Published December 14, 2022

Power play sparks Colts to win over Sudbury

Evan Vierling had a five-point night

The Sudbury Wolves kept coming. This time, though, the Barrie Colts weren't to be denied.

A five-point effort by Evan Vierling and a four-point night from Beau Jelsma, along with four goals from a red hot power play, helped Barrie stave off three Sudbury comebacks en route to a wild 7-5 win, Tuesday night, at Sadlon Arena.

Three nights after blowing a three-goal lead to the Wolves in a 5-4 overtime loss on the same ice, the Colts, this time, nailed down the win.

"It sucked last Saturday," said Jelsma, who had a pair of power-play goals and two assists in the win. "We knew we weren't going to let that happen again tonight. They came back in the game, but we found a way to get it done. It was awesome."

Barrie (13-9-3-2) now has points in five-straight games and with the win moved two points ahead of the Mississauga Steelheads in the Central standings.

Vierling had a goal and four helpers and now has 8 points (3G, 5A) over his last three games.

Roenick Jodoin, Ethan Cardwell, Declan McDonnell and Connor Punnett, with the game winner with 3:35 remaining with Barrie on two-man advantage also scored in a wide open affair the appeared like a track meet at times.

"When you play a lot of games and you got this kind of schedule ahead of us we're not going to be perfect, but it was good to see the specialty teams kick-in for us," said Colts head coach Marty Williamson, whose club is in the middle of a busy seven-games-in-11 nights stretch ahead of the OHL's Christmas Break. "We were 4-for-5 on the penalty kill and the power play got four goals (4-for-7), so that kind of carried us tonight because we didn't seem to have our A-plus energy."

Landon McCallum, Jacob Holmes, Kocha Delic, Alex Pharand and Nathan Villeneuve scored for the Wolves (9-15-3-0) who twice battled back from two-goal deficits.

Led by another strong performance by Quentin Musty, who had two assists to run his scoring streak to 15 games (6G, 25A), the Wolves tied things up at 5-5 when the 2020 first overall pick set up Villeneuve on a one-timer with 7:48 remaining.

The Colts power play, once near the bottom of OHL power-play units, continued its surge when a little more than four minutes later Vierling sent a perfect cross-slot feed to Punnett, who one-timed a rocket past Joe Ranger for the game winner.

Vierling than iced it just over a minute later. Williamson praised assistant coach Phillip Barski's for getting things turned around with the power play.

"Phil's done a good job. I was on him pretty hard early, but our power-play has worked hard," he said. "Even this morning we had a pre-game skate and they wanted us to spend five, 10 minutes working on our options.

"They're executing. We saw a great goal by Jelsma, a nice goal by Punnett. Those are nice plays that we're making there and it's good to see."

"Individually all of us as a group want to be the best we can be and I think we're all just dialing it in and playing good hockey," said Jelsma, who is tied with Vierling for the team lead in power-play goals with five.

Jelsma now has three goals and four assists in his last seven games.

"It was a great effort by the guys," he said. "They came back in the game, but we said in the second intermission there that we got to dig deep and get the win and find a way.

"With the power play we were able to find each other out there tonight and it's just great to see."

It wasn't a pretty game, said Williamson, but he's happy to see his team roll with the punches and pull this one out.

"Our power-play came through for us," said the Colts head coach. "We found a way. We killed a couple of their (power plays) and (Ben) West made some big saves. It's a little bit of everything."

The Colts will now wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule with the a three-in-three set beginning Friday night on the road against the Guelph Storm.

Barrie then hosts the North Bay Battalion on Saturday night, before completing the home-and-home on Sunday afternoon in North Bay."

"We just got to stick to the game plan," said Jelsma. "Just play with each other, work hard and stick to our systems, and I think we'll be alright this weekend."

Game time Friday at the Sleeman Centre is 7:30 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Jacob Frasca (3A) and Punnett (1G, 2A) each had three points in the win. . .  Sudbury outshot Barrie, 40-24. . . The Wolves were without leading scorer David Goyette, who was injured in Saturday's contest, and Ethan Larman, who served the first of a four-games suspension for a checking-to-the-head major also on Saturday. . . The rare Tuesday night contest is the only one of the season in Barrie. . . After being a surprise cut of Team Canada last year, Brandt Clarke has been named to the national team roster.

Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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