NORTH BAY, Ont. — Jordan Kyrou scored three goals and added an assist to power the Sarnia Sting to an 8-2 Ontario Hockey League victory Thursday night over the North Bay Battalion, pushing the Sting’s winning streak to nine games and the Troops’ losing skid to seven.
Brady Hinz and Adam Ruzicka each had one goal and one assist and Ryan McGregor, Drake Rymsha and Sean Josling provided the other goals for Sarnia, which boasts a won-lost-extended record of 10-1-0 for 20 points atop the West Division, Western Conference and OHL. The Sting’s only loss is a 3-1 setback at the hands of the visiting Kitchener Rangers on Sept. 23.
Goaltender Aidan Hughes faced 40 shots in front of 2,185, the lowest Memorial Gardens attendance since the Battalion relocated to North Bay from Brampton in 2013.
Justin Brazeau scored both goals for the Battalion, 3-5-2 for eight points, tied with the Sudbury Wolves for third place in the Central Division with a game in hand. Starting goaltender Julian Sime gave up six goals on 31 shots before being relieved by Mat Woroniuk, who allowed two goals on seven shots.
“They’re a really good hockey team,” Battalion coach Stan Butler said of the Sting. “They’ve got a lot of good speed, and we had trouble with their speed the whole game. It was a game where, for us to have a chance to win, we’ve got to have everybody playing really well, and some of our guys really struggled with the speed of the game tonight.”
Kyrou scored his seventh goal of the season at 1:26 of the third period, giving Sarnia a 6-1 lead and ending Sime’s night.
Brazeau struck for his sixth goal at 12:11, emerging from behind the goal line after getting the puck from Luke Moncada and backhanding it home on the short side, before Ruzicka scored on an odd-man rush at 15:45 and Josling snapped the rubber past Woroniuk from deep on the left side at 19:12.
Kyrou gave Sarnia a 4-0 lead on the power play at 1:54 of the second period, putting the puck home from the right-wing circle on a three-on-two rush with Ruzicka and Connor Schlichting.
Brazeau replied with the man advantage at 6:19, scoring on a backdoor play at the left side off a pass from Adam Thilander. Cam Dineen had the other assist.
Rymsha connected at 7:51, converting from the right side on a pass across the goalmouth from Jamieson Rees, with Kyrou drawing the other assist.
Riley Bruce upended Kyrou with a big check in the 11th minute, and a sprawling Hughes used his glove to rob Andy Baker on the power play late in the frame.
Sarnia jumped to a quick 2-0 lead and added another goal before the first period ended. McGregor hoisted a loose puck behind Sime at 1:56, and Kyrou chopped the disc home from the left side at 3:23. Hinz netted his team-leading 10th goal, the eventual winner, off a rush at 12:51, taking a pass from the end boards from Theo Calvas and pitching the rubber past Sime.
The Battalion visits the Mississauga Steelheads at 7 p.m. Friday. The game can be seen live on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion, which won both games with Sarnia last season, last had a losing record against the Sting in 2002-03 … The Troops’ Brett McKenzie returned after missing two games to a lower-body injury … Moncada has a four-game points streak during which he has one goal and four assists for five points … The Battalion was 1-for-5 with the man advantage against the league’s top-rated penalty-killing team. Sarnia, which has the OHL’s third-ranked power play, went 1-for-4 … Opening lines included McKenzie centring Luke Burghardt on left wing and right winger Baker, Adam McMaster pivoting left winger Moncada and right winger Brazeau and Kurtis Evans centring left winger Brad Chenier and right winger Brandon Coe. Patrick Brown centred left winger Daniel Walker and Rhys Forhan on right wing … The Battalion was without Travis Mailhot, Kyle Potts, Alex Robert and Brady Lyle, who has asked for a trade … Potts completed a four-game suspension for a match penalty for slashing … Mailhot, cleared to play after suffering a slight shoulder separation in exhibition action, saw his OHL debut delayed by an ankle sprain incurred in practice Wednesday … The Battalion has assigned left winger Jacob Ball, who cleared waivers last week, to the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League … Hinz has a five-game scoring streak during which he has seven goals.