Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson Photography
After suffering a 1-0 loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Thursday night, the Barrie Colts would host another Western Conference opponent in the Plymouth Whalers. Barrie came out on top 4-2 snapping a six game losing skid while outshooting Plymouth 45-28 on the night.
The Barrie Colts came out in the first period with something to prove and dominated the play. They fired 16 shots at the Plymouth net but goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic turned them all away.
The Whalers would open the scoring at 8:28 when former Belleville Bull Carter Sandlak slid one by the pad of Blackwood on an odd man rush for his sixth of the season. Recently acquired Brook Hiddink picked up the lone assist.
Despite having multiple scoring opportunities and out shooting the Whalers the Barrie Colts trailed 1-0 after twenty minutes.
After being shutout for six straight periods over the span of 3 games, Colts captain Aaron Ekblad would get his team on the board just 2:42 into the second frame. Teammate Andreas Athanasiou dished the puck to the point where Ekblad would rip it home blocker side off the post and in for his fourth goal of the year.
Just over four minutes later Barrie would take their first lead of the hockey game when Kevin Labanc netted a power play marker to put the Colts out front 2-1. Labanc banged home the loose puck on the doorstep after the initial point shot from Josh MacDonald. Dylan Corson was also credited with an assist.
The lead would not last long though as the Whalers would score their own power play marker at 8:57 of the second period. Brook Hiddink fired a pass back door to teammate Carter Sandlak who potted home his second goal of the night.
The back and forth second period continued, as the Colts would re-take the lead again just 32 seconds later. After a turnover by Plymouth in the offensive zone Barrie headed down the ice on a 3 on 1 before Andreas Athanasiou finished off the play with his fourth of the season. Athanasiou took a pass from Erik Bradford before snapping it home glove side over netminder Nedeljkovic. Mitchell Theoret would also pick up an assist.
The Colts were out shooting the Whalers 31-16 after forty minutes of play.
Barrie came out in the final period looking to increase their lead and they did just that at 4:12 on the power play. Andreas Athanasiou put a pass right on the tape of Brendan Lemieux’s stick as he drove to the net, giving the Colts the 4-2 lead.
Colts’ netminder Mackenzie Blackwood did the rest as he held the Whalers off the score sheet for the remainder of the game to earn his first career OHL victory. Blackwood made 26 saves on the night.
The win snapped the Colts six game losing skid as they improve their record to 4-6-0-1. Barrie went 2 for 7 with the man advantage and killed off 4 of 5 Whaler power plays.
Andreas Athanasiou was the games first star as he scored 1 goal and added 2 assists for a 3-point night.
Next up for the Colts is division rival the Niagara IceDogs who will visit the Barrie Molson Centre for the first time this season on Thursday October 24th. Click here for tickets.
Scotiabank 3 Stars
1st Star – Barrie - #22 Andreas Athanasiou
2nd Star – Plymouth - #25 Carter Sandlak
3rd Star – Barrie - #29 Mackenzie Blackwood