Otters edge Battalion 2-1
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Maxim Golod’s goal at 10:56 of the second period capped the scoring and gave the Erie Otters a 2-1 victory Thursday night over the North Bay Battalion, ending Erie’s Ontario Hockey League losing streak at five games.
Emmett Sproule also scored for the Otters, who moved their won-lost-extended record to 14-26-9 for 37 points, fifth in the Midwest Division and ninth in the Western Conference. Goaltender Anand Oberoi made 31 saves for Erie, which last won 4-3 via shootout Jan. 14 over the visiting Flint Firebirds.
Brandon Coe scored for North Bay, while goaltender Julian Sime contributed 30 saves before 2,381 at Memorial Gardens. The Battalion is 22-21-6 for 50 points, third in the Central Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Troops, who won their previous three games, are 9-2-0 in their last 11 outings.
“I think our work ethic tonight, quite frankly, was nonexistent,” said Battalion coach Stan Butler. “Give Erie a lot of credit. They outworked us for 60 minutes. They were first to the puck. They forechecked hard. They did what they had to do, and we didn’t respond, and it’s pretty disappointing with how well we’ve played lately that our guys would put forth an effort like that tonight.”
After Erie’s Kyle Maksimovich rang the puck off the crossbar 12 seconds into the third period, Sime made several solid saves, denying Gera Poddubnyi on a backhander driving to the net at 1:15 and foiling him again in front at 9:54. Sime also stymied Ivan Lodnia on a backdoor play on the left wing at 14:07.
Sime left for a sixth attacker with 1:48 to play, and the Troops had their best chance to tie it in the final minute when Justin Brazeau failed to hit an open net from the left side.
Golod struck for his ninth goal of the season midway in the middle period. He wristed the puck home from the mid slot off a rush on which he took a pass from Lodnia on the right side. Josh Wainman had the other assist on the goal, which saw the puck glance off defender Riley Bruce’s leg.
Luke Burghardt sprang Brazeau down the right wing in the third minute of the frame, but Oberoi foiled the chance. Jake Henderson and Daniel Walker provided formidable forechecking in the 16th minute after a Battalion power play ended, with Walker getting a pair of in-tight chances on Oberoi.
Rookie Coe opened the scoring with his sixth goal at 4:42 of the first period. Adam Thilander drilled the puck from the right point and, after Kyle Potts had a touch in the right-wing circle, Coe spun and fired the disc past Oberoi.
Sproule tied it at 5:56, beating Sime with a snap shot from the mid slot off a rush. Chad Yetman assisted on Sproule’s second goal.
The Troops had several other good scoring chances while forging a 9-8 edge in shots in the period. Coe missed when set up in front in the second minute, and Brazeau chopped at a rolling puck before Oberoi, on his back, managed to get his left pad on it at 4:10. Henderson drove to the net in the final seconds, aiming for the top right corner, but the shot was off the mark.
The Battalion visits the Mississauga Steelheads at 7 p.m. Friday. The game can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: The teams completed their season series, after Erie won 3-0 on home ice Dec. 16 as Oberoi posted the shutout. The Battalion has an all-time won-lost-tied record of 20-30-6 against the Otters, who were Midwest rivals in the Troops’ first four of 15 seasons in Brampton … In 28 appearances, Sime has a won-lost-extended record of 9-12-3 with a goals-against average of 3.20, a save percentage of .900 and one shared shutout … The Troops’ Brad Chenier saw the end of a six-game points streak during which he had three goals and three assists for six points … Coe has a five-game points streak in which he has two goals and three assists for five points … North Bay is 14-7-5 at home. Erie is 3-17-6 on the road … The Battalion, which played a penalty-free game, went 0-for-1 on the power play … Opening lines featured Matthew Struthers centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Potts pivoting left winger Chenier and right winger Coe and Rhys Forhan centring left winger Adam McMaster and right winger Henderson. Luke Moncada centred left winger Walker and right winger Andy Baker … The Battalion scratched Travis Mailhot, Kurtis Evans and Patrick Brown … Struthers, who had strep throat, returned to action after sitting out a 4-3 victory via shootout Sunday over the visiting Niagara IceDogs … The referees were Brent Coulombe and Mike Hamilton.