Game Preview: Saginaw Spirit @ Barrie Colts. #OHL

Tonight the Saginaw Spirit head north of the boarder to face the Barrie Colts at the Barrie Molson Centre for the second and final meeting of the season. You know, unless both teams make the finals... (pause for applause)

Robert Proner will face his former for the first time since being acquired by Barrie at the OHL trade deadline.

Colts VS. Spirit this season. 

The first and only other meeting between these teams this season took place back on November, 5th of last year. The Spirit hosted Barrie at the Dow Event Center (centre) and the team was not a very cordial host, beating the Ponies 4-2.

Barrie was dominated in the 1st period but luckily for them it didn’t translate on the score-sheet for them as badly as it could have. Saginaw took an early penalty but Barrie couldn’t generate a shot on it. Looking frustrated, Kyle Heitzner would take a slashing penalty which would be costly for Barrie. Saginaw only generated 3 quick shots before Mitchell Stephens would score with the man advantage to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead 5 minutes into the game. Barrie responded with some chances but a Kirill Nizhnikov slashing call would kill the momentum over the end of the period. Barrie was out-shot 17-7 through the period forcing Colts goaltender Christian Propp to stand on his head making 16 saves.

In the 2nd period, Barrie showed a little more life. After taking a couple early penalties they seemed to get their game a little more on track managing to generate 12 shots on goal through the period. Saginaw still had the edge getting 16 shots on goal but Christian Propp continued to be incredible for the Ponies. Markus Niemelainen of the Spirit took a closing the hand on the puck penalty with 30 seconds left in the period, giving Barrie the man advantage. After the 2nd Saginaw held the 1-0 lead.

3rd period was consistent to the first two but the Colts would find a way to finally make it on the score sheet when Aiden Brown scored his first goal of the season. Anthony Stefano and Lucas Chiodo both earned assists on the goal. It would not take long for the Spirit to strike back to give the Spirit a 2-1 lead on a Matthew Kreis goal. The goal was the former Barrie Colts first of the season. Saginaw kept pressing and less than 3 minutes later, Tye Felhaber scored to increase the Saginaw lead to 3-1.

Image result for CJ Garcia a very barrie colts blogBack and forth chances after this but the Colts Lucas Chiodo would score a goal to cut into the Spirit lead 3-2. The Colts managed to hold on to momentum generating pucks on goal but an Adrian Carbonara penalty would ultimately slow down the late momentum. Hayden Hodgson would score a late empty net goal to give the Spirit the 4-2 lead, and that would be enough.

Barrie was out-shot 50-31. Christian Propp was outstanding making 46 saves on the night.

This was a night of former Colts making Barrie pay. C.J. Garcia was named the games first star, generating 3 shots on goal, while Matt Kreis scored a goal, earned an assist and finished the night with a +2.

Windsor crushes Saginaw’s spirit.

Saginaw comes into tonight’s game in last place in the West Division, 2nd last in the Western Conference, but still ahead of the Colts. The team is currently in a 4-game losing slump and has only managed to win a pair of games over their last 10 played.

Saginaw’s last loss came at the hands of the Windsor Spitfires who dominated the Spirit in a 5-1 win. The Spits came out strong and put up 2 goals in the 1st period. The scored early in the 2nd to give Windsor the 3-0 lead. Spirit, Hayden Hodgson would score late in the period to cut into the lead. The goal was his 22nd of the season.

That would be it for the Spirit having any hopes of winning this game. Windsor added two more goals to complete the 5-1 win.

Brendan Bonello got the start for Saginaw. Despite the loss, he had a solid showing making 36 saves on 41 shots faced. The loss was his 8th loss this season.

Battalion win battle with Colts.

Barrie has also lost their last 4 games straight but the last one came after a hard-fought battle with North Bay which required OT to settle.

First period didn’t really display a lot of actual hockey but was aggressive. North Bay outshot Barrie 7-4, but as mentioned the 1st period was more physical than skilled. Riley Bruce was taking penalties most the period it seemed. At a point, Aiden Brown took a penalty that I still don’t understand, but was called roughing on the ice. The play would result in Curtis Douglas squaring off against Riley Bruce. If you are a wrestling fan, you may have noticed that the fight kind of resembled the old Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez at Wrestlemania 9. Douglas showed some edge and dropped some heavy bombs but Bruce would ultimately win the fight. The 1st period ended tied 0-0. Not scoreless, the score was 0-0.

2nd period saw the Colts strike first hen Aiden Brown scored his 3rd of the season with Jaden Peca getting an assist. A little more than 10 minutes later the team would increase their lead to a 2-goal lead following Lucas Chiodo’s 16th goal of the season. Zach Magwood and Joey Keane both had helpers.

It would not take long for North Bay to cut into the Colts lead when Jacob Ball scored a couple minutes later to make it a 2-1 Barrie lead. That would be the score to end the 2nd period with North Bay out-shooting Barrie 12-10 in the period.

The 3rd period saw North Bay tie things up early on Steve Harland’s 20th goal of the season to tie things at 2-2. Barrie would get some chances but couldn’t get the lead back and the game would require OT.

Jaden Peca generated the Colts only shot in OT and North Bay would get 6, and that was all they would need when Adam McMaster scored to give North Bay the 3-2 win.

David Ovsjannikov got the start for Barrie and made 30 saves.

Though the team was unable to score on 3 man advantages, they managed to prevent the Battalion from scoring on 6 power plays.

Final Thoughts.

This is a game Barrie could win. Saginaw hasn’t been strong this year but their best play has been at home. Their road record has been bad going 4-12-2-2 this season. Barrie is not much better only winning 1 more game so let’s not get on our high horses here. If Barrie can play disciplined and find success on special teams they should be able to get the win tonight. This is their first game of another 3 in 3. With the Colts rotating goalies the way they have, it is anyone’s guess who would get the start tonight but I would look to see Badenhorst get the start, though, I would roll with Propp. Both teams are on 4 game losing streaks and no doubt that both think tonight could be their best chance at ending it. For a couple struggling teams, this could be a fun game. 

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 at BMC.


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