A blown two-man advantage on Sunday might sum the kind of Ontario Hockey League final it has been for the Barrie Colts, now one loss from elimination.
There is no true way of pinpointing it, but Barrie seemed to hit its boiling point after it failed to score on an 88-second 5-on-3 situation in the second period, after the Windsor Spitfires had opened the scoring on a two-man advantage. (The second penalty came after Alexander Burmistrov continuing to play after losing his helmet).
Bryan Cameron, the OHL goal scoring champ in the regular season, was stopped twice on that 5-on-3, including a sequence where he had a chance to one-time a loose puck from point-blank range on Spits goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Cameron also ended up taking an elbowing penalty on the ensuing shift after Windsor's Adam Henrique scored the first of his three goals to stretch the lead out to 2-0. Then an apparent miscommunication between Peter Di Salvo and Burmistrov handed Henrique and Windsor a gift short-handed goal.
Barrie seems able to play with Windsor, but the Spitfires have done their homework on the power play. The Colts are just 1-for-16 in the series after converting at a 29.7 per cent rate (19 of 64) in the first three rounds and an OHL-best 26.3% in the regular season. The Spitfires seem to be good at keeping three players down low on the penalty kill, denying Barrie from a rebound opportunity after the goalie kicks out a point shot at an angle.
It also could have been a much different game if a point shot by Barrie's Nick Crawford on that very power play had gone in rather than nailing the crossbar. (There was a video review of the play, but you hear the ping as clearly as would while walking by a slo-pitch game on a summer night.
Who knows why that happens in hockey, although considering how many posts the Spitfires hit in the Western Conference final against Kitchener, Windsor was due to benefit.
Ultimately, at this point, there are no ifs, just the result. Barrie has shown why it rolled through the East, but Windsor has made it pay for every error.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. You may contact him at email@example.com.
- Windsor Spitfires
- Barrie Colts
- Ontario Hockey League
- Alexander Burmistrov