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Barrie turns back Battalion 3-1

BARRIE, Ont. — Andrei Svechnikov scored three goals, including a shorthanded empty-netter, as the Barrie Colts defeated the North Bay Battalion 3-1 in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night.

Goaltender Leo Lazarev made 34 saves for Barrie, which avenged a 5-2 loss at North Bay on Sept. 22 and moved its won-lost-extended record to 4-1-1 for nine points atop the Central Division.

Brady Lyle scored for the Battalion, 3-1-1 for seven points, second in the division. Starting goaltender Julian Sime gave up two goals on eight shots before being relieved by Mat Woroniuk, who faced 17 shots before a Barrie Molson Centre crowd of 2,682.

Brett McKenzie made his season debut with the Troops after joining the team Wednesday from the Utica Comets, the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Svechnikov opened the scoring 2:21 into the game when he fired the puck on a drive off the right wing and it was deposited in the net by a Battalion defender.

Svechnikov struck again at 12:22, putting the puck home on an innocent-looking shot from the right-wing faceoff dot and ending Sime’s time in the crease.

Barrie had all four power-play opportunities in the period, including a two-man advantage lasting 55 seconds, but Justin Brazeau proved dangerous as a penalty killer.

Defenceman Lyle scored at 2:25 of the second period, shoveling a backhander home from the slot through a traffic jam in the goalmouth.

After the Troops killed a fifth consecutive penalty, to Brad Chenier, they went on their first power play midway in the frame, with Brazeau and Adam Thilander posing strong threats to Lazarev.

Barrie’s Justin Murray took a hooking penalty at 4:21 of the third period, and the Battalion again threatened as McKenzie, Brazeau, Thilander, Luke Burghardt and Cam Dineen applied solid pressure but were unable to net the equalizer.

The Troops’ final efforts came after Murray was assessed a major and game misconduct for a head check at 17:30. Woroniuk left for a sixth skater with 1:04 left to play before Svechnikov collected his sixth goal of the season into the vacant net at 19:45.

The Battalion plays host to the Peterborough Petes at 2 p.m. Monday in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game.

BATTALION BULLETS: The game marked the 100th regular-season meeting between the teams. The Battalion has an all-time won-lost-tied record of 41-57-2 against Barrie but hasn’t had a losing season against the Colts since 2009-10 … Burghardt, who joined Adam McMaster in assisting on the North Bay goal, has at least one point in all five games this season since being acquired with Luke Moncada in a trade from the Guelph Storm on June 27 … The Battalion went 0-for-5 on the power play. Barrie was 0-for-9 … Woroniuk has relieved Sime twice this season …  Opening lines featured Burghardt centring McKenzie on left wing and right winger Brazeau, McMaster pivoting left winger Moncada and right winger Brandon Coe and Kyle Potts centring left winger Chenier and right winger Alex Robert. Jacob Ball centred left winger Daniel Walker and Rhys Forhan on right wing … Defence pairings saw Dineen with Riley Bruce, Jesse Saban with Thilander and Eric Allair alongside Lyle … The Battalion scratched Travis Mailhot, Simon Rose, Kurtis Evans, Patrick Brown, Andy Baker and Daniil Vertiy … Barrie forward Ben Hawerchuk, son of coach Dale Hawerchuk, served the first game of an eight-game suspension for actions in a 2-1 loss via shootout last Saturday night to the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs. Defenceman Tyler Tucker completed a six-game suspension … The referees were Jason Goldenberg and Ryan Harrison.

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