Very Barrie Colts: Five up, Five down. #OHL

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images
There are lots of ups and downs in a season, and this is no different with the Barrie Colts. In a new feature to Very Barrie Colts, here are five ups and five downs from the Colts season so far.

Up: Tyson Foerster’s red hot start.
While not a total surprise to Colts fans, Foerster has had an absolute monster start to the season. After the school day game against Hamilton, Tyson has matched his point production from last season in 50 fewer games. On his current seven-game point streak, he has eight goals, six assists for 14 points.

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images
Down: Attendance.
It is no secret that there have been some sparse crowds at some home games this year with an average under 3000. As the season moves on, I think we will see large jumps in these numbers as we have an enjoyable team to watch in Barrie this year. Colts Centre is always a fun place to be when it’s a full barn. Come out and see your Colts, Barrie!

Up: Nick Porco and Ian Lemieux Trade.
Earlier in the week, the Colts sent a struggling Dalton Duhart, and five picks to Saginaw for Nick Porco and Ian Lemieux. Overall this is an excellent trade for the Colts. Porco is a speedy power forward that will fit right into the Colts top 6 and is a player that will also return next year, most likely. Ian Lemieux is an underrated part of this trade, as well. With Vinny Prospal no longer on the roster, Lemieux is a young player that could play a vital role on the Colts blue line down the road and provide solid depth in the meantime. Being a 2002 born player, Lemieux could be a big part of the Colts future.

Down: Penalties.
Another thing that is nothing new to the Colts is that they have taken too many penalties. So far, it has likely cost them a few games. There have been flashes of late of the team showing more discipline, which is a promising sign. Head Coach Warren Rychel has said this is an area he would like to see an improvement.

Up: Import impact.
The Barrie Colts have a long history of solid import players, and this season is no different. Somewhat lost in Foerster’s impressive start is Matej Pekar keeping pace with Tyson. Pekar has 13 goals, ten assists for 23 points in 14 games. While an odd pick at the time, Arturs Silovs has been so crucial to the Colts solid start so far this season. In 8 appearances, Silovs has a 3.11 GAA, and a 0.902 save percentage.

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images
Down: Specialty Teams.
Specialty teams have been a work in progress at times for the Colts this season. There has been some improvement on the powerplay as of late, but it currently ranks 15th and is running at a 21.7% success rate. With the talent on this Colts squad and the addition of Porco, it would not surprise me if the powerplay becomes a team strength soon.

Much like the powerplay, the penalty kill has struggled at times. As of right now, it is ranked 13th overall and is successful 75% of the time. There is no doubt the number of times the team is shorthanded has affected these numbers. With excellent penalty killers like Luke Bignell and the team working on discipline, this is an area the team can work on and should be successful.

Up: Player Development.
One of the main reasons for the Colts resurgence this season can be credited to the player's hard work. So far, Tyson Foerster, Nathan Allensen and Riley Piercey have all met or surpassed statistical career highs. Luke Bignell and Matej Pekar are both not far from setting new career highs early into the season.

Down: OA Situation.
While not a negative to have four quality OA’s, the clock is ticking to decide on who the final three will be. Earlier, it appeared that it would be Brown, Tortora and Willms, we have lately seen Chris Cameron log some significant minutes on the blueline. It will be interesting to see which direction the Colts go. All four have been great Colts, and I’m sure it is not a decision management will take lightly.
Image by Terry Wilson / OHL Images
Up: 25th Season Celebrations
The team has done a great job so far honouring important people and clubs in the Organization. They have also released a beautiful alternate jersey for the season and a ton of alumni graphics and team history around the arena that have made the concourse pop.

I am looking forward to seeing what the team has planned for the rest of the year. Lately, there have been polls on asking fans what their favourite goalie and now defenseman of all time is. Make sure to go there and vote.

Down: Arena naming rights
There couldn’t be a five up, five down without mentioning the difficulties securing a name for the former Barrie Molson Centre thus far. There are currently two offers on the table from Paul Sadlon motors for 20 years and CampMart for ten years. With the naming rights having been expired for nine months or so now, it would be great to see a conclusion to this soon.

The Colts are on the road this weekend in Flint and Saginaw. They return home Saturday, November 9th, against the Erie Otters. Make sure to grab your tickets and pack Colts Centre to welcome the boys back home!

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