For the first time in team history, the Barrie Colts claimed top spot in the Canadian Hockey League Top 10 Rankings and now they are moving in on the Memorial Cup.
In February, the Colts moved ahead of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to take over first place. The Colts remained No. 1 until the end of the season, finishing with a league-best record of 57-9-0-2 and 116 points.
Barrie, playing in the Ontario Hockey League, lost just 11 games all season.
The Barrie Colts are just as tough to beat in the playoffs. They are the first team to reach the second round, completing a four-game sweep of the Sudbury Wolves in OHL playoff action. The Colts outscored the eighth-seeded Wolves 25-10 in the series.
Their Eastern Conference semifinal opponent is yet to be determined, but will likely be the winner of the series between No. 4 Kingston Frontenacs and No. 5 Brampton Battalion.
The Battalion recently edged Kingston 4-3 to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Colts' current roster is led up front by team captain Stefan Della Rovere, a Washington Capitals draft pick, and Alex Pietrangelo, a St. Louis Blues draft pick, on defense. Nine Colts have already been drafted into the NHL.
Barrie, located in Central Ontario, 50 miles north of Toronto, has one American player and one Russian—all the rest come from Ontario.
Over thirty former Colts played in the NHL, including Drake Berehowsky, Shayne Corson, Jeff Cowan, and Daniel Tkaczuk.
Barrie wins games with a balanced attack and a high-energy game.
The first Barrie Colts team played in the junior division of the OHA from 1907 until 1910. The Barrie Colts were revived in 1921 and played in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1921 to 1944.
They won the Sutherland Cup Championship in 1934–35. One of its original players was Leighton "Hap" Emms. Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Harry Lumley also played for the team in 1942–43.
The Barrie Colts finished first in Canada in the 2009-10 OHL Season.
The modern Barrie Colts started out in the Mid-Ontario Junior B League. They moved up to play at the Junior A Tier II level, and joined the Ontario Hockey League in 1994.
The Colts have never missed the playoffs in team history.
The Colts won the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 2000 and came second in the Memorial Cup, losing to the Rimouski Océanic in the championship game.
The Windsor Spitfires won the Memorial Cup last year in Rimouski, but Windsor won “just” 50 times this year.
They were first in the Western Conference again, but the league crown went to the Barrie Colts.
The Spits had injuries, suspensions, and missed players during the world juniors.
Unlike baseball wild cards or March Madness basketball or the NHL playoffs, when an eighth-seeded team can make a stunning run to the Stanley Cup final, in Jr. A hockey the best teams in the regular season usually rise to the occasion in the playoffs.
The London Knights can't be overlooked. The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors are talented. The Brampton Battalion have the reigning Canadian Hockey League top player in Cody Hodgson.
Barrie has the deepest roster, but Windsor has the deepest experience, over the past couple of years.