The Mississauga Steelheads scored early and often en route to an 8-1 win over the Barrie Colts in Ontario Hockey League action Sunday afternoon at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.
Aidan Prueter scored for the Steelheads just two minutes into the contest and 18-year-old Innisfil native James Hardie popped his 33rd goal of the year in the dying minutes of the opening frame with what was eventually determined to be the game-winning goal.
Three minutes into the second period, Colts forward Anthony Tabak brought Barrie to within one goal of the Steelheads with his 10th of the campaign to make it 2-1. Ethan Cardwell and Josh Nelson drew the assists.
But that's as close as they would get, as it was all Steelheads from there.
Cole Schwindt put the Steelheads up 3-1 just three minutes after Tabak's goal and it was smooth sailing for the Fish the rest of the game.
Mississauga put three more on the scoreboard before the end of the second period — from Calvin Martin, Keean Washkurak and William Portokalis — to give the Steelheads a 6-1 leading heading into the intermission.
Richard Whittaker and Martin, with his second goal of the game, scored in the third period en route to the big win.
Washkaruk and Schwindt both had three-point games with a goal and two assists apiece.
Former Barrie Colts goaltender Kai Edmonds picked up the win in net for Mississauga, stopping 28 of 29 shots he faced, while Colts starter Jet Greaves was tagged with the loss after allowing six goals in 23 shots before being pulled after the second period.
Arturs Silovs came into the game in relief, surrendering two goals on eight shots in the third.
The Colts (27-24-3-2) now sit two points back of Sudbury (30-26-1) for top spot in the Central Division standings, as the Wolves posted a 2-0 win over the Ottawa 67's on Sunday. Barrie has a game in hand on Sudbury.
Barrie hosts the Niagara IceDogs on Thursday night at Sadlon Arena before hitting the road for an eastern road trip next weekend for a pair of afternoon games when they face the league-leading Ottawa 67's (43-11-0-1) on Saturday and the Peterborough Petes (33-21-2-1) on Sunday.