The Petes have brought themselves within one point of a post-season berth after holding off the Colts on Saturday night after earning a 5-4 win in Barrie.
Just 34 seconds into the match, the Petes were assessed a 4 minute minor for high sticking, sending the Colts to an early man advantage. Take advantage they did, as Barrie scored two power play goals, 36 seconds apart, to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Barrie’s opening marker came from their captain, Jason Willms, with Ben Hawerchuk and Tyler Tucker assisting. After it bounced off of a Petes defenceman’s skate, Willms slapped the puck past Petes net minder Hunter Jones.
Still on the power play, Hawerchuk backhanded the puck into the slot for Tyson Foerster to slip through Jones at, leaving the Petes down by a pair 1:31 into the night.
It took a few minutes for the maroon and white to reset, but Ryan Merkley responded for his club. Liam Kirk and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev set up the San Jose Sharks prospect at 7:11 to cut Barrie’s lead in half.
Into the second half of the period, Peterborough was sent to a 5-on-3 power play. They converted and tied the game at 2 at 14:40 as Merkley and Zach Gallant assisted on Nick Robertson’s 25th goal of the season.
The period ended with Peterborough in strong command of the shot clock, out shooting the home team 22-11 in the opening 2o.
The Petes took their first lead of the game just 12 seconds into the middle frame. Although the play had to be reviewed, Gallant knew that his one-timer, set up by Brady Hinz, hit the back of the net. Michael Little earned an assist on the go-ahead goal as well.
A combined ten penalties between the clubs preceded Peterborough’s fourth goal and Merkley’s second of the night. His 13th of the season marked Merkley’s first multi-goal game as a Pete and third of his career. Robertson and Adam Timleck collected helpers on the milestone marker at 12:50.
Ryan Suzuki answered back for Barrie 54 seconds later. Jones made an initial save, but Foerster and Aidan Brown connected to find the 2019 NHL Entry Draft prospect alone in front, cutting Peterborough’s lead to 4-3.
Peterborough continued to lead the game offensively, making 36 shots to Barrie’s 22.
The Colts were rewarded a with a 5-on-3 chance of their own in the early moments of the third, leading to a flurry of chances for the home team. A Colts goal was called off after being reviewed for offside, but another goal by Suzuki would stand, bringing the game to a 4-4 tie.
A more disciplined third paid off for the Petes as they scored the period’s only goal. Cameron Butler netted the 18th of his rookie season, unassisted, to secure a 5-4 road win for his team.
Final shots were 49-29 in favour of the Petes.
Merkley, Foerster, and Suzuki were named the game’s first, second, and third stars, respectively.
The Petes wrap up their weekend in North Bay as they face the Battalion on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00pm. A win on Sunday will secure a playoff berth for the Petes. They’ll be back in action on home ice on Thursday, March to take on the Ottawa 67’s at 7:05pm. Tickets are available through the Baker Tilly Box Office in person, over the phone at (705) 743-3561, and online.
Help the Petes push for playoff positioning with a Playoff Push Flex Pack! For just $69.99 (tax included), fans will receive four regular bowl tickets, four popcorns, and four pops for any Petes home game in February or March. The regular price of this package is $125, which means fans save $55 on the special offer. Contact Mike at (705) 743-3681 x 263.