Generals outlast troubled Troops
OSHAWA, Ont. — Renars Krastenbergs and Mason Kohn each scored one goal and added two assists to pace the Oshawa Generals to a 7-4 victory Sunday night over the North Bay Battalion, handing the undermanned Troops a fifth straight Ontario Hockey League loss.
Jack Studnicka and Domenic Commisso each had one goal and one assist, and Kenny Huether, Riley Stillman and Grayden Gottschalk also scored for Oshawa, which moved its won-lost-extended record to 32-16-5 for 69 points, tying the Peterborough Petes for first place in the East Division.
Goaltender Jeremy Brodeur made 33 saves before 5,331 at the Tribute Communities Centre.
Justin Brazeau scored two goals and both Alex Robert and Andy Baker netted his first OHL goal for North Bay, 19-30-4 for 42 points, fourth in the Central Division. The Battalion is three points behind the Ottawa 67’s, who lost 7-5 to the visiting Sudbury Wolves but hold the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Starting goaltender Brent Moran allowed five goals on 19 shots before being relieved by Mat Woroniuk, who gave up two goals on 12 shots as the Battalion completed a two-game road trip.
North Bay, with seven players sidelined with injuries or illness, was without forward Zach Poirier, who received a two-game suspension after drawing a boarding major and game misconduct for a check on Danial Singer of the Niagara IceDogs in a 4-0 loss Saturday night at St. Catharines.
Studnicka opened the scoring on the power play at 5:21 of the first period. Commisso’s drive from the slot was blocked, and the puck slid to Studnicka, who fired it home from deep in the left-wing circle.
The Troops put pressure on Brodeur in the ninth minute. Zach Shankar’s left-point shot precipitated a scramble in the crease, with Brett McKenzie, Steve Harland and Daniel Walker digging for the disc around a prone Brodeur.
The work in Oshawa territory paid off when Rhys Forhan stripped Medric Mercier of the puck on the end boards and fed a pass in front, where Robert, making his OHL debut, buried it at 9:53.
Huether put the Generals back in front at 14:36, driving to the net and converting a Krastenbergs pass, before Oshawa opened the second period with two goals in a span of 53 seconds.
Krastenbergs connected 42 seconds into the frame, batting the puck out of the air at the right post, before Commisso jumped on an Adam Thilander turnover deep in the Battalion zone and beat Moran with a backhander.
Baker slipped the puck between Brodeur’s pads from the goalmouth on the power play at 4:46 on assists by Adam McMaster and Shankar.
Moran’s night ended at 9:42 when Stillman’s shot from the top of the right circle hit the left post and caromed off the goaltender into the net, but Brazeau responded 25 seconds later, beating Brodeur from the slot as he was screened by Kyle Potts. Daniil Vertiy and Potts drew assists.
Penalty killers McKenzie and Brad Chenier forechecked ferociously in the 15th minute, testing Brodeur in close, before Brazeau cut the deficit to 5-4 on the power play at 18:01, converting a rebound from the slot. Thilander and Harland were credited with assists on Brazeau’s 17th goal of the season.
Oshawa put the game away with two goals 1:02 apart early in the third period. Kohn struck from the right circle at 4:36, putting a Mercier feed past Woroniuk, who made a game attempt to get across the crease, and Gottschalk beat the goaltender high to the glove side from a sharp angle on the left wing.
Shankar, McKenzie and Jesse Saban tested Brodeur over the second half of the period, and Woroniuk went to the bench at 16:15, but the Troops’ efforts with six skaters ended when Shankar was called for tripping at 17:17.
The Battalion plays host to Niagara at 7 p.m. Thursday.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion overnighted at Oshawa after the Niagara game … The Battalion is 10-13-2 on the road. Oshawa is 20-5-0 at home … The Troops went 1-3-0 against the Generals … North Bay was 2-for-4 on the power play. Oshawa went 1-for-4 … Baker broke a string of 19 scoreless Battalion power plays over five games … Walker fought Sean Allen to a draw in the third period … Opening line combinations featured McKenzie centring left winger Walker and right winger Harland, Potts pivoting left winger Vertiy and right winger Brazeau and McMaster centring left winger Chenier and right winger Baker. Wingers Forhan and Robert had various linemates … In addition to Poirier, the Battalion, which dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit, was without Julian Sime, Eric Allair, Cam Dineen, Riley Bruce, Brett Hargrave, Jacob Ball and Max Kislinger … Robert was a 10th-round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection from the Cumberland Grads midgets. In 23 games with the Gloucester Rangers of the Central Canada Hockey League, the 17-year-old Ottawa resident has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points … Defenceman Eric Nagy played a ninth game and Baker a sixth. Both were up from the junior A Powassan Voodoos … Studnicka has a five-game points streak in which he has two goals and five assists for seven points. In four games against the Battalion, he had four goals and three assists for seven points.