Jet Greaves has Sunday planned and it includes relaxing on the couch and watching the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams battle it out in Super Bowl LIII.
The Barrie Colts goaltender has certainly earned the chance to kick back after a stellar 50-save performance in a 3-1 win over the Mississauga Steelheads, Feb. 2, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
It comes on the heels of 51-save effort by the rookie in a 3-2 shootout loss on the road to the London Knights the night before.
Greaves larceny resulted in 101 stops over two nights and, more importantly, three points gained in the standings for a Barrie club that is fighting to get back in the playoff picture.
“Yeah, for sure,” Greaves said when asked if he might want to get a little rest and relaxation after seeing a ton of rubber over the past 48 hours. “It will be nice (Feb. 3) to watch the Super Bowl and just relax, and then get ready to go next week.”
Aidan Brown, Ryan Suzuki and Sam Rhodes scored for the Colts (21-25-2-1), who moved to within four points of the North Bay Battalion for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
“Every point is huge for us when the standings are this close,” Greaves said.
The Colts were outshot, 51-23, and as for all those pucks Greaves had thrown his way, bring it on.
“I like it. It’s fine,” the 17-year-old said. “I like stopping pucks.”
The Steelheads stormed the rookie goalie in the first period, outshooting Barrie 20-6, and then did again in the final frame when they sent 19 pucks his way.
For Mississauga general manager and head coach James Richmond, Greaves was simply the difference in this one.
“I’ve been around the game too long to know that sometimes goalies steal games and their goalie was the first star, second star and third star,” he said.
Greaves had few starts in the first half of the season with three goalies on the roster, but he’s split time with Kai Edmonds since the club released Maxsim Zhukov before the Jan. 10 trade deadline, and he’s got stronger with every start.
The Cambridge native’s numbers have been impressive, sporting a 2.81 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 16 games.
“He’s been huge for us,” Rhodes said of Greaves. “He came up some unreal saves (tonight) and he’s been so focused. He definitely deserves it.”
Up 2-0 and pressing hard in the final period, the Steelheads (23-21-5-1) finally got one past Greaves when Nick Isaacson pounced on a rebound in front at 11:54 .
The Colts came right back less than three minutes later when Suzuki found Rhodes in front on a beauty between the legs feed from behind the net. Rhodes fired it over the right shoulder of Ingham to give Barrie some breathing room.
“He’s a great player and you always got to be ready when he’s got the puck,” Rhodes said of Suzuki, who finished with three points on the night. “He’ll find a way to get it to you anywhere on the ice, so I just put my head down and shot it, and I was lucky it went in.”
Mississauga had a chance to take control of the contest in the first period with three straight power plays, but it was Barrie who would strike first when Suzuki sent Brown in alone and he squeezed a shot through the pads of Ingham.
Brown appeared to be offside, but the goal stood after a lengthy video review.
Greaves, though, was clearly the story in this one. In a game the Colts desperately needed, he was a dominant force.
“I’m just feeling a bit more comfortable in there,” he said. “I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunities when they come and I think it’s been going well recently.”
ICE CHIPS: Rookie forward Tyson Foerster did not dress against Mississauga and is listed as day-to-day after leaving during the game in London with an unspecified injury.
photo: Barrie rookie goaltender Jet Greaves was spectacular, making 50 saves to lead the Barrie Colts to a 3-1 win over the Mississauga Steelheads in OHL action, Feb. 2, at the Barrie Molson Centre. Terry Wilson/OHL Images