OWEN SOUND, Ont. — Ethan Szypula scored two goals, including an empty-netter, and added an assist to lead the Owen Sound Attack to a 5-2 victory Saturday over the North Bay Battalion, keeping the Attack unbeaten in Ontario Hockey League preseason action.
Alan Lyszczarczyk and Chase Campbell each had one goal and one assist and Aidan Dudas the other goal for Owen Sound. Starting goaltender Zack Bowman allowed one goal on 16 shots over the first two periods before being relieved by Mack Guzda, who surrendered a goal on the only shot he faced in the third.
Daniel Walker and Kyle Potts scored for the Battalion, which got 28 saves from goaltender Julian Sime.
The Battalion, which has a won-lost-extended record of 3-1-1, completes its exhibition schedule at home at 2 p.m. Sunday against Owen Sound, 4-0-0.
Defenceman Riley Bruce and forward Jacob Ball of the Battalion saw their first action after recovering from shoulder injuries suffered last season. In addition, rearguard Adam Thilander joined the Troops after attending a rookie tournament with the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes at Traverse City, Mich.
Szypula opened the scoring at 9:50 of the first period, seven seconds after Bruce went off for an unfathomable interference call. Szypula beat Sime to the glove side with a wrister off the left wing. Campbell struck at 18:16 when his shot from a sharp angle to Sime’s left found its way between the goaltender and the post.
The Troops, outshot 9-7, had good power-play chances in the 13th minute, but Bowman stopped a close-in chance for Alex Robert and Ball put the puck off the crossbar. Bowman turned aside Brandon Coe’s rush off the left wing in the seventh minute.
The teams combined for eight minor penalties and had four power plays a side in the second period, but only the Battalion capitalized, scoring on a two-man advantage at 14:45 when Walker redirected a Thilander drive over Bowman’s left shoulder. Eric Allair also assisted on Walker’s second goal of the preseason.
Bowman denied Luke Moncada, who was assessed four minors, on a breakaway out of the penalty box in the second minute. Bowman also made stops against Bruce and Brad Chenier and was sharp on Potts’s chance in the deep slot in the last minute.
Sime faced 12 shots, his biggest stop coming with the Troops shorthanded in the 11th minute when he slid across the crease to get his glove on Dudas’s drive from the right-wing circle. Sime also faced solid chances for Szypula, Maksim Sushko, Matthew Struthers and Sean Durzi, who had two assists.
Potts tied it at 8:10 of the third period. Cole Cameron fell while chasing the puck into Attack territory, permitting Potts to race unimpeded down the right wing to the goalmouth, where he snapped the puck past Guzda’s blocker.
Lyszczarczyk replied with the winning goal 12 seconds later, cutting to the net off the left wing and slipping the puck between Sime’s pads, and Dudas gave Owen Sound a 4-2 lead 45 seconds after that, finishing a three-way passing play at the left post.
Szypula completed the scoring at 18:24 with Sime on the bench for a sixth skater.
BATTALION BULLETS: Opening lines included Potts centring left winger Daniil Vertiy and right winger Coe, Luke Burghardt centring left winger Chenier and right winger Andy Baker and Ball centring left winger Moncada and Kurtis Evans on right wing. Patrick Brown pivoted left winger Walker and right winger Robert … Defence pairings were Simon Rose with Bruce, Allair with Thilander and Jesse Saban alongside Payton Vescio … The Battalion was without Cam Dineen, Travis Mailhot, Rhys Forhan, Brett McKenzie, Justin Brazeau, Brady Lyle and Adam McMaster … Dineen, McKenzie, Brazeau and Lyle are at NHL main camps, while Mailhot is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks with a slight shoulder separation suffered in a 4-3 victory via shootout Wednesday night over the host Sudbury Wolves. Forhan, who missed the Sudbury game with flu, practised Friday and was rested … Mat Woroniuk backed up Sime … With captain Bruce dressed, Saban and Potts were the alternates … Assistants Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the Battalion bench while head coach Stan Butler observed from the stands … Jacob Friend, Jonah Gadjovich and Nick Suzuki were among those missing for Owen Sound, which dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit.