On a night they were facing one of the OHL’s top offensive teams, the Barrie Colts certainly picked a bad time to have their share of defensive miscues.
Sean Josling scored twice and Franco Sproviero and Calvin Martin added a goal and assist each to lead the Sarnia Sting to a 7-2 thumping of the Colts, Jan. 31, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
“Defensively we were poor,” Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk said after the loss to a Sting team that stands fourth overall in goals scored this season. “You got to get puck or man and we didn’t get either at times. We didn’t own the middle of the ice, the inside ice. We were jumping the corners, jumping behind the net when we got to be a little patient at times.
“I thought when we got some pucks, we didn’t get our feet moving. Those are the little things we talk about all the time. You can’t play this game from a stand still. I didn’t think we had enough jump in our step tonight.”
Brayden Guy, Mitch Eliot and Jacob Perreault also scored for the Sting (21-22-5-2), which moved to within a point of the Owen Sound Attack for fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Hugo Leufvenius added a pair of assists for Sarnia, while Cameron Lamour made 35 saves to earn the win in goal.
Riley Piercey and Ryan Suzuki scored for the Colts (20-25-2-0), who cut the lead to 4-2 early in the third, before the Sting scored three times in a little more than two minutes to put the game away.
After Guy scored just 2:02 into the first period to put Sarnia ahead, the Colts had three power-play chances but couldn’t find the back of the net despite numerous chances.
Jacob Tortora had the best chance, off a perfect cross-crease pass, but the Barrie winger couldn’t connect to fire it into an empty cage.
“That could have been a game-changer at that point,” Hawerchuk said. “We had our moments and then got ourselves into penalty trouble with the five-on-threes.
Sarnia had two straight two-man advantages, with Eliot converting on one of them to double the lead with only 10 seconds remaining in the opening period.
“That makes it tough, but I’m a little disappointed with the way we played the third,” Hawerchuk said. “I thought we just didn’t have enough urgency in our game.”
The Colts won’t have much time to get over the loss. Less than 24 hours later they’re on the road to face the London Knights.
The Western Conference leaders will be looking to atone for a 3-2 loss in Barrie two weeks ago.
“We got to rebound after tonight, so hopefully we’ll have some jam in our game,” Hawerchuk said. “I didn’t think we had good jam in our game tonight.
“Hopefully we can move on, erase it and do better things (in London).”
Game time at Budweiser Gardens is 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: The Colts return home to the BMC on Feb. 2 to wrap up their three-in-three weekend against the Mississauga Steelheads. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
photo: Rookie Riley Piercey scored his second goal of the season, but it was one of the few bright spots for the Barrie Colts, who took a 7-2 thumping from the Sarnia Sting, Jan. 31, at the Barrie Molson Centre. Terry Wilson/OHL Images