Barrie Colts 2016-17 Mid-Season Review: You can only go up from here. #OHL

The Barrie Colts have completed the first half of the 2016-17 regular season and head into the Christmas break with a win - which for Barrie -  had been a struggle to accomplish all season. The team has a record of 10-18-3-1 for a total of 24 points. They currently sit in last place in the OHL. The team's longest winning streak, back to the start of the season, was 2 games between September 23rd-25th and the team's longest losing streak was 6 games.

The team had managed to put up 91 goals through 32 games which is the 2nd least across the OHL. The Kingston Frontenacs have scored less only putting up 79. Team captain, Cordell James led the way with 12 goals this season, while Anthony Stefano and Lucas Chiodo trail with 11 each. As for total point production, it has been Anthony Stefano leading the way with 21 assists and a total of 32 points. His 21 assists are the most on the Colts.

Here is a look at the top 5 point producers so far:

Anthony Stefano - 11G; 21A; 32P
Lucas Chiodo - 11 G; 16A; 27P
Cordell James - 12G; 10A; 22P
Zachary Magwood - 8G; 8A; 16P
Justin Murray - 2G; 13A; 15P

Anthony Stefano - 21
Lucas Chiodo - 16
Justin Murray - 13

Matt Brassard - 105 (3.62 a game)
Anthony Stefano - 100 (3.12 a game)
Cordell James - 89 (2.97 a game)

Barrie hasn't been scoring and they have not done the job of keeping pucks out of the net. When Mackenzie Blackwood left the team, it was clear that the goaltending depth here in Barrie took a huge blow. After David Ovsjannikov's work last season and through the playoffs, we knew the team wouldn't be in that big of trouble. So far, the team had allowed 132 goals against which was the 4th most in the league. This may not look bad, however, the team has done a pretty good job of allowing opportunity for young goalie Christian Propp to find his game here with the Colts and it has paid off. Ovsjannikov has seen 21 games this season, while backup goalie Propp has seen 16 games this season.
Through 21 games played, Ovsjannikov has a record of 6-9-2-1. He has a goals against average of 3.81 with a save percentage of 0.883%.

Christian Propp had a record of 3-9-1-0 through his 16 games. He had a goals against average of 4.16 with a save percentage of 0.884%. He had played a lot and saw tough teams. His record might not looked impressive but the team was obviously going through a rebuild and seeing young Propp get starts, you can't help but feel he is developing in the right direction. Give some love to the coaching staff for managing to find balance and time in goal for both your guys. Also, Ruan Badenhorst did get a start as well in the last game of the season, which Propp missed due to injury. Ruan got the win.

An area the team had managed to improve is discipline. The team had finished the last couple seasons with the most penalty minutes, and they really improved! The team had totaled 414 penalty minutes which was 6th most in the league. The team also traded their penalty leader, Anthony Carbonara, to the London Knights. They averaged 12.9 penalty minutes a game. That was a heavy accumulation of penalty minutes, the team was good at killing them off.

That's right! Another area the Colts have been good! Penalty killing! The team has an 84.0% success rate on the penalty kill. That is the 6th best PK in the league. Solid for a team who has allowed the 4th most goals against on the season. Here is a look at who has served the most penalty minutes for the Colts. Note that we didn't include Anthony Carbonara with him playing with the London Knights.

Most Penalty Minutes
Cameron Lizotte - 40
Justin Murray - 37
Kirill Nizhnikov - 35

Penalty killing has been a strength, however, the power play has been a work in progress. 15.7% on the PP good for 14th best in the OHL. The team seemed to be generating shots on goal on advantages but most of them come from the point from guys like Matt Brassard and Justin Murray. The team seems to struggle not getting traffic in front of the opposing goalie. This is an area the team will really need to work on if they hope to turn things around. It could be the loss of Roy Radke for so long. Not having a big body out there to screen the goalie makes things a little harder, but overall the team needs to find other ways to generate PP goals. Here is a look at the special team point leaders.

Power Play Goals
Cordell James - 6
Anthony Stefano - 4
Matt Brassard - 3

Power Play Assists
Tom Hedberg - 7
Lucas Chiodo - 7
Anthony Stefano -7

Short Handed Goals
Cordell James - 3
Zachary Magwood - 1
Anthony Stefano -1

Short Handed Assists
Anthony Stefano - 3
Cameron Lizotte - 1
Tom Hedberg - 1

Another area to improve is in the faceoff circle. There seems to be some improvement, and guys like Giordano Finoro seems to have more confidence on draws, but the team could be better. Faceoffs could help the team a lot. Losing offensive zone faceoffs when on the power play is a huge handicap to any successful man advantage. Improving those numbers could help the Colts in many ways. Here is a look at the top faceoff guys for the Colts.

Faceoff % (players took more than 50 draws)
Giordano Finoro - 52.4%
Jason Willms - 52.4%
Cordell James - 52.0%

It was clear headed into the season that this was going to be a tough one for the Colts. The team lost leading scorer Kevin Labanc, Andrew Mangiapane, former captain Michael Webster, playoff hero Justin Scott, Mackenzie Blackwood, Rasmus Andersson as well as some other key players.

One light has been how well some of the depth guys have stepped up. Lucas Chiodo has really been outstanding. Already surpassing his point totals from last year, his game just kept getting better and better. Giordano Finoro has been a breath of fresh air as well. I think anyone who says they expected them to be as huge as they have for the team might be trying to trick you. Jason Willms has been great in his rookie year and has great potential. 

The back end has also shown lots of great development. Matt Brassard has really found a way to be a top guy on the Colt's blue line. He didn't have the most support among many I know who have been around the organization but he has been one of the best, if not the best defenseman for the team. Justin Murray has also really been outstanding, while Christian Propp continued to grow into his role with the team and will likely be the teams starting goalie sooner than later. 

If these guys can keep up the hard work, and Roy Radke can rejoin the line up, the team could still make a push for the post season. If the team can stay healthy for the second half and guys like Kirill Nizhnikov can find a way to produce in the OHL, the team could really turn things around in the last half of the season. 

What are your thoughts on the team so far this year? Who do you feel has been our best contributor and who has surprised you? Let us know in the comments or on social media! 

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