The effort was there for the Barrie Colts, just not the result they wanted at the finish.
The OHL trade deadline behind them, the rebuilding Colts came up just short against the Sudbury Wolves in a 4-3 loss, Jan. 10, at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Shane Bulitka scored twice and Barrie native Mitchell Weeks made 24 saves to earn his first OHL win and help Sudbury (22-14-2-1) snap a season high seven-game losing skid.
Midhurst native Macauley Carson and Drake Pilon also scored for the Wolves, who never trailed in the contest.
New acquisitions Jack York, with a pair, and Dalton Duhart, with his first as a Colt, scored for Barrie (18-21-1-0), which played its first game since dealing lead scorer Lucas Chiodo to Ottawa.
With the youth movement on – captain Justin Murray and New York Rangers prospect Joey Keane were also dealt ahead of the Jan. 10 noon deadline – the Colts responded with a solid effort in pushing the Wolves right to the final buzzer.
Dale Hawerchuk looked to see how his young team would respond after all the big moves made and for the most part he liked what he saw.
“Now this is the group we are until the end of the year, so they got to figure it out,” the Colts head coach said. “And you want to play for each other, not just with each other. You got to play for each other and you know if something does happen the other guys need to cover up at times.
“I thought our reads were just off a bit. That’s youth, too. Hopefully we get a good practice in tomorrow and rebound Saturday (against the Oshawa Generals).”
Goals by Pilon and Bulitka, a little more than a minute apart midway through the first period, put the Wolves up, 2-0.
“We got into penalty trouble early and it got us on our heels,” said Hawerchuk, whose club three times cut into two-goal deficits but couldn’t get the equalizer. “They were playing in our end. The start was pretty good and once the penalties started, it was bang, bang.
“We lost a little momentum there, but the good thing is we stayed with it right to the end.”
Trailing 4-2, Duhart got Barrie back to within one with 6:08 remaining in the contest. The Colts pushed, but couldn’t get the equalizer.
“We had some good chances, too,” Hawerchuk said. “We were around the net, had a couple of good shots. Give them credit, they made some good blocks. I thought we had some poor coverage early in the game that cost us.
“We lost the inside of the ice in our end and you know how important inside ice is.”
Game time Jan. 12 is 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Matej Pekar left the game after the second period and didn’t return after suffering an “upper body injury.” The import winger’s injury will be reassessed on Friday. . . Hawerchuk said before the game a decision on who the new captain will be could come in the next week.
photo: Jack York scored twice, but it wasn’t enough as the Barrie Colts fell 4-3 to the Sudbury Wolves in OHL action, Jan. 10, at the Barrie Molson Centre. York, who was acquired from the Kitchener Rangers just before the holiday break, now has three goals and four points in 10 games with Barrie. Terry Wilson/OHL Images.