By Gene Pereira

The Barrie Colts found themselves on the ropes going into the third period March 26 against the Mississauga Steelheads. Nothing like a flurry of offence to help you get off them.

Trailing 2-1 and facing the possibility of heading to Mississauga down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series, the Colts fired four-straight goals en route to a 5-3 win at the Barrie Molson Centre. The third-period rally helped Barrie avoid dropping the opening two games at home and evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1 heading into game three, March 27, at the Hershey Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Leading the third-period comeback for Barrie was the top line of Aaron Luchuk, Lucas Chiodo and Dmitry Sokolov, who combined for four goals and 10 points.

Luchuk, who finished the night with a goal and three assists, drew the Colts even at 5:45 of the period. He finished off a pretty three-way passing play between the trio when he spun around in the slot and beat Steelheads goaltender Jacob Ingham. Less than four minutes later, Sokolov put the Colts ahead for good when he hammered a one-time feed from Luchuk past Ingham inside the faceoff circle.

Chiodo, who finished the night with two goals and an assist, made it 4-2 less than two minutes later when he tapped home a loose puck in the crease. Zach Magwood’s empty-net goal made it a three-goal Barrie lead, before Adam Varga scored late for Mississauga. Keean Washkurak and Ryan McLeod also scored for the Steelheads, who had won four straight games against their Central Division rivals.

After giving up six goals in the opener, Leo Lazarev was outstanding in goal for Barrie. The overage player made several highlight-reel saves in helping his team stay within a goal. In all, made 38 saves, including 18 in the third period. Ingham finished the night with 22 saves.

ICE CHIPS: After giving up two power-play goals in the series opener, the Colts penalty kill held Mississauga off the board on four chances in game two. . . After finishing a combined minus-four in game one, the defensive duo of Joey Keane and TJ Fergus were a combined plus-six. . . Barrie’s win guarantees winger Andrei Svechnikov and Mississauga’s Mathieu Foget, both serving four-game suspensions, will get to suit up for game five back in Barrie on March 31.

Photo: Lucas Chiodo scored twice and added an assist to help lead the Barrie Colts to a 5-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads at the Barrie Molson Centre. The win evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series at 1-1. Game three goes March 27 at the Hershey Centre.