The Peterborough Petes hosted Barrie on Thursday night for the middle game of a three-in-three mid-week set against Eastern Conference opponents. Peterborough beat the Colts in their only previous meeting this season, and the maroon and white were again victorious on Thursday, earning their third straight win to start the second half.
The first period was characterized by high-energy play that produced action at both ends of the rink. Despite the incredible speed and enthusiasm on display by the rivals, few chances were registered in the period. Colts’ starter Mackenzie Blackwood was solid in the frame, and Petes’ keeper Andrew D’Agostini was also impressive as he looked to pick up his third straight win.
Barrie was able to solve D’Agostini in the opening frame, though, as Tyson Fawcett scored assisted by Brendan Lemieux and Zach Hall at the 13:35 mark. The period ended with the Colts leading 1-0 with the shot-clock locked at a modest 6-6.
The second period gave fans similar action to cheer for, as neither team seemed keen to give their opponent an inch. 4:56 into the second stanza, Nick Ritchie was impeded by a thrown Colts’ stick, and he was awarded a penalty shot. The Petes’ leading scorer made no mistake making it 1-1 on his 17th goal on the season.
D’Agostini continued his fine play as the period progressed, and was aided by a few great saves by his goal posts to keep the score tied. With just over eleven minutes to play in the second, Penguins’ prospect Clark Seymour netted his fourth of the season with a wrist shot from the point assisted by Nelson Armstrong and Eric Cornel to make it 2-1 Peterborough. The teams continued this scrappy play through the second half of the period, and no goals were added as the Petes took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission with a 14-13 shot advantage.
The floodgate opened in the third period as each team scrambled to earn key conference points. Just fourteen seconds in, the speedy Andreas Athanasiou equalized the score at two goals apiece with a goal from Andrew Mangiapane. With the game deadlocked, the scrappy play continued and the referees were kept busy, handing out seven infractions in the period and breaking up countless skirmishes.
At the 10:49 mark, the Petes again broke the tie with a goal from Josh MacDonald from Michael Clarke and Brandon Devlin. MacDonald and Devlin were both drafted by Barrie, making the goal extra sweet for the Petes. Just under four minutes later, Nick Ritchie added his second goal of the game to give the Petes a 4-2 lead, drawing an assist from captain Connor Boland.
With the Petes in the lead, Barrie continued to press, drawing a Petes penalty to with less than four minutes to play to create a four-on-four chance. Just five seconds into the open ice opportunity, Zach Hall picked up his ninth of the season from Erik Bradford and Jake Dotchin to bring Barrie within one. The Petes shut down the Colts the rest of the way, though, picking up the 4-3 win.
Nick Ritchie was the game’s first star on the back of a two-goal performance, including the game winner. Andreas Athanasiou was the second star, while Josh MacDonald picked up third star honours against his old club. Connor Boland was named the Mark’s Work Wearhouse Hardest Working Player of the Game in front of 2,340 fans who braved the Peterborough cold.
The Peters are in action again on Friday night as they head to Kingston to take on the rival Frontenacs, who sit 10 points ahead in the East Division. Fans can watch the game on TVCogeco, or listen in on Extra 90.5. The next home game is on Thursday, January 9th at 7:05pm against the scrappy Belleville Bulls. Tickets are still available here, and don’t forget to follow the Petes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the best content and latest updates from your mighty Maroon and White!
Photo credit: Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI AGENCY