On a night where goals were hard to come by, the Erie Otters had to depend on a young goaltender and a defense that has been shaky all season.
The first two periods saw plenty of rough stuff as Dylan Corson and Johnny McGuire danced in the first period while Michael Webster and Jake Evans dropped the gloves in the second period.
After Connor Brown broke a scoreless tie with his 20th goal of the season 3 minutes, 46 seconds into the third period, the Otters controlled the pace of play – like they did throughout the contest – and prohibited Barrie from registering a shot on goal through the first 18 minutes of the final frame. But in the final two minutes, the flood gates opened for the Colts (25-12-0-1).
Barrie would buzz in the final two minutes and get quality chances right on top of the crease of Williams, but the second-year netminder didn’t budge and stood on his head to preserve the Otters’ first win of 2013.
As for the Otters’ offense, don’t let the scoreboard fool you, they were flying around all night and creating quality chance after quality chance en route to 37 shots on goal. The only problem was that Barrie had a goaltender – Mathias Niederberger – who played quite well on the opposite end.
Mathias Niederberger continues his strong play just one day after being named OHL goaltender of the month. The Barrie Colts who are coming off a 1-1-0-0 road trip will now head back home to the Barrie Molson Centre to take on the Ottawa 67’s Saturday January 5th.
The Colts will get a much-needed boost with Brendan Lemieux and Aaron Ekblad returning to the line up. Lemieux who has now finished serving an eight game suspension will play for the first time since December 8th vs. Kingston. Ekblad is back from competing in the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge for Team Ontario. Ontario finished sixth place in the tournament. Ontario captain Aaron Ekblad had an impressive performance in the five games he played with 2 goals, and 4 assists for 6 points. He finished second amongst all defenseman in points for the tournament only behind Brycen Martin of Team Pacific.