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Battalion wraps up exhibition schedule

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Igor Chibrikov scored at 18:49 of the third period to give the Owen Sound Attack a 6-5 victory over the North Bay Battalion on Sunday, the last day of Ontario Hockey League preseason play.

Sean Durzi and Ethan Szypula each had one goal and two assists, Matthew Struthers provided one goal and one assist and Alan Lyszczarczyk and Maksim Sushko one goal apiece for Owen Sound, which posted a won-lost-extended record of 5-0-0 in exhibition action. Goaltender Zack Bowman faced 25 shots.

Luke Burghardt scored two goals and added an assist for the Battalion, which got one goal and one assist from each of Payton Vescio and Adam Thilander and its other goal from Daniel Walker. Starting goaltender Mat Woroniuk gave up three goals on 24 shots before Julian Sime took over for the third period. He surrendered three goals on 16 shots.

The Battalion, which went 3-2-1 in exhibition play, including a 5-2 loss Saturday at Owen Sound, opens the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday against the visiting Barrie Colts.

Defenceman Chibrikov, who also had an assist, broke a 5-5 tie when he wired the puck past Sime from high on the left wing.

The Battalion carried a 4-3 lead into the third period, but Lyszczarczyk tied it at 1:16, tipping home a right-point slap shot by Cole Cameron.

Burghardt struck at 11:12, pumping the rebound of a Vescio shot behind Bowman, but Sushko responded 39 seconds later, converting a two-on-one rush with Szypula. It was the third time in the game that Owen Sound scored within 46 seconds of the Troops connecting.

Defenceman Durzi opened the scoring at 8:11 of the first period late in a power play that followed a head-checking major and game misconduct issued to Eric Allair for a hit on Aidan Dudas, who had two assists. Walker tied it at 17:56, deflecting a right-point shot by Thilander.

Rearguard Vescio gave North Bay a 2-1 lead on a power play 49 seconds into the middle period before Szypula replied at 1:29, jamming home a rebound from the right edge of the crease.

Defenceman Thilander scored at 13:23, steering the puck across the goal line off a three-man rush with Kurtis Evans and Burghardt, but Struthers struck at 14:09, getting open on the left side with Woroniuk down and helpless.

Burghardt ripped home a pass from behind the net from Brad Chenier, who earned his second assist, at 17:13 after the Troops forechecked effectively.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion played on home ice for the first time in the preseason … Opening lines featured Adam McMaster centring left winger Luke Moncada and right winger Brandon Coe, Burghardt centring left winger Chenier and Evans on right wing and Patrick Brown pivoting left winger Walker and right winger Alex Robert. Rhys Forhan centred left winger Jacob Ball and right winger Andy Baker … Defence pairings saw Simon Rose with Riley Bruce, Jesse Saban with Thilander and Allair with Vescio … The Battalion was without Cam Dineen, Travis Mailhot, Brett McKenzie, Kyle Potts, Justin Brazeau, Brady Lyle and Daniil Vertiy … Captain Bruce had Saban and Thilander, who turns 19 on Monday, as alternates … Assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the Battalion bench with head coach Stan Butler observing from owner Scott Abbott’s box … Trenton Bourque and Nick Suzuki were among those missing for Owen Sound, which dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit … Each team went 1-for-2 on the power play … Burghardt had four goals and one assist for five points and Chenier one goal and four assists for five points, each in five games, to lead Battalion exhibition scorers. Walker had three goals and one assist for four points in five games. Brazeau also had three goals, in three games.

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