past the other.

Mississauga's Chas Sharpe would also come close to tying the contest in the final minute, but West and the Colts (35-16-6-2) would hang on to move within three points of the idle North Bay Battalion atop the Central Division standings.

"I thought we played a good third period," said Williamson. "I wasn't too happy with the first or second and they heard about it. I thought with shots 18-5 in the third we had a lot more purpose and we had more traffic at the net and got one to go in."

Barrie held an early 2-0 lead halfway into the opening period on goals by Ethan Cardwell and Brandt Clarke, but Mississauga (28-25-6-0) cut the lead in half with a little under three minutes remaining in the same frame when Angus MacDonnell buried one on a breakaway.

The Steelheads would then draw even late in the second period when Brice Cook raced around the outside of a defender and fired it past West.

"We gave up three breakaways in the first period. That just can't happen," said Williamson. "Then one finally cost us. The second period we just kind of meandered and didn't do an awful lot. No traffic at the net. We didn't get anybody at the net for that whole period.

"We've been with these guys so long that we understand what works and what doesn't work. You can kind of put your finger on things when it's not going. When you're not getting guys to the net, you know you're playing soft. We played differently in the third."

Other than two chances, the Steelheads were pretty much shut down offensively in the third. The Colts clamped down on odd man rushes and possession of the puck by Mississauga in the Barrie end was pretty much non-existent.

A far cry from Thursday's 7-5 loss at home to Hamilton when the Colts played loose defensively and paid the price.

"The coaching staff came in and they were hard on us in the second intermission and they wanted more out of us," said Frasca, of the blanket defensive effort in the third. "I think the leaders led and everyone bought in and next thing you know we got the two points and we have a happy lockeroom after the game."

Williamson believed his team's puck management was much better in the final period. They were moving their feet and kept the pressure on Mississauga.

They didn't give them anything too easy.

"We had a lot more urgency to our game," he said. "I thought we were just a soft team for the first two periods. We were hoping that good things would happen and in the third period we actually made it happen.

"If we had started that way, and played two periods like that, then I think it might have been an easier game than what it turned out to be."

Cardwell appeared to have put the game on ice with a late empty net goal, but it was called back on an offside. It almost proved costly when the Steelheads nearly drew even in the dying seconds on a point shot by Sharpe that hit the iron.

"When you get that offside you always feel it comes back on you," said Williamson. "You miss your opportunity and all of a sudden it's going to come back. We got a little bit of a lucky break there, but we've had a few go against us. So, it's nice to get a couple."

The Colts wrap up the weekend Sunday afternoon in Owen Sound. The Attack, which sits just three points behind Saginaw for home ice in the first round of the playoffs, fell 3-0 to Kitchener at home on Saturday.

"It's a tough building," said Williamson. "A building you got to come with focus and play. You can get blown out there pretty quick if you play a soft game. Even our captain (Clarke) talked about that, what we have to do tomorrow.

"We're of a good frame of mind to get the job done and kind of salvage this weekend."

Game time at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre is 2 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Barrie outshot Mississauga 42-27. . . The Steelheads had the lone power play of the game, but failed to score. . . Clarke, who also added an assist, ran his point streak to nine games (6-12-18). Cardwell also added an assist to his team-leading 33 goal and extended his point streak to five games (5-3-8). Evan Vierling had two assists to improve his point streak to eight games (9-10-19) . . The two Central rivals will face each other one more time in the regular season when Barrie visits Mississauga on Wednesday, Mach 15. . . Last night's crowd of 4,036 marked the fourth straight Saturday the Colts have drawn over 4,000. . . Last night's contest could mark the last time former Barrie 'AAA' minor midget and Steelheads overager James Hardie plays in his hometown.

Banner image via Terry Wilson / OHL Images

What do you think of this article?

Have a breaking story?

Share it with us!
Share Your Story

What Barrie's talking about!

From breaking news to the best slice of pizza in town! Get everything Barrie’s talking about delivered right to your inbox every day. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. We promise :)
Subscription Form
Consent Info

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Ontario Broadcasting, 431 Huronia Rd, Barrie, Ontario, CA, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Related Stories