Coming off a 4-1 loss last weekend at home to the Windsor Spitfires, the Oshawa Generals weren’t about to let one bad game put an end to what’s been a pretty impressive run of late.
The Generals bounced right back with a 4-1 win over the Barrie Colts, Thursday (Dec. 6) at the Barrie Molson Centre, earning their 10th win in the last 13 games.
Oshawa (18-9-2-0) clogged the middle of the ice, holding the Colts (14-13-1-0) to just 22 shots and got all the offence they would need on first-period goals by Anthony Salinitri and Tyler Tullio.
“We’ve been on a pretty good roll and for whatever reason we came out flat at home,” Generals head coach Greg Walters said of the loss to the Spitfires. “Our No. 1 thing was to limit the shots against and limit the odd-man rushes and I thought we were able to do that tonight.”
The Generals ran into penalty trouble in the second period and Barrie cut the lead to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Jacob Tortora, but the visitors would put this one away in the third.
Kyle MacLean scored on the power play just 3:24 into the final frame and then Serron Noel sealed the win with a late shorthanded empty-net marker.
“That was a huge goal for us,” Walters said of MacLean’s insurance goal. “We played a pretty clean third period. Our discipline needs to be a lot better, but for the most part I liked our play away from the puck and we were able to get two points in a tough building.”
It was a frustrating loss for Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk, who watched the Generals set up a trap at centre ice and the Colts play right into it.
It was the second-straight loss for a Barrie club that can’t seem to string a few wins together.
“We played right into their trap,” Hawerchuk said. “We’re trying to make little dinky passes in the middle of the ice and they got five guys there. It makes no sense.
“Until they get it in their head, and start to execute, we can’t turn the corner.”
Kyle Keyser, who earlier in the day was awarded a spot on the U.S National Junior Team preliminary roster for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships, made 21 saves to earn his 15th win of the season.
Kai Edmonds stopped 22 of 25 shots in goal for Barrie.
The Generals continue on the road tonight when they make a stop in Mississauga to face a struggling Steelheads team that has dropped six straight.
Walters knows his club can ill afford to take the foot off the pedal against a wounded opponent that will be desperate to put an end to its skid.
“They’ve got some lethal offensive guys,” the Generals bench boss said of Mississauga team that includes NHL prospects Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod, along with 20-goal scorer Cole Carter. “We’ve got to make sure, very similar to tonight, that we know where their top guys are and we take their time and space away, and make sure we’re not giving up odd-man rushes.”
Game time at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre is 7 p.m.
PHOTO: Kyle Keyser, who earlier in the day was named to the U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster, made 21 saves to help lead the Oshawa Generals to a 4-1 win over the Barrie Colts, Dec. 6, at the Barrie Molson Centre. BRANDON TAYLOR OHL IMAGES