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Battalion garners point in loss

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Roy Radke scored three goals, capped by the shorthanded winner at 3:16 of overtime, as the Barrie Colts held off the North Bay Battalion 4-3 in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night.

Anthony Stefano also scored and goaltender Christian Propp made 27 saves for Barrie, which led 3-0 halfway through the second period. The Colts have a won-lost-extended record of 16-37-7 for 39 points, last in the Central Division, Eastern Conference and league. Barrie, which dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit, had lost four straight games since a 6-1 home-ice victory Feb. 18 over North Bay.

Brady Lyle had one goal and one assist, and Justin Brazeau and Max Kislinger also scored for the Battalion, which garnered a point in its battle for a playoff berth. Goaltender Brent Moran faced 30 shots before 2,623 at Memorial Gardens.

North Bay is 22-33-5 for 49 points, fourth in the division and ninth in the conference, one point behind the Ottawa 67’s and Niagara IceDogs, who are tied for seventh place. Niagara lost 4-1 to the visiting Kitchener Rangers. Ottawa has nine games left on the schedule, while the Battalion and IceDogs have eight apiece.

“You have to win your games, and we came out tonight and we laid an egg,” Battalion coach Stan Butler said of the injury-plagued Troops’ effort in their quest for a top-eight conference finish and a playoff spot.

“We were pretty lucky in the third period to get a goal to tie it up, and they hand us two power plays in overtime and we give up a shorthanded goal. I give Barrie a lot of credit; they played hard and they took advantage of us. We just sucked.”

Barrie, leading 3-2 through 40 minutes, saw Lyle tie it at 7:47 of the third period when he beat a screened Propp between the legs from above the right-wing circle with the teams skating four a side. Adam Thilander and Brett McKenzie assisted on defenceman Lyle’s fourth goal of the season.

The teams traded chances through the rest of regulation time, and Propp made good saves on Lyle and Zach Shankar in overtime with the Colts shorthanded after Ben Hawerchuk went off for hooking. Robert Proner was cited for delay of game at 2:20, giving the Troops a two-man advantage for 14 seconds.

After the Colts, one man down, thwarted a Battalion offensive, Radke collected a loose puck, dashed down the left wing, cut to the net around defender Mark Shoemaker and, cruising across the goalmouth, lofted the disc over Moran’s outstretched glove for a team-leading 21st goal.

Radke opened the scoring at 12:08 of the first period when he put a wrister from the left circle off Moran’s glove and, seconds after Moran denied Radke’s right-wing rush to the net, he tipped home Proner’s shot from the top of the left circle at 18:55.

Each team recorded nine shots in the frame. Propp denied Brazeau, Kislinger, Lyle, McKenzie and Thilander. At the other end, Shoemaker hustled back to disrupt Lucas Chiodo’s breakaway attempt in the ninth minute.

Referee Scott Oakman awarded Steve Harland a penalty shot at 4:24 of the second period after he was impeded by Joey Keane while trying to break in on Propp. The goaltender foiled Harland’s free shot, kicking away the attempt with the left pad. The Battalion last scored on a penalty shot on Jan. 16, 2016, when Daniil Vertiy beat goaltender David Ovsjannikov at Barrie.

Stefano struck at 10:55 when he found himself alone in front of Moran after a questionable change and banked the puck off the goaltender’s stick into the net, but the Battalion got back into the game with two goals in a span of 1:10.

Brazeau connected at 12:48, deflecting Lyle’s shot from the left point past a screened Propp. Kyle Potts also earned an assist on Brazeau’s 21st goal before Kislinger charged into Barrie territory and beat Propp to the glove side from the left circle. Kislinger’s fifth goal was assisted by Harland and Thilander.

The Battalion visits the Mississauga Steelheads at 7 p.m. Friday. The game can be seen live on CogecoTV Channel 12 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion is 3-1-1 against Barrie … McKenzie played a 256th game, tying Dylan Blujus for eighth place on the franchise list. McKenzie, with 77 goals and 93 assists for 170 points, eclipsed Sam Carrick for sole possession of 11th place on the franchise scoring list … Potts has two goals and two assists for four points in the last four games … The Battalion went 0-for-5 on the power play. Barrie was 0-for-2 … Opening lines featured McKenzie centring left winger Kislinger and right winger Harland, Potts centring Adam McMaster on left wing and right winger Brazeau and Brett Hargrave pivoting left winger Brad Chenier and right winger Zach Poirier. Rhys Forhan centred left winger Daniel Walker and right winger Alex Robert … The Battalion scratched Vertiy, Eric Allair, Cam Dineen, Riley Bruce, Jacob Ball and Mat Woroniuk … Robert was recalled from the Gloucester Rangers of the Central Canada Hockey League … Eric Nagy was up from the affiliated Powassan Voodoos of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Defenceman Nagy played a 10th OHL game, the maximum permitted as an affiliate player … Barrie was without centre Kyle Heitzner, suspended 12 games for a blindsiding major in a 7-3 loss Saturday night to the visiting Erie Otters, and right winger Aidan Brown, suspended four games for a head-checking major in the same game … Brent Coulombe was the other referee.

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