The Barrie Colts were determined to not let a good effort go to waste. After giving up the tying goal to the Guelph Storm early in the third period the home squad exploded, scoring six goals in less than seven minutes en route to an 8-2 win in OHL action, Nov. 24, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Ben Hawerchuk, with the hat trick, Lucas Chiodo, Jaden Peca, Jason Willms, Tyler Tucker and Jacob Tortora, with his third in three games since coming over in a deal from Kitchener, scored for the Colts (13-11-1-0) who were coming off a lackluster 6-2 thumping on the road against the Niagara IceDogs the night before.
Armed with a ton more intensity and backed by a strong effort in goal by Kai Edmonds, Barrie took a 2-1 lead into the final period before Zach Poirier erased that just 2:36 in when he tipped a Jack Hanley point shot into the net. But Hawerchuk’s power-play marker less than two minutes later put the Colts back on top and opened up the floodgates.
“Last night we wanted to write it off, but we didn’t want to forget it,” Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk said of the team’s poor performance against Niagara. “We really wanted to respond tonight. I thought Kai really kept us in early on when we needed some big saves and then when they tied it up, on our power play, we said, ‘Hey, we got to make this count.’ We scored a big goal to get the lead back and took it from there.”
Barrie’s power play had gone scoreless on three previous attempts, but the coach felt they would eventually get rewarded.
“They were good all night, but we just couldn’t bury one,” he said of the power play, which would finish two-for-six on the night. “They had great puck movement and I thought finally we got a result. If you keep believing and stick with it, you will get a result.”
Tortora knows what the coach is talking about. Barrie’s new acquisition had 10 shots on net and numerous prime scoring opportunities before finally getting one in the third and putting Barrie on top, 4-2.
“I had a few shots out there in the first and the second and they weren’t going in, but I knew it was going to go in the net one of those times,” said the 19-year-old, who finished off a perfect cross-ice feed in front of the net by Ryan Suzuki. “I just kept going and going.”
The speedy winger adds a whole lot of offence up front and it’s clear to see why the Colts reacquired his rights from Kitchener, after Tortora decided to leave Boston College earlier this month.
“He’s fit in really well and he adds that element of speed,” Hawerchuk said of Tortora, who in just three games with Barrie has three goals and two assists to go along with 17 shots on net. “He’s got quick hands and I think he could have had five or six tonight. Even the one he had, he had an empty net and (Guelph goalie Nico Daws) almost got it. He adds a lot to our forward group.”
Barrie notched a 7-5 win in Erie two nights earlier and the win over the Storm caps off a solid weekend, but the club has struggled to get on any kind of run. The Colts longest win streak this season has been just two games.
“Yeah, we’d like to get on a run for sure, but it’s a tough league,” Hawerchuk said. “You got to be ready to rock and roll every night. If you’re not, you’re going to get beat.”
Isaac Ratcliffe had the other goal for Guelph (12-6-3-3).
ICE CHIPS: Ben Hawerchuk has five goals in three games since returning from his suspension and, with 14 goals, is just one off his career high of 15 set two seasons ago. . . Chiodo added three assists, while Matej Pekar and Suzuki added a pair each. . . Defenceman Chris Cameron was out after earning a checking to the head major and game misconduct in the loss in Niagara. The league will review the hit. . . Edmonds, who earned the game’s third star after making 41 saves, was making his first start in more than a month.
Photo: Ben Hawerchuk scored three times, including the game winner on the power play in the third period, to help lead the Barrie Colts to an 8-2 win over the Guelph Storm, Nov. 24, at the Barrie Molson Centre. Terry Wilson/OHL Images photo