The Colts head to Niagara to play the IceDogs tonight for their 5th meeting of 6 this season. So far, both teams have won 2 games and no doubt tonight will be a battle. The Colts currently are leading the Central Division with a 7 point lead over North Bay while Niagara is only 5 points behind North Bay in the standings. The Colts have 2 games in hand over the Battalion while Niagara has 1. Important points up for grabs tonight and following last night, this isn't a game the Colts can risk losing.
The last meeting between Barrie and Niagara saw Barrie get the W by a score of 6-4. The Colts out shot Niagara 42 to 33. Brendan Lemieux was a huge reason for the win having scored 2 goals and getting an assist on the night. Though the Colts were mostly dominant in the game they were still unable to score on any of their 5 power play chances. Niagara however was able to score on half of their chances, going 2 for 4 on the night. In the 4 previous games Niagara has outscored Barrie 19 to 18. Tonight is the second last meeting between these two teams in the regular season.
Niagara is coming off of a huge 7-1 win this past Tuesday night. They heavily out shot the Wolves, were able to take advantage of power play chances while staying disciplined and not giving up any goals on 3 penalties they received. Niagara has been quietly gaining room in the standings and they have done so by being disciplined, shooting the puck and making sure to take advantage of special teams. It sounds so easy but in most cases a simple game plan is all you need. Discipline and a game plan can go a long way in this league.
On that note..
Last night the Colts lost to Erie 10-5 (Don't worry Colts fans, we get them again Saturday at home..). The Colts were undisciplined (I see your shocked face) and didn't take advantage of their few power play chances. Mac Blackwood had a tough night only making 19 saves but the kid is entitled to a bad night. Barrie went 0-3 on the power play and allowed 3 goals on 7 penalties taken. They also only got 18 shots on goal. Lets just leave it at this, it was a bad night for the Colts..
Keys to Success: At some point I need to save these on my computer because I am starting to feel like a broken record but here we go.. Colts can't be giving up so many penalty chances and they need to take advantage of man advantages. This is the final stretch of the season and teams are hungry to gain positioning headed into the playoffs and at times it looks like this team is comfortable where they are. They shouldn't be. Killing off these penalties will no doubt ware out a team and if we lose ground, we could end up with a much stronger team to play in the first round of the playoffs. AND SHOOT THE PUCK!!
Players to Watch: Look to see Mac Blackwood have a huge bounce back game. Like we said, it isn't often that Mac has played poorly and I have faith her will be huge for the Colts tonight. Also I think Lemieux will be hungry, especially against Niagara who he has been successful against already this season.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 tonight!