Spitfires down Battalion 5-2
WINDSOR, Ont. — Cole Purboo scored two goals and added three assists to propel the Windsor Spitfires to a 5-2 victory over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night.
Mathew MacDougall had two goals, one into an empty net, and an assist, while Thomas Stevenson also scored for Windsor, which improved its won-lost-extended record to 14-10-1 for 29 points, third in the West Division. Goaltender Michael DiPietro provided 31 saves as the Spitfires moved two points ahead of the Saginaw Spirit, which lost 4-3 to the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs.
Luke Burghardt and Brad Chenier scored for North Bay, 8-15-3 for 19 points, fifth in the Central Division. Goaltender Julian Sime faced 29 shots before 4,562 at the WFCU Centre as the Battalion opened a three-game road trip.
The Troops trailed 4-2 through 40 minutes against the reigning Memorial Cup champions but had a carryover power play to open the third period, setting the tone for a frame in which they outshot the hosts 13-12 without being able to pull closer despite a slew of chances.
Adam McMaster drove strongly to the net off the right wing in the third minute but was denied, and Windsor’s Sean Day went off for tripping at 2:53, keeping the pressure on DiPietro.
Brett McKenzie was foiled in alone in the eighth minute, and Burghardt ripped the rebound wide right. Burghardt then hit the left post on the power play after Tyler Angle was whistled for slashing at 9:29.
Justin Brazeau couldn’t get a backhander behind DiPietro in the 16th minute, and Sime sprawled to rob Aaron Luchuk, Windsor’s leading scorer who was held without a point, for the second time at 18:02. Sime also snagged a dangerous Luchuk chance in the second period.
With Sime gone for a sixth skater, MacDougall settled the matter with his empty-netter from a sharp angle on left wing at 19:27.
Defenceman Stevenson opened the scoring at 6:00 of the first period on a snap shot from the right point before Burghardt tied it with his 10th goal of the season at 9:03 on assists by Cam Dineen and Riley Bruce just after McKenzie was tied up by MacDougall on a good chance.
Purboo connected on the power play at 16:17, seven seconds after Travis Mailhot went off for interference, and MacDougall scored at 19:18 off a three-way passing play, slamming the puck home from the right edge of the crease with assists to William Sirman and Purboo.
Purboo, the older brother of goaltender Christian Purboo, who has played in five games with the Troops this season, made it 4-1 at 7:24 of the second period, scoring his seventh goal when he threw the puck toward the goalmouth from deep on the right wing and saw it glance into the net.
Chenier was credited with his eighth goal at 15:25, eight seconds after a power play ended, when he put the puck into the crease from the left side and Louka Henault knocked it into his own net. Andy Baker and McMaster drew assists.
The Battalion visits the Sarnia Sting at 7:05 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 game completed the teams’ season series after a 4-0 Battalion victory at home Oct. 26 in which goaltender Christian Propp made his debut with the Troops, leaving with a lower-body injury in the first period but earning the win and sharing the shutout with Sime. Propp, who hasn’t played since then, backed up Sime for the third straight game … Brazeau saw the end of a five-game points streak during which he had five goals and one assist for six points … Chenier has a four-game points streak in which he has five goals and two assists for seven points … Jesse Saban and Windsor’s Luke Boka scrapped two minutes into the second period, drawing fighting majors … The Battalion was 0-for-5 on the power play. Windsor went 1-for-2 … Defenceman Mailhot made his OHL debut. A fifth-round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, he suffered shoulder and ankle injuries in preseason and practice respectively … The Battalion went 3-7-1 in November … Opening lines saw McKenzie centring left winger Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, McMaster centring left winger Luke Moncada and right winger Brandon Coe and Kyle Potts pivoting left winger Chenier and right winger Baker. Patrick Brown centred Alex Robert on left wing and Kurtis Evans on right wing … North Bay was without Eric Allair, Simon Rose, Rhys Forhan and Daniel Walker … The referees were Jason Faist and Chris Ferreira.