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Sonnenburg steps up on blue line

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Defenceman Kyle Sonnenburg had a big spot to fill Sunday for the Brampton Battalion.rrWith Phil Oreskovic sidelined after taking a puck in the face in a 4-3 overtime win Saturday night over the host Belleville Bulls, Sonnenburg partnered John de Gray on the top defensive unit in a 4-1 win over the Peterborough Petes. rrThe victory extended a club-record winning streak to 11 games and boosted the Battalion past the Barrie Colts into first place in the Ontario Hockey League’s Central Division.rrPhil is a big part of our team, and it’s tough to play without him,” said Sonnenburg. But that’s my job here. We all want to play a lot of minutes, and I was happy to get that chance.rrI think on any given night any of us can be among our top two defencemen. But Phil and John have been doing a good job in that spot for a while.”rrSonnenburg, his fellow defenders and goaltender Daren Machesney shut down the Petes, allowing the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference only 24 shots and killing off all nine Peterborough power plays.rrWith all the power plays they were getting, we really had to battle,” said Sonnenburg. But we got through that and got some goals in the third. For us to win in the playoffs we need strong defence and good goaltending.”rrSonnenburg, who assisted on Wojtek Wolski’s first-period power-play goal, has 21 points in 61 games this season. He scored his only goal to date as a member of the Battalion in a 5-3 win at Barrie on March 4.rrI haven’t been able to get too many in, but I’m not too upset about that,” said Sonnenburg, who was acquired in a trade with Belleville on Jan. 10, 2005. Other guys are shooting the puck, and that’s been working for us.”rrSonnenburg and overager Nick Duff are the only members of the Battalion blue line brigade who weren’t obtained by the team in either the OHL Priority Selection or the Canadian Hockey League’s Import Draft.rrThat trade with Belleville has worked out pretty well for us,” noted Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach. When you think that two of our top four defencemen were acquired for fifth-round picks, that’s pretty good.”r

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