The Barrie Colts exploded for two power play goals and two empty net goals in the third period to defeat the Plymouth Whalers, 6-3, in an Ontario Hockey League game played Friday night before 3,013 at Compuware Arena.
The loss leaves Plymouth in second place in the OHL West Division with a record of 26-16-5-4, good for 61 points and tied with Sarnia (29-21-0-3, 61 points). The Sting lost, 5-2, on Friday, to Saginaw. Sault Ste. Marie (idle on Friday) remains in first place in the West Division with a record of 29-19-2-2, good for 62 points.
Barrie improves to 34-15-0-2 and is the top team in the Eastern Conference with 70 points.
Trailing, 3-2, after for forty minutes, Zach Hall (18th) tied the game at 3-3 at 10:54 of the third period and Anthony Camara (29th) scored the eventual game-winner for the Colts at 15:15 to give Barrie their first lead of the game before Andreas Athanasiou (22nd) and Josh MacDonald (14th) scored empty net goals to ice the game for the Colts.
First star Mark Scheifele (23rd) and Mitchell Theoret (21st) scored the other Barrie goals, while veteran Steven Beyers recorded three assists (all the in third period) for Barrie.
Second star Vince Trocheck scored twice for Plymouth (32-33) and Ryan Hartman (21) scored on the Whalers' first shot of the game at 3:44 of the first period. Sebastian Uvira and Gianluca Curcuruto contributed two assists each for Plymouth.
The Whalers took a 3-1 lead into the dressing room after one period. After Hartman (shot for the right circle at 3:44) and Scheifele (re-direct at the left post at 4:08) traded goals 0:24 apart, Trocheck took over, scoring at 9:00 on a shot, five-hole, from the left circle on Barrie goaltender Mathias Niederberger and then again on a power play at 15:50 with a quick shot from the right hashmark.
Barrie cut the Plymouth lead to 3-2 on Theoret's goal on a scramble in the Plymouth blue crease at 10:44, set up by Athanasiou's move from the right boards to the blue ice that created traffic around the Plymouth crease area.
The Whalers lead, 3-2, after forty minutes.
Barrie tied the game on Hall's goal at 10:54, but it was Scheifele who made the play, holding on to the puck in the Plymouth zone and feeding the puck to Hall, who made no mistake with a shot from the lower rim of the right circle. Camara's game-winner came as the result of a fortunate bounce, when his shot range off the cross bar but was deflected into the net off a Whalers defender.
Plymouth head coach Mike Vellucci pulled Whalers goaltender Matt Mahalak for the extra attacker in the final two minutes, but Athanasiou scored at 18:45 and MacDonald at 19:21 to finish the scoring.
Barrie outshot Plymouth, 29-28.