Kingston outscores Troops
KINGSTON, Ont. — Brett Neumann scored three goals and added two assists to power the Kingston Frontenacs to a 7-6 victory over the North Bay Battalion in a wild Ontario Hockey League game Friday night.
Matt Hotchkiss and Billy Constantinou each had one goal and two assists, and Lucas Rowe and Paul Larabie, into an empty net, also scored for Kingston, which has a won-lost-extended record of 8-19-1 for 17 points, fifth in the East Division. Goaltender Ryan Dugas made 30 saves for the Frontenacs, who ended a three-game losing skid.
Mason Primeau produced three goals and one assist, Justin Brazeau had two goals and Nick King scored one goal and added two assists for North Bay, which lost a third straight game and is 11-14-2 for 24 points, fifth in the Central Division. The Troops dropped the opener of a three-game road trip Thursday night by a 4-1 score to the Peterborough Petes.
Starting goaltender Christian Propp allowed three goals on 16 shots before being relieved by Christian Purboo, who surrendered three goals on 20 shots before a crowd of 3,156.
In the teams’ first meeting Oct. 21, when the Battalion posted an 8-3 home-ice win, Brazeau scored three goals and added four assists, tying the franchise record for points in a game set Jan. 22, 2006, by Wojtek Wolski in a 9-4 victory over the Erie Otters at Brampton. With 25 goals and 24 assists for 49 points in 27 games, Brazeau is second in the OHL scoring race, one point behind Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs.
Hotchkiss opened the scoring at 1:54 of the first period on a long-range wrister, and Primeau replied at 10:51. Dugas failed to corral Pacey Schlueting’s left-point shot and the puck landed in the crease, where Primeau poked it home. Schlueting earned his first career point, while Cole Cameron also was credited with an assist.
The team combined for six goals in the second period, starting with Neumann’s first of three in the frame. Seconds after Dugas stoned Matthew Struthers as he attacked off the left wing, Neumann struck on the power play at 2:30, whipping a Hotchkiss pass between Propp’s pads from the edge of the left-wing circle.
Rowe made it 3-1 at 3:50 to end Propp’s night, driving to the net and redirecting the puck past the goaltender’s glove, before Brazeau responded at 4:37, tipping home Braden Henderson’s left-point shot. Struthers had the second assist.
Neumann restored Kingston’s two-goal lead at 9:02, banking a shot from the right corner off defender Simon Rose, and the Battalion replied on the power play at 10:55 as defenceman King’s drive from the high slot went off a defender into the net. Struthers and Primeau assisted.
Neumann collected his 18th goal of the season at 13:40, snapping a Ryan Cranford pass over Purboo’s glove from the slot, and defenceman Constantinou charged to the net to wedge a shot inside the left post on the power play at 5:56 of the third period, giving Kingston a 6-3 lead.
Primeau scored shorthanded at 8:42, chipping the rebound of a Brad Chenier shot over the prone Dugas, and Brazeau pulled the Troops within 6-5 at 15:44, taking a breakaway pass from King and steering a backhander between Dugas’s legs.
Purboo left for a sixth skater with 1:20 to play and, seconds after Brazeau drilled the puck off the right post, Larabie hit the empty net at 19:13 with what became the winning goal.
Primeau connected at 19:47, converting the rebound of a Rose shot off the end boards. King had the second assist on Primeau’s eighth goal of the campaign and his fifth since a Nov. 15 trade from the Guelph Storm.
The Battalion faces the Ottawa 67’s 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 Frontenacs’ home arena has been the Leon’s Centre since July 1. It had been known as the Rogers K-Rock Centre since 2013 … The Battalion’s last visit to Kingston saw Gabriel Vilardi score at 14:05 of the third overtime period March 31 to give the Frontenacs a 6-5 win in the third-longest game in OHL history and a five-game victory over North Bay in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal … Brazeau has 92 goals, tied with Mike Amadio for seventh place on the franchise’s career list … The Battalion’s league-leading power play went 1-for-2. Kingston was 2-for-5 … Opening lines saw Struthers centring Adam McMaster on left wing and right winger Brazeau, Primeau centring left winger Chenier and right winger Brandon Coe and Luke Moncada pivoting left winger Daniel Walker and right winger Kurtis Evans. Centre Patrick Brown and left winger Kyle Jackson had various linemates … The Battalion, which dressed seven defencemen, was without Travis Mailhot, Rhys Forhan, David Maier, Harrison Caines and Cameron Peters … Walker returned from a five-game suspension after receiving a match penalty for an attempt to injure in a 7-1 home-ice loss Nov. 16 to the Sudbury Wolves. Walker drew an instigating minor for a third-period fight with Hotchkiss … Coe turns 17 on Saturday … The Troops overnighted at Kingston after the Peterborough game … The Battalion went 3-7-2 in November.