Battalion blanks Windsor 4-0

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Justin Brazeau scored two goals and goaltenders Christian Propp and Julian Sime shared the shutout as the North Bay Battalion defeated the Windsor Spitfires 4-0 in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night.

Newcomer Nick King provided one goal and one assist and Andy Baker also scored for the Battalion, which saw the newly acquired Propp leave the game 5:31 into the first period with a lower-body injury.

Sime relieved Propp — who made three saves and got the win because of a first-minute goal by Brazeau — and produced 21 saves to give North Bay a won-lost-extended record of 5-6-2 for 12 points, third in the Central Division.

The Battalion, which earned a second consecutive victory in its last home game until Nov. 12, acquired Propp and King on Sunday and Monday respectively in trades with the Owen Sound Attack.

Goaltender Michael DiPietro faced 25 shots for the Spitfires, reigning Memorial Cup champions, who are 7-5-1 for 15 points, third in the West Division, before 2,233 at Memorial Gardens.

“I thought our effort was really good and I really liked our third period,” said coach Stan Butler, whose Troops ended an eight-game losing streak with an 8-2 triumph Sunday over the visiting Kingston Frontenacs. “I thought we played a full 60 minutes, which is something that we’ve really struggled to do, and it was nice to see the boys put that together tonight.”

The Battalion carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission before Brazeau struck shorthanded at 3:20 of the second period. The forechecking Brazeau stole the puck in the left-wing circle, stepped to the goalmouth and put the rubber between DiPietro’s legs. The unassisted tally was Brazeau’s team-leading eighth of the season.

King scored his first OHL goal on a blast from above the left circle at 13:58. Kyle Potts won a faceoff and got the puck back to defenceman King, whose shot sailed high into the net off DiPietro’s left shoulder.

Referee Stacy Jackson went to video review on a would-be Windsor goal at 12:34, declaring the goal good and outraging the crowd, which had seen the puck clearly escape the Battalion zone despite the efforts of Thomas Stevenson at the blue line. But the initial review studied the previous entry to the zone, not the puck slipping out of it, and Jackson was called back to the phone, ultimately signalling that there was no goal.

Baker scored on the power play at 14:34 of the third period, taking a pass from King and moving across the goalmouth in front of traffic to put the puck home from the right side. Riley Bruce had the other assist.

Brazeau connected 24 seconds into the first period when he converted a pass from Luke Burghardt, who drove off the right wing, failed to get a clean shot with Austin McEneny defending and went behind the net to feed the puck in front to Brazeau.

Sime made a solid left-pad save on Logan Brown with Windsor on the power play during the first of questionable back-to-back penalties to Bruce, the first a tripping call and the second for interference, just past the midway mark of the period. Potts fed Brazeau on a two-on-one rush in the second shorthanded situation, but the chance was foiled.

The Troops had a two-man advantage for 38 seconds late in the frame but failed to apply serious pressure. The second minor was a checking-from-behind penalty to Connor Corcoran for a dangerous hit on Brad Chenier that could well have called for more.

The Battalion visits Owen Sound at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the first of six consecutive road dates. The game can be seen live on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.

BATTALION BULLETS: Propp, an 18-year-old resident of Milton, Ont., was a fifth-round pick by the Barrie Colts in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the Halton Hurricanes minor midgets … King, also 18, was taken by Owen Sound in the 10th round in 2015 from his hometown Waterloo Wolves minors midgets. He played his 41st OHL game … In the aftermath of the two trades with Owen Sound, the waiving of Mat Woroniuk and the return of fellow goaltender Christian Purboo to the junior A ranks, the Battalion has 24 on the roster, numbering 14 forwards, eight defencemen and two goalies … The Battalion went 1-for-7 on the power play. Windsor was 0-for-4 … Opening lines saw Brett McKenzie centring Adam McMaster on left wing and right winger Brandon Coe, Burghardt centring left winger Chenier and right winger Brazeau and Potts centring left winger Luke Moncada and right winger Patrick Brown. Rhys Forhan pivoted left winger Daniel Walker and right winger Baker … The Battalion scratched Eric Allair, Travis Mailhot, Kurtis Evans and Alex Robert … Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that Coe has been assigned to Canada Red, one of three Canadian entries in the eight-team Under-17 Hockey Challenge to be played Nov. 5-11 at Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. … Windsor’s Brown returned Wednesday from the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators … The other referee was Mike Cairns.

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