The Barrie Colts will have to settle for runner-up in the Eastern Conference standings. The second-place finish was cemented with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ottawa 67’s in Ontario Hockey League (OHL) action, March 15, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Barrie entered the night needing to win all three of their remaining games on the regular season schedule, while also needing the Hamilton Bulldogs to lose their final two games in regulation time. The Bulldogs, as it turned out, didn’t need any help from the 67’s after clinching the conference title earlier in the night when they gained a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Niagara IceDogs.
In Barrie, the Colts led 4-2 late in the contest when the 67’s, with the net empty, pulled off a stunning comeback with three goals in 70 seconds. Tye Felhaber cut the Barrie lead to one with 36 seconds remaining and then Carter Robinson sent the game into overtime when his blast from the point beat Leo Lazarev with just 10 seconds left in the game. Noel Hoefenmayer completed the rally just 34 seconds into the extra frame when he raced in alone and beat Barrie netminder, Leo Lazarev.
Travis Barron scored the other two markers for the 67’s, who jump two points ahead of the Mississauga Steelheads into seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams will meet March 16 in Mississauga.
Aaron Luchuk scored twice for Barrie, while Zachary Magwood and Dmitry Sokolov, the OHL Player of the Week, added a goal each. Both Luchuk and Sokolov now have 49 goals and can join Bryan Cameron (53), Joe Blandisi (52) and Andrew Mangiapane (51) as the only 50-goal scorers in franchise history.
The Colts close out the 2017-18 regular season schedule with home-and-home set against the Wolves. Barrie is in Sudbury March 16, before returning home March 17 for its traditional St. Patrick’s Day contest. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Luchuk now has 113 points and a three-point lead on Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Morgan Frost atop the OHL scoring race. . . With an assist against Ottawa, Andrei Svechnikov increased his scoring streak to 21 games (21-20-41), tying him with Luchuk for the OHL’s longest scoring run this season. . . With a goal and assist, Dmitry Sokolov’s scoring streak (18-14-32) is now up to 14 games. . . The Colts suffered a tough blow after finding out winger Aidan Brown is expected to miss four weeks with a bruised spleen.
Photo: Aaron Luchuk and the Barrie Colts will have to settle for second place in the Eastern Conference standings after an overtime loss to the Ottawa 67’s March 15. Luchuk scored twice and now leads the OHL scoring race with 113 points. Miranda Zilkowsky photo.