Game Preview: Niagara IceDogs @ Barrie Colts. #OHL

Tonight the Niagara IceDogs are at Barrie Molson Centre to face the Barrie Colts for the fifth of six meetings this regular season.

Ponies VS. IceDogs this season.

Tonight's game will be the last game played between these teams at BMC before the playoffs. Their final game this season will take place February, 10th at the Meridian Centre. Niagara has won 3 of 4 meetings so far and managed to get a point in their only loss having forced overtime.  Niagara has outscored Barrie 19 to 10 over those games.

The last game between these teams was WAAAAAY BACK in 2016, if you can remember that far. Niagara managed to take the 5-3 win at BMC.

The 1st period was tightly matched with Niagara getting the lone goal in the frame just before the halfway mark of the period. Danial Singer scored. Niagara had the slight edge in shots out-shooting Barrie 13-11.

Barrie responded well in the 2nd period. Ben Hawerchuck tied the game for the Ponies 1:15 into the period to tie the game 1-1. Lucas Chiodo and Roy Radke both with assists on the goal. 2:32 later in the period, Giordano Finoro scored to give the Colts their first lead of the game. Tom Hedberg was credited with an assist. Aiden Brown would give the Colts a 3-1 lead on the Power Play about halfway through regulation. Radke got his 2nd assist of the night and Kade Landry also got a helper on the goal.

Shortly after Niagara would strike back. Colts defenceman Justin Murray took a holding call and Akil Thomas would score to cut into the lead. Less than a minute later the Dogs would strike again with a Ondrej Machala goal to tie the game before the end of the 2nd period.

The game was tied 3-3 after the 2nd period. Barrie Out-shot Niagara 17-7.

Fairly tightly contested 3rd period but Niagara had the edge generating 15 shots on goal. Ovsjannikov was able to stop most until the 17:28 mark when Matthew Philip would score the game winner. Johnny Corneil would get an insurance tally with 20 seconds left in regulation to complete the Dogs 5-3 lead.

Colts only managed to score 1 goal on 7 PP chances and allowed 1 short-handed goal on 4 penalty kills.

David Ovsjannikov got the start for Barrie and made 30 saves on 35 shots faced.

IceDogs thaw Firebirds.

The Flint Firebirds have been on a bit of a hot streak lately! You know, for a struggling team. Before their loss to Niagara they had won their 2 previous games. One was a MASSIVE 11-2 win over Saginaw and the other was a 7-2 win over Guelph. That is a lot of goals for any team.

HOWEVER their hot streak ended when they were at the Meridian Centre last night against the Niagara IceDogs who would beat them 5-2.

Overall a pretty close game. Both teams had 7 chances on the Power Play. Akil Thomas of the IceDogs scored the game’s only goal with the man advantage.  

Midway through the 2nd Flint held a 2-1 lead until Thomas would score his 2nd goal of the night to tie things up 2-2. Late in the period Johnny Corneil would score a pair of goals to put the Dogs up 4-2 after two periods. His first was ultimately the game winner and was short-handed.

3rd period saw a lot of action and shot production from both teams with the Dogs getting the 16-13 edge in shots. Despite the chances, the period’s only goal would come with 50 seconds remaining in regulation on an Aaron Haydon short-handed/empty net goal to seal the Niagara 5-2 win.

Niagara out-shot Flint 43-40.

Rags put out Colts.

Kitchener managed to pull off a 5-3 win over Barrie last night in an evenly matched game.

Both teams came out hard in the 1st putting up 12 shots and 2 goals apiece. The Rangers Darby Llewellyn got the first two in the first half and Lucas Chiodo and Anthony Stefano in the second half. Chiodo and Stefan goals were both players 14th of the season.

The Rags came out the hungry team right away in the 2nd period and dominated through the frame out-shooting Barrie 16-9.  Joseph Garreffa would get the only goal of the period for the Rangers to give them the 3-2 lead.

3rd period was a pretty exciting hockey for the Colts. They really got their game together and managed to get some good chances, while generating 13 shots on goal. Sadly, Cedric Schiemenz would put the Rags up 4-2 with the game winning goal. Giordano Finoro scored to bring the Colts within 1 but some bad penalties resulted in a late Garreffa insurance goal to give the 5-3 win.

A concern headed into the game was face-offs, especially after dealing Captain Cordell James. Barrie managed to win 38 of 61 draws which is great. Finoro went 7 for 7, Ben Hawerchuk 13 of 18 and even defenceman Justin Murray managed to win a draw.

Christian Propp got the start for the Colts and though the first goal wasn’t a great effort, the teams blue line really hung him out to dry on. Other than that he was solid and kept the team in the game at times. He ended the night with 33 saves.

Final Thoughts.

Though the Colts are coming off a loss, they shouldn’t feel too bad about their dropping last night’s game. There were a lot of positives to take away from it. Great goaltending, solid on draws and they were always moving their feet. If Barrie could find a way to score with the man advantage this team could have some more success. Niagara comes into Barrie with a 2 game win streak, while Barrie has lost their last 2. The Dogs have 7 more point than the Ponies however Barrie still has 2 games in hand.

With Propp playing last night and Barrie in North Bay tomorrow I would expect Ovsjannikov to play tonight. I would not rule out Propp getting the start though and would actually encourage it.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at BMC. 

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