By Chris Mantel
It was an electrifying battle between the Barrie Colts and Oshawa Generals on Friday at the General Motors Centre that had all 3,682 in attendance glued to their seats. The Colts snapped the Generals winning streak in a game that was destined for a shootout since the puck was dropped. Scott Laughton picked up three points in the loss.
The first period was a physical battle between the two teams. The tone was set with a big hit from Generals’ captain Boone Jenner on Colts star Mark Scheifele which caused the crowd to roar. The two teams grinded it out until halfway through the period without either one giving way. The scoring was opened as Scott Laughton was sent in on a partial break and blasted a slapshot by Colts goaltender Mathias Niederberger who couldn’t get a glove on it.
Daniel Altshuller, who was making his eighth straight start for the Gens, wasn’t tested too much until a Colts powerplay in which he slid post to post and made a fantastic toe save on Scheifele who was standing on the doorstep.
The second period was just as physical as the first with both teams not wanting to give an inch. Action went both ways as the teams traded scoring chances with both goalies standing tall. It was only on the powerplays that either team gained any offensive advantage.
On Oshawa’s third powerplay opportunity, Colin Sullentrop scored his first of the year after three quick passes caught the Colts defense out of position.
Barrie pulled within one as they scored on a powerplay of their own. Relentless pressure wore down the General penalty killing unit until Barrie captain Ryan O’Connor snapped home his first of the year past a screened Altshuller. The Colts quickly added another on a tip from Anthony Camara.
Oshawa shifted into another gear as the third period sped by. Barrie scored their third of the game on another powerplay from a point shot from Jonathon Laser that pinballed around and evaded Altshuller. The Gens kept the pressure up on their fifth powerplay of the night, until Lucas Lessio pounced on a loose puck near the Colts crease knotting it at three.
Overtime didn’t solve anything even though the Generals pounded the Barrie goal with shot after shot. You could feel the energy in the air as both teams prepared for the shootout that this game so desperately needed.
After matching goals sent the shootout to extra shooters, Steven Byers scored the winner, sealing the Generals’ fate.
Shots finished at a whopping 54-42 for the Gens with Mathias Niederberger making save after save.
Scott Laughton and Colin Sullentrop picked up three star selections for the Gens, with Niederberger picking up the lone star for the Colts.
The Generals next game is on Saturday, Oct. 13th in Belleville. They then return home to the General Motors Centre for their Sunday, Oct.14th game against the reigning OHL Champ London Knights. Generals’ Alumni Michael Del Zotto will be dropping the puck at 6:05pm.