Barrie Colts take the ice

Colts outlast Steelheads despite thrilling comeback

Barrie Colts almost blew a 3-0 lead as they allowed the Mississauga Steelheads to storm back and take the game into overtime on Friday night.

Fortunately for the visitors, Mark Scheifele bulged the twine in the shootout for a 4-3 Colts victory.

The Colts built their lead by early in the second period but the Steelheads chipped away thanks to six straight penalties from Barrie.

Mississauga scored its first two goals on the power-play and rode that momentum to a third, to tie it with 15 minutes to go in regulation.

The teams exchanged chances for the remainder of the final frame, in what was the most even and exciting run-of-play on the night.

Regulation time ended tied 3-3 and the teams went down to 4 on 4 for the five minutes of overtime. With the game still undecided the a shootout was needed.

The goalies dominated and only Scheifele was able to score and give the Colts the win.

Scheifele was a man amongst boys on the ice as the Winnipeg Jets first round pick effortlessly controlled the puck and was creating scoring chances all night.

He assisted on the game’s opening goal with a long breakout pass that created a two-on-one that was finished by Andreas Athanasiou. He finished the game with two assists

Athanasiou, the speedy lefty winger, was a threat on the outside with his quickness and slick hands. His first period goal was reviewed to see if it was batted in with a high-stick but was eventually deemed legal.

Barrie goaltender Mathias Niederberger stopped 28 of 31 shots for the win. He faced off against Riley Brace at the end of the shootout and was able to stay with Brace’s move long enough to make the save.

Brace led the comeback for Mississauga as he scored their second and third goal, as well as assisted on the first.

He was very effective on the power-play, notching a goal and an assist with the man advantage. Brace was the Steelheads leading goal-scorer heading into the game and now has four on the season.

“It was really big for us to get the power-play going,” said Brace. “Once it’s working it helps us play with more confidence.”

Centre Dylan Smoskowitz, who was acquired in a trade from Barrie the day before, had a nice debut, scoring the Steelheads first goal of the game.

Smoskowitz is riding a two-game goal-scoring streak as he scored for the Colts yesterday prior to being traded.

“Losing to my former team is disappointing, it would have been really nice to beat them,” said Smoskowitz.  “The goal scoring streak doesn’t mean much in defeat.”

Mississauga goalie Clint Windsor had his first start of the season filling in for injured starter Spencer Martin.

Windsor was peppered early and let in three goals but was very strong late in the game as the Colts tried to regain the lead that they had given up.

“It was a bit of a shaky start but I’m glad that I was able help give us a chance at the end,” said Windsor. “It’s disappointing to lose after coming back from so far down.”