Troops goalie stops Colts

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

BRAMPTON -- Daren Machesney has not been getting as much recognition as some of his prolific teammates but there's no doubt the Brampton Battalion would not be having success in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs without him.

Machesney put in a solid performance last night, making 24 saves as the Battalion beat the Barrie Colts 4-1 at the Powerade Centre to take Game 1 of a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final.

"Your job as a goaltender is to make a big save here and there to give a momentum booster for the whole team," said Machesney, who recently signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Washington Capitals. "But my defence made things a lot easier, keeping a lot of shots from the perimeter."

When the Colts did penetrate, Machesney, the OHL goaltender of the month for March, was excellent.

He made a sharp toe save on Travis Fuller in the first period and then thwarted 2006 NHL draft prospect Bryan Little, who otherwise was invisible, from the slot in the third.

Luch Aquino, who ran his points streak to 24 games, had two goals and an assist for Brampton. Wojtek Wolski had an assist and has points in 25 consecutive games. Michal Klejna and Howie Martin also scored for Brampton.

David Pszenyczny had given Barrie a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal late in the first period.

Brampton was full marks for the win before a small crowd of 2,107. It outworked the visitors in all facets of the game, something which ground the gears of Colts coach Marty Williamson.

"That's about as bad as I have seen us play all year," Williamson said. "Credit to them, they played awfully well. If we had lost a heartbreaker, it would have been tougher. We played terrible, I thought. We allowed them to dictate the game and we have to be more abrasive."

Since entering the OHL in 1998-99, the Battalion has not advanced past the second round of the playoffs and has lost all three semi-final appearances in five games.

With three first-round wins in Belleville, the Battalion has won 11 in a row on the road. The Colts should be improved in Game 2 tonight in Barrie and Machesney can't let up.

"There's so much to talk about with Daren," Aquino said. "This year he has been outstanding for us. When he is focused, he is unbeatable."

The OHL, meanwhile, yesterday approved Howard Campbell as the new Colts majority owner.


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