Cameron hat trick buries the Majors

ROGER LAJOIE, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA -- Make no mistake about it, the Barrie Colts are gunning for an Ontario Hockey League championship.

Picking up Team Canada stalwart Alex Pietrangelo and several other veterans at the trade deadline served as warning to the rest of the league that the Colts mean business this year -- as if their 22-game winning streak earlier in the season didn't already do that.

But also make no mistake that the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors are not going to lie down and let the Colts walk away with the title either, even though they made no moves at the OHL's trade deadline.

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference -- by far -- hooked up at the Hershey Centre last night with both coaches fully expecting they may very well meet later down the OHL playoff road.

Bryan Cameron scored three goals and Mavric Parks stopped 23 shots to lead the Colts to an impressive 4-0 win over the Majors, increasing their lead over Mississauga to 10 points in the Eastern Conference.

Alexander Burmistrov scored the other goal for the Colts, who outshot the Majors 23-21, and dominated for most of the night.

Chris Carrozzi was yanked after the third goal and replaced by J.P. Anderson, but even that didn't work as Cameron scored on the first shot Anderson faced.

The game had all the flavour of a playoff showdown, even though there are still 20 games left in the regular season.

"There's no doubt that both teams see these games as a test against each other," Barrie general manager/coach Marty Williamson said. "We really cherish these games as a way to see how we measure up."

His Mississauga counterpart Dave Cameron agrees.

"Every good team we play now is a measuring stick if you aspire to be the best like we do," Cameron said. "If I had my way we'd play a great team every game because that's the only way you get better."

Both coaches also agree that the East is more than a two-team race, but it's hard to not look ahead at a potential Barrie-Mississauga matchup in the conference final. The teams are far ahead of the rest of the pack, with the Majors still trailing the Colts but 16 points ahead of any other team in the East.

The Colts still enjoy a comfortable lead in the Central Division on the Majors, and since the conference seedings are done by division winners first, Barrie likely will be No. 1 and Mississauga No. 3 once the playoffs roll around.


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