It wasn’t the flashiest of wins, but the Barrie Colts got the job done and that’s what matters most for a club fighting to get back into the playoff picture.
The Colts took advantage of a couple of fortunate breaks on offence and kept the Kingston Frontencas in check pretty much the whole game en route to a 3-1 win in OHL action, Feb. 17, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Barrie (25-27-3-1) collected five out of possible six points in three games this week and now trail the Peterborough Petes by just three points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Both teams have just 13 games remaining in the regular season.
After opening the week with a 4-3 overtime loss in Owen Sound on Feb. 13, the Colts got a much-needed 4-2 win in Peterborough the next night and capped it off with solid effort against Kingston (12-43-1-1), which now finds itself tied with the Flint Firebirds at the bottom of the OHL standings.
“Obviously it was a tough result up in Owen Sound, we were up late on them,” Colts captain Jason Willms said of the 3-1 lead they blew in the third period. “Just getting one point stung, but I think we answered pretty well in Peterborough. That was a big game as we’re chasing them in the standings.
“And tonight I don’t think it was our most complete effort, but our playoff push starts now and I think it’s about getting results going forward. We’ll take the two points and get ready for Hamilton on Monday.”
Barrie got an early break just 2:31 into the contest when Tyler Tucker’s point shot bounced off rookie Peter Fleming’s chest in front and past Kingston goalie Marshall Frappier.
Aidan Brown made it 2-0 late in the second when he took a feed from Ryan Suzuki and walked over the blue line, before ripping one past Frappier.
Barrie got another fortunate break in the third when Ben Hawerchuk tried to send the puck to the front of the net, but it deflected off the stick of diving Kingston defender Bill Constantinoue and went over Frappier’s glove hand.
Constantinou would score with just eight seconds remaining to spoil Kai Edmonds shutout, but the Colts got a win they desperately needed.
“Standings wise they’re below us, but it’s about getting the job done in this league and sometimes it’s not always pretty,” said Willms, who had an assist on the night. “Too bad, Kai played great for us and it would have been nice to get him that shutout, but like I said sometimes it’s not the prettiest.
“You got to get the job done and that’s what we did tonight.”
Kingston has now lost 14 straight and has just a single win its last 22 games. The Frontenacs have also struggled mightily on offence, posting a league-worst 125 goals in 57 games. That’s 50 goals behind Flint, which boasts the OHL’s second worst offence.
The Frontenacs, who were outshot 24-22, had few good chances, especially over the second half of the contest when they never pressured.
“During that tough stretch for us, I think we got a little into swinging a little bit in the (defensive) zone and not taking the man,” Willms said. “And that’s when we get caught running around and leaving our goalie hung out to dry.
“We left them less quality chances than we’ve been giving other teams of late and I think that’s a real good credit to us getting on the body and stopping and start coming down the stretch in the second and third.”
The Colts are back in action in Hamilton on Family Day. Game time is 2 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Colts forward Jacob Tortora left the game early and didn’t return. . . Kingston’s Lucas Rowe had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher when he appeared to hurt his shoulder after being hit by Brown late in the game. The Colts forward was handed a five-minute game misconduct for interference and tossed from the game.
photo: Barrie Colts rookie Peter Fleming scored his fourth goal of the season to help lead the Barrie Colts to a 3-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs, Feb. 17, at the Barrie Molson Centre. Terry Wilson. OHL Images