Noel strikes fast in overtime
OSHAWA, Ont. — Serron Noel scored nine seconds into overtime to give the Oshawa Generals a 5-4 victory over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action Monday.
Allan McShane and Jack Studnicka each had one goal and two assists and Kenny Huether and Danil Antropov also scored for Oshawa, which improved its won-lost-extended record to 28-26-3 for 59 points, third in the East Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Ottawa 67’s, who lost 3-2 to the visiting Kitchener Rangers. Goaltender Kyle Keyser made 29 saves in the Family Day matinee before 5,949 at the Tribute Communities Centre.
Justin Brazeau had one goal and one assist for North Bay, which also got goals from Luke Moncada, Matthew Struthers and Adam McMaster. Goaltender Julian Sime faced 30 shots for the Battalion, 26-22-9 for 61 points, tied with the Niagara IceDogs for second place in the Central Division and fourth place in the conference after Niagara lost 4-3 in overtime to the host Peterborough Petes. The Troops are 13-3-3 in their last 19 games.
Oshawa carried a 3-2 lead into the third period and extended its margin at 2:26 when Antropov buried a pass from Domenico Commisso, who had three assists.
McMaster replied on the power play at 8:25, hammering a shot from the right-wing circle past the glove of Keyser, who was screened by Brad Chenier. Riley Bruce and Nick King assisted on McMaster’s ninth goal of the season.
Sime was headed to the bench for a sixth skater when Brazeau tied it with an unassisted goal at 17:36, lofting a backhander over Keyser’s right shoulder. The goal was Brazeau’s team-leading 35th.
Noel scored his 24th goal off the opening faceoff in overtime, taking a pass from Matt Brassard and breaking in alone on Sime to beat the goaltender with a backhand deke.
The Battalion took three penalties late in the first period, with Rhys Forhan sent off for roughing at 18:55 and Jesse Saban and Jake Henderson being called for tripping and checking from behind respectively at 19:20. The Generals scored two quick goals during two-man advantages, as McShane opened the scoring at 19:28, firing Studnicka’s pass across the goalmouth over Sime’s glove, and Studnicka struck at 19:42, converting over Sime’s blocker from deep in the left circle.
The Battalion halved Oshawa’s lead with a shorthanded goal 15 seconds into the second period. Commisso turned over the puck deep in the Generals’ zone, where it was collected by Daniel Walker, who sent the disc to Moncada. He slipped into the high left circle and ripped the puck over Keyser’s glove.
Struthers tied it 2-2 at 9:07, putting the rebound of a Brazeau shot between Keyser’s pads. Luke Burghardt also assisted on Struthers’s 18th goal, his ninth since a Jan. 3 trade from the Owen Sound Attack.
Oshawa connected again on the power play at 11:21 when Huether’s shot from the right circle glanced off Sime’s glove. It was Huether’s team-high 27th goal.
The Troops, who outshot Oshawa 15-9 in the frame, just missed tying the game in the last minute when Keyser reached back to deny Chenier’s attempt to convert a McMaster pass into an open net at the left post.
The Battalion plays host to the Sudbury Wolves at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Canadore Recruiting Night.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion posted a record of 1-1-2 against Oshawa this season, having been blanked 5-0 on the road Jan. 1 and suffering a 6-5 loss via shootout at home Jan. 4 before winning 3-2 at Memorial Gardens last Thursday night … Burghardt has a six-game points streak in which he has three goals and six assists for nine points. In four games against Oshawa, he had three goals and three assists for six points … Brazeau has a five-game points streak in which he has four goals and five assists for nine points. He had three goals and four assists for seven points in four games against Oshawa … The Battalion went 1-for-4 on the power play. Oshawa was 3-for-4 … Opening lines included Struthers centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Patrick Brown pivoting left winger McMaster and right winger Henderson and Moncada centring left winger Chenier and right winger Brandon Coe. Forhan centred left winger Walker and right winger Andy Baker … The Battalion was without Kurtis Evans, Kyle Potts and Braden Henderson … McShane has an 11-game points streak in which he has seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points. He has scored in each of the last five games, totaling six goals … Huether has an eight-game points streak during which he has six goals and nine assists for 15 points … Commisso turned 20 on Monday … The referees were Dave Lewis and Len Wood.