Tonight the Barrie Colts head to the Erie Insurance Arena to face the Erie Otters for the first of two meetings this season. Last season, Erie swept Barrie in their two meetings outscoring them 8 to 5 over those games. The Colts hope to not only end their losing streak against Erie but also knock the Otters off of their hot streak they are on early this season.
After dropping their first two games of the regular season the Otters have been one the hottest team in the Ontario Hockey League. After those losses they have managed to go 8-1-1-0 record in the last 10 games since. Taylor Raddysh has been outstanding as he leads the league in points with 9 goals and 15 assists. The team has scored the second most goals in the league with 55 (Only the Rangers have more with 56) while only allowing 35 goals against which is the third fewest in the league. Scoring goals and making saves is just a part of why they have been successful. Discipline. You know that thing we keep saying the Colts could use? Well, Erie has that. 98 minutes is the total minutes served in the penalty box. For perspective, Barrie has served 165 penalty minutes which is the 7th most in the league. It should be noted that the Colts have done a better job from previous seasons staying out of the box.
Barrie has not had as strong of a start this year. They head into Erie with a 3-5-2-0 record in the last 10 games. They dropped their last game to the Guelph Storm at BMC in a 5-4 OT loss. A strong effort for the team generating 35 shots on goal and scoring 2 power play goals on 6 chances. Team point leader Anthony Stefano scored a late goal to tie the game to force overtime but it was just enough to earn the much needed extra point because Noah Carroll scored 2:16 into OT to get the Storm the win.
Keys to Success: Stay out of the penalty box. Erie is 10 for 47 on the PP this year and though the Colts had a decent looking PK, they have struggled and the Otters are a team that will not allow you to sit back and watch the clock. Erie is also not a team you will sucker into taking stupid penalties so if the Colts want to get the win tonight they will need to skate hard and stay out of the box. If they get power play chances it will be very important to capitalize. Everybody will need to bring their A game tonight. This season is the year for upsets and there is no reason the Colts can't win. I mean, Sudbury has beaten Barrie twice this year and that has not happened in years.
Players to Watch: Taylor Raddysh. I know it sounds like a lame cop out saying "watch the leagues leading scorer" but the kid has been hot. Over the last 3 games he has put up 4 goals and 3 assists. Also, keep an eye on Colts rookie Tom Hedberg. He was the first star in the Colts loss on Satuirday putting up 2 assists. His 7 points this season is 5th most on the team and no doubt he will want to have a big game against a strong Otters team.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 tonight in Erie.