Tonight the Barrie Colts head to Mississauga to face the Mississauga Steelheads for the final meeting of the regular season. So far, Barrie has won all 5 meetings and heavily outscored the Steelheads 24 to 10 while shutting them out in one of the games. In only one of those meetings, Mississauga managed to keep Barries goal production below 5 goals in a game. The last meeting saw Barrie win on home ice by a score of 5-2. Mackenzie Blackwood managed to save 26 of 28 shots faced and only one was short handed which is notable because the Colts gave up 8 man advantages. The also managed to score on 2 of 5 chances on the man advantage. Kevin Labanc had a 3 point night, assisting on 3 goals including Brendan Lemieux's game winner. Lemieux scored two goals that night, one of which was his 40th of the season.
Mississauga is coming off of a 3-2 win over the Ottawa 67's this past Sunday. Thomas Lattavo scored the game winner with just under 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd period. Cameron Zanussi had a huge night for Mississauga stopping 36 of 38 shots faced and helping his team kill off all 3 penalties. The win was only their 2nd in the past 10 games. Though looking tough, the Trout still have a chance at "floundering" their way into the playoffs but it will require them to win almost all of their remaining 5 games this season, as well as Peterborough to lose the majority of their games. However they need to worry about their games and tonight they will be facing a hungry Barrie team. Can the Ponies be the "lucky horseshoe" that they need for a big winning streak?
Barrie is coming off of a 3-2 win last night at home over the Owen Sound Attack. Justin Scott scored the games winning goal which was his 28th goal on the season. Joseph Blandisi scored his 10th short handed goal of the season which was also his 49th on the year while Andre Mangiapane would be credited with an assist on the goal which made him the 3rd Barrie Colt to reach 100 points this season (With Blandisi and Labanc). The win also increased the Colts lead in the Central Division to 3 points over North Bay though the Battalion still have a game in hand but as Craig Ripley said in last nights game, it is better to have wins in hand than games. North Bay doesn't play again until tomorrow night against Kingston who the Colts will be playing in their final game of the regular season.
Keys to Success: It sounds like Brendan Lemieux might not be back in the lineup even though he served his 2 game suspension. It was said that he was to undergo some xrays. If there is an update before the game we will pass it on. Brendan plays a lot of hard minutes and those are never easy to fill. The Colts need to play smart hockey. Be responsible in their own end and direct as many shots as they can at Mississauga. Oh, AND STAY OUT OF THE BOX!
Players to Watch: Joseph Blandisi is going to be hungry for his 50th goal of the season. I would look for him to have a huge night for the Colts with hopes of reaching that as well as finishing off the season sweep over the Steelheads tonight!
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 in Mississauga!