Coe delivers overtime win
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Brandon Coe scored at 2:17 of overtime to lift the North Bay Battalion to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the London Knights and end an Ontario Hockey League losing skid at three games.
Brad Chenier, Patrick Brown and Matthew Struthers also scored for North Bay, which has a won-lost-extended record of 22-21-3 for 47 points, tied with the Mississauga Steelheads, who downed the visiting Sarnia Sting 3-2, for third place in the Central Division. Coe added an assist and Theo Calvas provided two, while goaltender Christian Propp faced 40 shots before 2,459 at Memorial Gardens.
Liam Foudy, Evan Bouchard and William Lochead scored for London, 30-7-6 for 66 points atop the Midwest Division and Western Conference. Goaltender Joseph Raaymakers made 26 saves.
“I thought our goaltending was good, and we played a really skilled team and we didn’t give them too many opportunities,” said assistant coach Adam Dennis of the Battalion, which dressed only 16 skaters, two below the limit.
“We had a little bit of a blip in the second period today, but our guys came out and and we had a third period that gave us a chance to win the game.”
The Knights carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, but Struthers scored at 4:02 off a three-on-two rush, sliding to the left side of the slot after taking a pass from Luke Burghardt on the right wing to snap the puck under Raaymakers’s blocker. Calvas had the second assist on Struthers’s 21st goal of the season.
Both teams had excellent chances through the rest of the period. Raaymakers made two good stops on Justin Brazeau, while Propp slid to foil Kevin Hancock at the right post and denied Connor McMichael from the lip of the crease.
London had the best early chances in overtime as Foudy drilled the puck off the right post and Propp was forced to stop McMichael’s effort on a breakaway in the second minute.
Coe struck for the winner when he slipped open on the left side and swept a Calvas pass from the right boards past a sliding Raaymakers. Brazeau also assisted on Coe’s 10th goal.
Foudy, scoring for a sixth straight game, drove to the net off the right wing and chipped the puck over Propp’s right shoulder to give London a 1-0 lead at 5:39 of the first period, but the Battalion responded in short order.
Raaymakers stopped Chenier’s initial drive from the left circle, but he collected his own rebound, circled behind the net and slipped the puck between the goaltender’s pads at 7:17. Assists on Chenier’s 23rd goal went to Coe and Mason Primeau.
Brown gave North Bay the lead at 19:31, charging to the net and converting his own rebound of a shot off the right wing. Zack Malik had the only assist on Brown’s second goal.
Each team had 11 shots in the period. Propp, who turned away chances for Foudy, Hancock and Billy Moskal, pounced on the rebound of a Bouchard drive with Alex Turko and Cole Tymkin lurking in the 17th minute.
Defenceman Bouchard tied it 2-2 with a shorthanded goal at 4:25 of the second period when he beat Propp low to the glove side with a wrister from the top of the right circle, and rearguard Lochead put the visitors ahead at 11:45, ripping home the rubber from the right point off a faceoff on the left wing.
The Troops thought they had scored at 3:10 when Burghardt appeared to sneak the puck past Raaymakers at the right post as the goaltender backed into the net, but referee Len Wood deemed the puck hadn’t crossed the goal line, and the call stood after video review.
The Battalion plays host to the Sudbury Wolves at 7 p.m. Thursday on Epiroc Night.
BATTALION BULLETS: Game sponsor Caisse Populaire Alliance presented a fan with the chance to win any of several $100 bills in a money machine, doubing the amount won in a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Fans completed ballots for a Connor McDavid sweater, and two season ticket holders and three other fans won $25 certificates for Orchards Fresh Food Market, courtesy of the game sponsor … The Battalion was 0-for-4 on the power play. London went 0-for-2 … Opening lines featured Struthers centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Primeau pivoting left winger Chenier and right winger Coe and Luke Moncada centring left winger Harrison Caines and Mitchell Russell on right wing. Cameron Peters on left wing and centre Brown had various linemates … The undermanned Battalion was without Travis Mailhot, Simon Rose, Daniel Walker, David Maier and Kurtis Evans … Peters returned from a concussion, while Walker has a shoulder injury and Maier a sinus infection … Chenier marked his 20th birthday … Among the missing for London was Alex Formenton, who injured his right leg in an exhibition game with Canada before the World Junior Championship … Foudy has a seven-game points streak in which he has six goals and four assists for 10 points … Bouchard has a five-game points streak in which he has two goals and six assists for eight points … Ryan Elbers was the other referee.