The Oshawa Generals stumbled out of the gates on Sunday night, falling behind and never recovering from an early 3-0 deficit against the Barrie Colts.
Calgary Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane was terrific, leading his Barrie Colts (9-4) to a 5-3 victory over the Generals.
Mangiapane capitalized on the Generals (5-8-2) lack of effort in the first, scoring twice and adding an empty netter to complete his hat trick.
Generals outshots their opponents 41-20 in yet another heartbreaking loss for the home team at General Motors Centre.
“It was a horrific start and the effort wasn’t there,” said a frustrated Bob Jones. “We weren’t getting dominated in the first period, there was just a lack of effort.
“To give the (Colts) a 3-0 lead and the guys scoring the goals (Mangiapane) he is getting clean looks in the slot. Our guys were not ready and I take full responsibility for that.”
The home team would bounce back in the final two periods, cutting the deficit to one with two minutes left in the game.
Matt Mistele sniped his fifth of the season from an impossible angle in the low slot. Captain Michael Dal Colle assisted on the play, but that was as close as the Generals would get.
“I thought our effort level was good in the second and third, we outplayed them, outshot them,” said Dal Colle. “Coming out flat the way we did is inexcusable. They got a couple of goals really early and that was the game.”
Kenny Huether and Anthony Cireli led the offensive charge for the home team, both getting a goal and an assist in the second period. The line mates have been on fire so far this season combining for 26 points in 15 games.
Colts goalie Mackenzie Blackwood would make 38 stops to shut down a fast paced and energized Generals offence.
“In the second and third I think we were a better team,” said Oshawa’s head coach. “We deserved a better fate again and didn’t get it. Blackwood made some crucial saves, but we had our chance.”
So far this season the Generals have struggled to string together wins, and Sunday was no different. Although they outplayed their opponents for 40 minutes, it was yet another incomplete game from the defending Memorial Cup champions.
“They don’t roll over like a dog and show their belly,” said Jones. “They are working hard and that is a good sign.
“I thought our fourth line, the kids, were probably our best line. There are a lot of good signs, but we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot at the start of games.”