NORTH BAY, Ont. — Lucas Chiodo’s goal at 10:25 of the third period proved to be the winner as the Barrie Colts edged the North Bay Battalion 3-2 in an Ontario Hockey League game Sunday.
Jason Willms and Luke Bignell also scored for Barrie, while goaltender Leo Lazarev made 33 saves as the Colts, playing a third game in three days, won for the first time in that span. Barrie has a won-lost-extended record of 14-7-3 for 31 points atop the Central Division.
Brad Chenier had one goal and one assist for North Bay, which got its other goal from Kyle Potts. Goaltender Julian Sime faced 28 shots before 2,445 at Memorial Gardens. The Battalion, which won its previous two games, is fifth in the division at 8-14-3 for 19 points, one behind the Sudbury Wolves, who doubled the visiting Kitchener Rangers 4-2.
“The game was extremely disappointing,” said Battalion coach Stan Butler. “It was a situation where Barrie was playing three games in three days and we hadn’t played since Thursday, and watching that game today you’d never know which team was playing its third game in a row.
“We can instil systems and the way we want to play, but eventually it comes to a point where the players need to be motivated for days like today. It’s extremely disappointing for our guys to come out and play like that. There’s no excuse for it.”
The teams were tied 1-1 through 40 minutes before Bignell connected at 1:47 of the third period, finishing off a backdoor play by slamming home a Curtis Douglas pass at the right post, and Chiodo gave Barrie a 3-1 lead after Ryan Suzuki poked the puck past Chenier on the right-wing boards, springing Chiodo to race to the net, where he beat Sime with a backhand deke.
Sime went to the bench for a sixth skater with 3:20 left to play, but the Battalion failed to muster scoring chances until Jaden Peca went off for hooking at 18:14. The Troops struck five seconds later after Justin Brazeau won a faceoff and sent the puck toward the net, where Brett McKenzie had a chance at it before Chenier swatted it home for his seventh goal of the season. McKenzie and Brazeau received assists.
Sime again headed off, and McKenzie and Brazeau whacked at an Adam Thilander rebound before Brazeau was called for goaltender interference at 19:07, essentially ending the Troops’ comeback hopes.
Willms scored the only goal of the first period, at 4:36, when he converted the rebound of Joey Keane’s right-point drive while stationed at a sharp angle to Sime’s left.
The Battalion had an 11-10 edge in shots in the period. Lazarev reacted quickly after yielding the puck to penalty killer Alex Robert, and the goaltender repelled Luke Moncada and Thilander efforts with the Troops on a late power play. Barrie’s Zachary Magwood rang the puck off the right post in the last minute, seconds after exiting the penalty box.
Potts tied it at 11:28 of the second period, driving to the net to backhand home the rebound of a Chenier shot. Nick King also assisted on Potts’s fourth goal.
North Bay outshot Barrie 11-8 in the frame. Cam Dineen failed to convert on a three-on-one rush in the ninth minute, and Lazarev foiled the follow-up shot. Luke Burghardt missed the gaping net on the power play with Lazarev down and out in the 17th minute. Sime stymied penalty killer Suzuki on a breakaway and turned away solid chances for Kirill Nizhnikov and T.J. Fergus.
The Battalion visits the Windsor Spitfires at 7:05 p.m. Thursday to open a three-game road trip. The game can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: Food Bank Day, presented by Subway, saw the North Bay Food Bank, in partnership with the Battalion, launch the 2017 Coach4Food season. Fans were asked to bring non-perishable food items to the game, with a food drive week running from Sunday to Saturday … Burghardt saw the end of an eight-game points streak, the Troops’ longest this season, during which he scored three goals and earned seven assists for 10 points … Brazeau, who had scored in each of the previous four games, totaling five goals, extended a points streak to five games, in which he has registered six points … Willms objected to a clean check on a teammate by Jesse Saban at 3:48 of the third period, jumping Saban, who responded by pummeling his attacker. Willms drew an instigating minor, fighting major and misconduct to Saban’s major, while Keane and Chenier were assessed roughing minors for the under card … Christian Propp backed up Sime for a second consecutive game. Propp, a former member of the Colts, hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury early in his Battalion debut, a 4-0 home-ice verdict Oct. 26 over Windsor in which he got the win and shared the shutout with Sime. Propp was acquired Oct. 22 from the Owen Sound Attack … The Battalion went 1-for-5 on the power play. Barrie was 0-for-5 … North Bay was without Eric Allair, Travis Mailhot, Rhys Forhan and Daniel Walker.