Tonight the Barrie Colts are set to face-off against the Niagara Icedogs at the Meridian Centre for the second of six meetings this regular season. The first meeting took place on October, 28th and saw the Colts win 5-4 in the shootout. Anthony Stefano would get the lone goal in the shootout for the win. Christian Propp got the start and had an outstanding game making 47 saves on 51 shots faced and stopping all attempts in the shootout. The Colts generated 48 shots on goal and had a strong game minus a weak penalty kill that night allowing 2 goals on 4 penalty kills. Roy Radke had an outstanding game scoring 2 goals on 3 shots and also earning an assist which was enough to be named the 1st star of the game. Adrian Carbonara also had a strong game scoring a goal and adding an assist to his night. Matt Brassard also was solid earning an assist and getting 8 shots on goal.
Niagara is coming off a 3-1 loss against the Peterborough Petes this past Tuesday night in Peterborough at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. The loss was the 5th straight for the Dogs who currently sit in the bottom of the Central Division. Rookie, Akil Thomas would get the only goal of the night for Niagara. Stephen Dhillon got the start in goal for the Dogs and saved 38 of 41 shots faced. Niagara generated only 31 shots on goal. They went 0 for 2 on the power play but managed to kill off all 3 penalties. A huge issue for the team was in the faceoff circle only winning 28 or 66 faceoffs. Niagara will no doubt be looking to break their 5 game losing streak, and a win tonight over Barrie will tie them with the Colts for points in the standings, though, Barrie still will be ahead of them in the standings with more wins, however Niagara still has a game in hand.
Barrie is coming off a 6-3 loss at the hands (or gloves?) of the Windsor Spitfires. Barrie only managed to get 27 shots on goal. That is even more sad when you look at the fact Barrie had 6 power play chances. Oh, and they went 0 for 6 on those man advantages. They also allowed 1 goal on 3 penalty kills. So, shots and special teams were a huge factor in the teams loss. Christian Propp got the start in goal for the Colts but was pulled after the first period, allowing 3 goals on 11 shots faced. Ovsjannikov was a little better looking stopping 22 of 25 shots faced. Brassard, Finoro and Nizhnikov scored for Barrie, while Justin Murray directed 7 shots on goal for Barrie. The loss was the 4th straight for the Colts who have really struggled on this road trip and look to end it with a win before heading back to Barrie when North Bay is in town.
Keys to Success: This is a game Barrie needs to win. Special teams have been a problem and they have to turn things around and tonight is a good chance to do so. Niagara has also struggled with special teams and has allowed a lot of goals against this season. If they get into penalty trouble tonight Barrie will need to generate lots of pucks on goal. If they can do this they have a solid chance of winning tonight. I would also look to see if Propp gets the start tonight. HE struggled in Windsor but did get the win over Niagara late last month. That would also allow Ovsjannikov to get the night off so he is fresh to face North Bay on Saturday night in Barrie.
Players to Watch: Matt Brassard has shown so much improvement this season. He currently is 4th for points on the team and seems to always be shooting the puck. There is no doubt that the team can learn a lot from that and if he can continue to push the way he has, it could help the team follow his lead. Justin Murray has also been excellent at shooting the puck from the back end and is always a must to keep an eye on any time the Colts are playing.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 tonight.