‘Dogs down Battalion 6-1
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Johnny Corneil scored one goal and added two assists to pace the Niagara IceDogs to a 6-1 victory Friday night over the North Bay Battalion, extending the Troops’ Ontario Hockey League losing streak to six games.
Philip Tomasino and Oliver Castleman each had one goal and one assist and Kyle Langdon, Kirill Maksimov and Ben Jones also scored for the IceDogs, who got 23 saves from goaltender Stephen Dhillon before 5,033 at the Meridian Centre on Military Appreciation Night.
Niagara, which lost 4-2 Thursday night to the visiting Kingston Frontenacs, improved its won-lost-extended record to 9-7-4 for 22 points, second in the Central Division.
Justin Brazeau scored for the Battalion, 6-13-3 for 15 points, fifth in the division. Starting goaltender Christian Purboo allowed all six goals on 21 shots before giving way to Julian Sime, who made five saves the rest of the way for the Troops, who last won Nov. 3, defeating the host Flint Firebirds 5-1.
The teams were skating four-on-four when Langdon opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period, redirecting Joshua Dame’s drive from the left point.
The Battalion struck on the power play at 19:31 as Luke Burghardt’s shot from the right-wing circle glanced off Johnathon Schaefer’s leg and landed on the stick of Brazeau, alone at the left post. Cam Dineen also assisted on Brazeau’s team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Both sides had chances throughout the frame. Brett McKenzie hammered the puck off the right post, while Dhillon fought off chances for Burghardt, Luke Moncada and Adam Thilander. Rookie Purboo, who made his fifth start, turned away Tomasino, Castleman and Maksimov.
Niagara took control of the game with three second-period goals, starting with Tomasino’s at 10:14. Seconds after failing to convert a Liam Ham pass, Tomasino found himself in front of the net to tip home Matthew Phillip’s blast from the left point.
A heavily screened Purboo had no chance on Niagara’s third goal, at 13:00, when Maksimov cruised through the slot and deflected Zach Shankar’s right-point drive, and Castleman drove to the net to convert a Tomasino rebound at 19:09.
The Troops, credited with six shots, had their best chance on the power play in the 18th minute when Brazeau hit the post in close, while Dhillon sprawled to get his stick on Adam McMaster’s attempt at the rebound. McMaster put the puck off the right post in the 11th minute, and Dhillon snared a Burghardt shot off a three-on-one rush at 15:50.
Jones capitalized on a turnover deep in Battalion territory, beating Purboo with a backhander between the legs 36 seconds into the third period. Jones and Maksimov lead the IceDogs with 11 goals apiece.
Corneil ended Purboo’s night at 6:08, wheeling out of the right-wing corner and stuffing the puck under the goaltender.
The Battalion outshot the hosts 12-8 in the period, with McKenzie testing Dhillon several times.
The Battalion visits the Sudbury Wolves at 2 p.m. Sunday. The game can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: The game opened a stretch in which the Battalion is to play five of seven games on the road, where the Troops are 2-9-0. By the end of the run, North Bay will have played 11 of 15 games away from Memorial Gardens, with nine road dates against Western Conference teams … Burghardt has a six-game points streak in which he has two goals and five assists for seven points … Dineen has a five-game assists streak during which he has five assists … McKenzie saw the end of a four-game scoring streak … The Battalion went 1-for-2 on the power play. Niagara was 0-for-3 … Opening lines featured Burghardt centring left winger Brad Chenier and right winger Brazeau, McKenzie centring McMaster on left wing and right winger Andy Baker and Kyle Potts pivoting left winger Moncada and right winger Brandon Coe. Patrick Brown centred Alex Robert on left wing and Kurtis Evans on right wing … The Battalion was without Eric Allair, Travis Mailhot, Rhys Forhan, Daniel Walker and Christian Propp … Niagara acquired right winger Adrian Carbonara from the London Knights on Friday for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Overager Carbonara was a 10th-round selection by the Barrie Colts in 2013 … Maksimov has three goals and two assists for five points in the last three games … The referees were Darcy Burchell and Ryan Hutchison.