Generals blank Battalion

OSHAWA, Ont. — Goaltender Kyle Keyser made 38 saves for his first Ontario Hockey League shutout as the Oshawa Generals defeated the North Bay Battalion 5-0 in a New Year’s Day matinee Monday.

Nick Wong scored two goals, Jack Studnicka contributed one goal and two assists, Serron Noel had one goal and one assist and Domenico Commisso also scored in the opener of a home-and-home series.

The victory before 5,348 at the Tribute Communities Centre improved Oshawa’s won-lost-extended record to 18-17-2 for 38 points, third in the East Division. The Generals have won their last five games since a 3-1 setback Dec. 10 to the visiting Saginaw Spirit.

Starting goaltender Christian Propp allowed all five goals on 32 shots before giving way to Julian Sime, who faced three shots for North Bay. The Battalion is 13-19-5 for 31 points, third in the Central Division.

With the teams skating four a side, Studnicka opened the scoring 18 seconds into the second period, stepping to the net off the right wing and slipping the puck between Propp’s pads.

Commisso connected at 17:25, knocking the rebound of a Kyle MacLean shot past a prone Propp from the lip of the crease.

The Generals outshot the Battalion 20-14 in the period, but the Troops enjoyed several good chances, with Keyser denying opportunities for Adam McMaster, Alex Robert, Kurtis Evans, Justin Brazeau, Andy Baker, Brad Chenier and penalty killer Brett McKenzie.

Propp, who made successive close-in saves in the eighth minute on Studnicka, Noel and Matt Brassard, thwarted a three-on-one rush in the 14th.

The Generals erupted for three goals in a span of 3:33 in the third period, sparked by Noel, who struck on the power play at 3:42, racing off the left wing to bury the rebound of a Brassard drive. Noel’s 16th goal of the season tied Kenny Huether for the team lead.

Wong, who rang the puck off the left post earlier in the frame, scored at 5:26 when he was left alone in the slot. Wong then prompted Propp’s exit at 7:15, converting on the power play by steering home a Huether feed for a 12th goal.

The Troops held a 14-10 edge in shots, with most of their chances coming on two full-length power plays in the second half of the frame. MacLean was assessed a double minor for spearing at 19:56.

The first period saw the Battalion forge a 10-5 edge in shots. Adam Thilander had two excellent scoring chances for the Troops, driving to the net off the left wing in the 15th minute and testing Keyser with a blast from the blue line in the final seconds. Luke Burghardt shot wide of the left post in close off a setup by Baker in the last minute.

The game was delayed for several minutes at 6:44 after Oshawa’s Danil Antropov appeared to suffer a cut to his right leg when he crashed into the Battalion end boards. Antropov left the ice on a stretcher after receiving attention from paramedics and the Generals’ training staff.

Oshawa visits North Bay at 7 p.m. Thursday.

BATTALION BULLETS: With the calendar having flipped to January, the Battalion wore white-based sweaters and socks on the road and now will wear green-based uniforms at home … Oshawa was the last opponent North Bay faced for the first time this season … The Battalion has a record of 2-3-3 in eight all-time games, all on the road, on Jan. 1. The Troops have played Oshawa in their last three New Year’s Day games after having twice previously met the Belleville Bulls, with single games against the Owen Sound Attack, Kingston Frontenacs and Peterborough Petes … The Battalion went 0-for-4 on the power play. Oshawa was 2-for-3 … Opening lines featured McKenzie centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, McMaster pivoting left winger Chenier and right winger Baker and Kyle Potts centring left winger Luke Moncada and right winger Brandon Coe. Patrick Brown centred Robert on left wing and Evans on right wing … The Battalion was without Eric Allair, Simon Rose, Rhys Forhan and Daniel Walker … Keyser, an 18-year-old resident of Coral Springs, Fla., in his third OHL season, is in his second campaign with Oshawa after being a fourth-round pick by the Flint Firebirds in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection … Studnicka has a five-game assists streak during which he has 10 assists as well as one goal … The referees were Patrick Battista and Jason Goldenberg.

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