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Friday, March 24, 2017

Why Jack Hughes should WANT to be a Barrie Colt. #OHL.

7:22:00 AM
Image result for jack hughes draft prospect

With the OHL Draft around the corner, there is lots of talk about who the Colts will select with the 1st overall pick. Jack Hughes is the obvious pick but many say he isn't interested in reporting here and is considering going somewhere that isn't the OHL.

Jack, we would love to have you here! And here are some reasons we think you would want to be here!

1: A Very Barrie Colts Blog: Yes, us! We not only will put a cat head on him (which is obviously a big deal) but he will be featured here in other nonsensical ways that other teams don’t offer. From featured posts, to photoshops of him on video games and/or Valentines day cards, he will learn that Barrie is great and will love him! 

2: Colts at the NHL Draft: Why is Barrie becoming a place no top prospect wants to come? The team has helped develop top players who have managed to make the NHL. I mean look at guys like Aaron Ekblad and Mark Scheifele to name a couple. The team has existed for 21 seasons now. In that time, 38 players have gone on to be drafted by NHL teams. 11 of them have gone in the 1st round (including Ekblad who went 1st overall and won the Calder in his NHL rookie season) and 18 selected in the first 60 picks.

3: Team success:  The Colts history of success. Yes, we are not the winningest team, especially last season but we generally put together good teams. Only have missed the playoffs two times.  Pretty cool, right!? Sure, we might not be the London Knights but that is just because the OHL has a huge crush on them. The Colts have managed to be a competitive team since entering the Ontario Hockey League. The team has won an OHL Championship earning them an appearance in the Memorial Cup, 4 time Bobby Orr Trophy winners (Eastern Conference Championships) and 7 Division Titles. That is pretty good.

4: Fan Support: Barrie isn't the biggest city, or the biggest market but they have huge fan support. Whether they are winning or losing, the fans want to see their Colts live. As we pointed out in our 2016-17 season recap, the team ended this year with an average attendance of 3709 fans which has them in the middle of the pack league wide. This was as the worst team in the league. Last season, with one of the best records they had an average of 3830. What does this say? Fans want to come out and watch you no matter how great or bad you are.

5: Join the Rebuild: Okay, we get it! The Colts had a bad year. That being said, there were lots of good things about last season and this team is a few pieces away from really turning things around. Christian Propp is showing he is ready to fight for the top spot in the blue paint. Justin Murray and Tyler Tucker prove our blue line has solid potential and offence, well that is where he would come in. We have a pretty good supporting cast and a top prospect could really help fill this team out.

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6: Beauty: Barrie is a beautiful city. Especially our downtown on the water. Lots of great places to eat and all of them wrap around a Kempenfelt Bay. Maybe you want a woodfire pizza while sitting on the water beside the, what is scary at first but kind of cool, the Spirit Catcher.

7: The Spirit Catcher: I mean, how many other cities have a large metal statue that has knives dangling from it on the lake to take selfies at? I will wait for you to list one. 

8: Close to Toronto: If you want to go to concerts, pro sports games or even go to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Barrie is conveniently located just a short highway trip away from Toronto. I don't think this is a huge deal but many like that.

I feel we could go on here, but we don't want to scare you away. We like you Jack, and we would love to have you here in Barrie as a member of the Barrie Colts. 


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ryan Noble talking Barrie Colts on 101.1 BIG FM Morning show. #OHL

1:54:00 PM
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For those of you who missed it earlier this morning, or just want to listen again, our own Ryan Noble was at the 101.1 BIG FM studios to to talk about the Barrie Colts season. From how they did to the upcoming OHL draft, we quickly managed to talk hockey and have some laughs. 

Be sure to check out our friends at 101.1 BIG and we would like to thank them for having us in studio today! Was a really great experience and a lot of fun!

Head over to their blog to see their feature on our talk today which also has a copy of the discussion, as well as a small write up. See it here!

Thanks to Kris, Mark and BIG again for having our little blog! Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A look back at the 2016-17 Barrie Colts season. #OHL

8:02:00 AM
Image result for a very barrie colts blog
This past weekend the Barrie Colts played their last game of the 2016-17 season. The team finished the regular season in last place with a 17-44-6-1 record.
 
This is only the second time in team history that the team has not qualified for a spot in the post season. A big fall from last season where the team won the Central Division Title with a 43-22-0-3 record but I don’t think anyone is surprised there considering the level of talent that didn’t return this season.

In with the new.
There were not many bad surprises this season. I think it played out about as expected for the most part. The team was the youngest in the OHL dressing 12 rookies.  Tom Hedberg lead the way scoring 4 goals and 20 assists for 24 points total. You would have to go back to Aaron Ekblad's rookie year in the 2011-12 season to find a rookie blue line with a higher point total in his rookie season with Barrie. Ekblad totaled 10 goals and 19 assists that season. It is worth noting that Ekblad played 7 more games in his first year and played on a way better Colts team. Hedberg is a little older/more mature than most of the other rookies but we won’t hold that against him because he had an amazing rookie campaign. He is also a defenceman and managed to get more points than Centre Jason Willms who played in 12 more games. Hedberg was 3rd on the team for power play points with 1 goal and 11 assists with the man advantage.

Jason Willms was outstanding for the Colts in his rookie season as well posting 13 goals and 10 assists in 68 games played. Kade Landry (1G;22A) also finished the season with 23 points over 61 games.

Kirill Nizhnikov had a lot of expectations on him when he came here to Barrie and though he only saw 43 games, he managed to still have a solid season. His 12 goals were the 2nd most for rookies on the team and finished the year with 19 points. Nizhnikov showed great speed and had a great ability to control the puck. An area the team could learn from him would be his willingness to shoot the puck finishing the season with 110 shots on goal. Only area that didn’t look great was his -26 on the year. Kirill has shown a lot of potential but if he can work on playing a 200-foot game he could really become a top guy in this league.

Tyler Tucker was also outstanding for the Colts this season. 1 goal and 13 assists over 62 games played. Tucker was outstanding defencively. He showed that he was a useful player in all areas and was excellent on special teams. His -12 was the 2nd best rating among players who played over 60 games for the Colts, 2nd to Anthony Stefano. One of Tuckers greatest abilities was how aggressive he was. He hit everything that moved. He brought a level of physicality that the team lacked, especially with OA Roy Radke missing so much time due to injury this season. I think moving forward that Tucker will be one of the guys to keep an eye on.

Out with the OA.
This season we have 2 players moving on having completing their OHL careers.

Anthony Stefano finished his OHL career as the Barrie Colts point leader. His 22 goals and 34 assists were a career high for him. Over 4 seasons he laced the skates for 3 teams. Selected in 2012 by the Peterborough Petes 86th overall in the 5th round, he played there for about a season and a half before getting moved to Windsor. Over the next season and a half (50 games) he would get moved to Barrie in a deal that saw Brendan Lemieux moved to the Spitfires. Stefano played 102 regular season games with the Colts where he put up a total of 38 goals and 49 assists for a total of 87 points.

Roy Radke didn’t get to finish his OHL career as he would have hoped missing a large part of the season with injuries but still managed to be a huge force on a team in a rebuild. In 45 games this year, Radke put up 23 goals and 13 assists. He spent all 3 of his seasons here with the Colts who drafted him in 2012 243rd overall (12th round). In 3 seasons, he played in 175 regular season games where he scored a total of 51 goals and 42 assists to total 93 points. In the 2015 NHL draft he was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 6th round with the 147th pick. Radke has since signed a deal with the Rockford IceHogs which will give him a chance to make the team.

We would like to thank the OA players for their time in Barrie and all their hard work with the Colts. 

How the Colts ranked league wide.
Goals for: 192 - 19th most in league. (295 last year/1st most in league)
Goals against: 291 - 2nd most in league. (207 last year/8th fewest in league)
Penalty minutes: 897 - 3rd most in league. (1051 last year/1st most in league)
Penalty kill %: 78.9% - 13th in league. (83.4% last year/4th in league)
Power play %: 13.1% - 20th in league. (21.7% last year/5th in league)

The Colts longest winning streak this season was 2 games at the start of the OHL season. Their longest losing streak was 9 straight from Jan, 20th- Feb, 9th.

Last season, the Colts longest winning streak was 8 games and their longest losing streak was 2 games.


Point leaders.
Anthony Stefano: 22 goals, 34 assists, 56 points.
Lucas Chiodo: 22 goals, 31 assists, 53 points.
Zachary Magwood: 19 goals, 18 assists, 37 points.
Roy Radke: 23 goals, 13 assists, 36 points.
Ben Hawerchuk: 15 goals, 16 assists, 31 points.

Power play goal leaders.
Anthony Stefano: 7 goals.
Kirill Nizhnikov: 5 goals.
Giordano Finoro: 3 goals.

Goalies.
When Mackenzie Blackwood moved on to the American Hockey League, there was some concern over how the goaltending could look here in Barrie. David Ovsjannikov was returning which was a plus considering how solid he was last season. Ovsjannikov was called upon for some big games at the seasons end and in the playoffs during Blackwood's suspension and when he got called to play for Canada's World Junior team.

Ovsjannikov was good for the Colts this season and before the new year played in a large part of the games with Christian Propp backing him up, while seeing some action. After the new year, Dale Hawerchuk went to a 3 goalie rotation and included Ruan Badenhorst. Ruan played very well but it was clear that Christian Propp was the stand out of the two back-ups. Here is a look at the numbers of the Colts goaltenders this season.

David Ovsjannikov: 34 GP, 8 W, 16 L, 4 OTL, 1 SOL, 3.99 GAA, 0.878 SAV%,
Christian Propp: 32 GP, 7 W, 20 L, 1 OTL, 0 SOL, 3.89 GAA, 0.884 SAV%,
Ruan Badenhorst: 11 GP, 2 W, 8 L, 1 OTL, 0 SOL, 4.85 GAA, 0.857 SAV%,

Attendance.
Though the team had trouble winning, they didn't have a lot of trouble selling tickets to games. Barrie ended the year with the 11th highest average attendance seeing an average of 3709 fans per game. Last season the team averaged 3830 fans per game. Not shocking to see that number drop when the team obviously struggled. (numbers courtesy of HockeyDB)

Next season.
This season was tough as a fan but there are lots of good things to look forward to. Barrie is loaded with young talent that will only get better. Guys like Tyler Tucker, Justin Murray and Tom Hedberg should develop into a very solid blue line that can produce and bang bodies. Chiodo and Finoro have come a long way and no doubt that both will get even better when in a position to play more. Christian Propp will get more starts and he will continue to develop. And most important is the Colts have the 1st pick at the upcoming OHL draft. This team is able to be better next season and have a chance to set themselves to be an even stronger team the following year. If Barrie is able to convince Jack Hughes to come to the Colts, he could really help give this team a huge bump. Talk is that he doesn't want to report but there are rumours going around that the team is doing things to try and get him interested. Either way, there is lots of strong talent in this draft and no matter what the team will end up with a solid player to add into their system. Turcotte, Bertuzzi and Suzuki are also names you could hear called out when the Colts make their selection. 

THE PONY AWARDS.
On Monday, March 27th we will be announcing the winners of the first annual Pony Awards! Included is an award for the 'Fan Favourite' which allows fans to pick their favourite player! For more info on the awards and where you can vote go here. Voting for your fav player ends at 11:59PM on Sunday, March 26th. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Former Barrie Colts F Roy Radke signs ATO with Rockford IceHogs. #OHL #AHL

3:08:00 PM
Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke

It was announced that former Barrie Colts forward Roy Radke has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

The Chicago Blackhawks prospect was selected by Chicago at the 2015 NHL draft in the 6th round. (164th overall)

Radke just finished his OA season with the Barrie Colts where he spent all 3 of his OHL seasons in Barrie. Over that time, Radke played in 175 regular season games where he would score 51 goals and add 42 assists.

His final season here in Barrie saw him miss time due to injury but he still managed to set a career high of 23 goals this season. He finished the year with 36 points in 45 games.

We would like to wish Radke the best of luck!

Here are some fun photoshops we did of Roy while here in Barrie for his new fans to enjoy as much as his old ones in Barrie have!

Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke

Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke

Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke

Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke

Image result for a very barrie colts blog roy radke


Friday, March 17, 2017

The 2017 Pony Awards. #OHL

10:10:00 AM


Since the inception of AVBCB, we considered having an award themed post at the end of each OHL season. It has taken us about 3 years but FINALLY, we have put the idea into motion. 

What are 'The Pony Awards'? 

At the end of every season, starting this year, we will bestow Barrie Colts players with "awards". For the first season, we will have four categories. Here are those categories:

The Colin Behenna Award 

The Colin Behenna Award will be awarded to the most improved player of the year. Whether it is a player who has drastically improved his game this season or a guy who really stepped up from the previous year.

We chose to name this award after Colin Behenna because he perfectly fits the category. During his second season in Barrie during the 2009-10 season he registered 25 points which showed great improvement from the 15 he totaled the previous year. It wasn't until his third year that he managed to really step up his game putting up a total of 88 points (33 goals;55 assists). 

This award will be selected by the contributors of the blog.

The Joseph Blandisi Award (Fan Vote)

The Joseph Blandisi Award will be awarded to the fan favorite over the season. Very simple. 

Fans here in Barrie loved Joseph Blandisi and for good reason. Blandisi was so popular here in Barrie for a guy who spent a little over a season with the team. In his first full season with the Colts, he was named the team captain and put up 112 points (52 goals;60 assists).

This award will be selected by you, the fans! Head to the main page of the blog and from there you can select your favorite player from this season! The poll is available on the right side of the blog.

The Aaron Ekblad Award 

The Aaron Ekblad Award will be given to the rookie of the year. Selected will be the player who had the strongest year in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League. 

We chose to name this award after Aaron Ekblad because he went on to the NHL after 3 seasons here with the Barrie Colts, where he won the Calder Memorial Trophy which is awarded to the NHL player who had the best rookie season league wide. Ekblad put up 39 points (12 goals;27 assists) in his first season with the Florida Panthers. 

This award will be selected by the contributors of the blog.

The Mark Scheifele Award

The Mark Scheifele Award will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player on the Barrie Colts over the season. Whether it be point production, leadership or how he makes his team better, the MVP will go to the player who is most valuable to the Colts. 

We chose to name this award after Mark Scheifele for pretty obvious reasons. He was dominant here in Barrie. When the selection of names came around and we spoke with people looking for suggestions, EVERYONE said: "Name the MVP after Scheif!". Scheifele spent 3 seasons in Barrie where he would play in 158 regular season games. He totaled 217 points (84 goals;133 assists). He averaged 1.37 points per game. 

This award will be selected by the contributors of the blog.

We will allow some time for the fan vote and will regularly share to make sure everyone has a chance to get their vote in. We will have the announcement of the winners on Monday, March 27th. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Game Preview: Barrie Colts vs Mississauga Steelheads. #OHL

7:12:00 AM
Image result for a very barrie colts blog colts vs steelheads

Tonight, the Barrie Colts host the Mississauga Steelheads for the 5th time of the season. The meeting will be the second last of the year before the start of the OHL playoffs.

The season series is currently tied at 2 wins a piece. 3 of the 4 previous meetings have needed either the shootout or OT to determine a winner. The Trout have managed to fish out one more goal that the Ponies over the previous games outscoring Barrie 17-16.

The last meeting took place February, 9th and was the only game settled in regulation with Mississauga taking a 7-5 win at BMC. The Colts finished the 1st period with a 2-0 lead but were not able to hold on to it for long and allowed 4 goals in the final frame in the loss. Barrie was outshot 36-26 and only managed to win 28 of 69 faceoffs. Special teams were a factor with the Colts going 0 for 4 on the man advantage.

Tom Hedberg, Ben Hawerchuk, Lucas Chiodo and Giordano Finoro all scored goals while Jason Smith scored a goal and added a pair of assists. David Ovsjannikov got the start for the Colts and made 29 saves on 35 shots faced.

The Trout come into tonight’s game the only team in the Central Division who has clinched a playoff spot. They are also the only team in the division with a winning record over the last 10 games going 7-2-0-1 in that time. They have not lost in their last 6 games and look to extend that streak to 7 games over the Ponies. Their 73 points is enough to have them in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference though there isn’t time for them to catch the Conference leading Peterborough Petes, they can catch the 2nd place Generals and having a pair of games against the Colts could help make that more obtainable.

Barrie comes into tonights game in last place and is very close to clinching that spot. They have lost their last 2 games straight and only have 2 wins in their last 10 games.

The Trout did a fan vote and decided that #FearTheFish was going to be the team’s slogan for the playoffs but can the Colts find a way to spear the fish?
Image result for wwe spear gif

Should they with that last place spot within gloves reach?
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Either way, the team will come out and do everything they can to get the win. This young team has struggled but they have shown a lot of heart. Both Christian Propp and David Ovsjannikov have both had 2 starts against Mississauga and both have a win and a loss each. SO LETS GIVE BADENHORST A CHANCE TONIGHT?!

Puck drop is set for 7:30 tonight at BMC.

@VeryBarrieColts

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