A slow start resulted in the Barrie Colts having to play catch up and the Owen Sound Attack made sure it stayed that way the rest of the evening.
Kaleb Pearson scored twice a little more than five minutes into the game and while the Colts got to within a goal twice, the Attack stayed a step ahead en route to a 4-2 win in OHL action, Feb. 7, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Barret Kirwin and Carter Robertson also scored the for Owen Sound (25-22-2-2), while Mack Guzda turned aside of 29 shots in net to help the Attack collect only its third win in the last 10 games.
Jacob Tortora and Jason Willms replied for the Colts (21-26-2-1), who were outshot, 16-4, in the first period and dug themselves a hole they could never get fully out of.
Barrie trailed just 18 seconds into the game when Pearson ripped a shot that deflected off Tyler Tucker’s stick, off the crossbar and in.
“That’s what we talked about after,” Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk said of the start. “You got to be ready from the get-go. We were flat-footed for sure. Our defense weren’t gapped up, we had a poor forecheck on it and a bit of a tip off the defenceman’s stick and it’s bar down.
“It’s not the way you want to start.”
Hawerchuk felt his club took over after the sluggish first and put themselves in good position to rally.
“They got momentum and it took us a while to recover,” he said. “But I thought the last two periods we just need a little puck luck around the net, and their goalie made good saves too.”
Trailing 3-2 early in the third period, the Colts came close to tying it three times on the power play, but a high sticking call on Aidan Brown quelled the momentum and Robertson scored for the Attack 23 seconds later to double the lead.
“The first unit came out and had some good zone time and created some opportunities, but you got to make them pay,” Hawerchuk said. “You got to cash in on those and we didn’t.”
The Colts will look to bounce back when they take on the Flint Firebirds, Feb. 9, at home. That the Firebirds sit last overall in the OHL standings matters not one bit for Hawerchuk.
“It doesn’t matter who you play in this league, you got to be ready every night,” he said. “We got to focus on having a better start and taking it from there.”
Game time is 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: The Colts wrap up another busy weekend the next night in Oshawa. Puck drop against the Generals is 6:05 p.m. . . Hawerchuk said there is a good chance injured forward Tyson Foerster returns to action sometime this weekend. . . Brown played in his 200 OHL game in the loss to Owen Sound.
photo: Captain Jason Willms got to the Barrie Colts to within a goal late in the second period, but it was as close as they would come in a 4-2 loss to the Owen Sound Attack, Feb. 7, at the Barrie Molson Centre. Terry Wilson/OHL Images