Olausson’s ‘big one at the end’ rewards Colts with OT win over Generals

Barrie has now won three of its last four games.

On a night the Barrie Colts felt they deserved to be rewarded for their effort on the road, Oskar Olausson made certain they did.

The Colorado Avalanche prospect rifled a shot over the right shoulder of Oshawa Generals goaltender Patrick Leaver just 56 seconds into overtime to give the Colts a 5-4 win, Friday night, at the Tribute Communities Centre.

It was Olausson’s second of the night and gave Barrie (5-5-1) its third win in the last four games.

The Swedish import took a feed just over his blue line from Nathan Allensen and then raced in on a two-on-one with Hunter Haight before ripping a bullet short-side just under the crossbar.

Oskar Olausson scored twice, including the overtime winner, to lead the Colts to a 5-4 win over the Oshawa Generals, Friday night, in Oshawa. TERRY WILSON/OHL IMAGES

“You can’t teach that,” Colts head coach Marty Williamson said of Olausson’s finish on the overtime winner. “That’s nice to see a big smile. Guys like him love to score goals and he was kind of disappointed he hit those two bars and he didn’t get those ones, and then he gets rewarded with the real big one at the end.

“He’s a wonderful hockey player.”

Ryan Stepien’s second of the contest at 5:21 of the third period tied the game for the Generals (5-3-1-2) at 4-4, but Olausson’s decisive snipe made sure Barrie’s effort on the night didn’t go to waste. 

“I thought we had a real good second and third period. I thought we were the better team most shifts,” Williamson said. “We had a lot of posts and a lot of iron tonight, but it’s nice we found a way to get it done.

“We deserved to be rewarded and it would have been a tough one not to.”

The Colts battled through the adversity of giving up the equalizer early in the third and instead took over down the stretch and just missed moving back ahead on several key scoring chances.

“I think the third period with about 10 minutes to go there was a couple of shifts where they couldn’t get it out of their end,” said Colts centre Evan Vierling, who opened the scoring just 5:45 into the game. “It was a really good push and I don’t think it should have gone to overtime, but it was still a great win.”

Barrie jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway in the first period on goals by Vierling and Olausson only to watch the Generals race back to take the lead early in the middle frame on goals by Brett Harrison, Ryan Gagnier and Stepien’s first of two on the night.

“We got away from our game plan for a couple of minutes and they were able to capitalize,” Vierling said. “We just got to be able to stick to our game plan and push back hard and we were able to do that.”

A pair of first-year players helped get Barrie back on track. Rookie Chris Grisolia laid a perfect cross-slot feed to Brandt Clarke late in the second and the Los Angeles Kings prospect one-timed a rocket over the right shoulder of Leaver.

Then just 26 seconds later Beau Jelsma pounced on an Oshawa turnover in its own end and fed it across to fellow first-year linemate Cooper Matthews who one-timed a shot past Leaver.

“We got contributions from every line,” Williamson said. “Jelsma has that high motor and he did a great job for us. Grisolia makes a great pass to Clarke for his goal. We’re starting to see the growth in this team. That’s a real positive sign for us.”

For Williamson, there were plenty of positives. He thought his club had a lot more energy and it was a much-needed win coming off a lacklustre 8-3 loss to North Bay on home ice last Saturday.

“That’s a great sign,” he said of battling through the adversity Friday night. “I thought the talk on the bench was good. There’s certain things we can’t control, whether it’s a bad break or whatever.

“You just got to persevere and I thought the guys did a real good job of that.”

It always helps when Olausson brings his hammer of a shot. His goal in the first was also a rocket from the slot.

The six-foot-one winger has now found the back of the net nine times on the year. The pair of goals were his first in five games after starting the season with seven in his first six.

“I think he has one of the best shots in the league,” Vierling said of Olausson. “I was shooting pucks from everywhere tonight, so it was great to see him get those two goals. They were big goals for us.”

Barrie will enjoy a day off before continuing their road swing with a Sunday afternoon contest against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

The Colts will be looking to atone for a 5-4 overtime loss in early October when Artem Grushnikov scored the winner and should have never been on the ice.

The Hamilton defenceman was handed an instigator penalty for a late third-period and should have had to sit out the rest of the game and instead was allowed on the ice to score the winner.

“Play the same kind of way,” Williamson of what his club needs to do to keep things rolling. “Have that energy. . . We lost a tough one in there last time. Go back in there and play consistent. That’s what we’re trying to build, is consistency.”

A good run here will help the Colts put to bed their early-season struggles.

“October is behind us and we’re just looking forward right now,” Vierling said. “The last couple of games have been better. We’ve won three out of our last four games, so we just got to keep going.”   

Game time at the FirstOntario Centre is 2 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Last night’s contest marked the first time the Colts faced former coach Todd Miller and former defenceman Matthew Hill. Miller took over as head coach in Oshawa after being let go by Barrie this summer and Hill was acquired early this season. . . Barrie outshot Oshawa, 36-28. . . Matteo Lalama made 24 saves to pick up his second OHL win in net. . . Colts defenceman Artur Cholach sat his third-straight game since taking a check to the head in a game against Sudbury last Thursday.