Troops down Sudbury in shootout

SUDBURY, Ont. — Brad Chenier and Adam McMaster scored in a shootout to give the North Bay Battalion a 4-3 victory over the Sudbury Wolves in a chippy Ontario Hockey League exhibition game Wednesday night.

Brandon Coe, Simon Rose and McMaster scored in regulation time for North Bay, which led 3-0 early in the second period. Goaltender Mat Woroniuk made 41 saves through 60 minutes, with the teams going straight to the shootout after the third period as is the procedure in the preseason.

Brandon Bastasin, Zach Wilkie and Dawson Baker scored in regulation time for the Wolves, while goaltender David Bowen faced 19 shots through three periods.

The Battalion, seeing its first action since the OHL Pre-Season Showcase ended at Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 3, has a won-lost-extended record of 3-0-1 in exhibition play. Sudbury, which lost 5-2 to the visiting Mississauga Steelheads on Sept. 5, is 0-1-1.

In the shootout, Bowen denied Daniel Walker before Chenier and McMaster struck. Woroniuk stopped the first shooter, Owen Gilhula, before Reagan O’Grady scored and Blake Murray was foiled by a left-pad save.

Defenceman Wilkie pulled Sudbury within a goal 15 seconds into the third period, one-timing a shot from the high slot with the Wolves skating four on three. Baker tied it at 5:52 after Woroniuk ventured 30 feet out of his crease to try to deny Darian Pilon on a partial breakaway but failed to cover the puck, which Baker knocked home.

The Troops, leading 1-0 after 20 minutes, struck quickly in the second period, with defenceman Rose doubling the lead with a screened slap shot from the left point at 1:05. Coe had the lone assist.

McMaster connected 28 seconds later, taking a forward feed from Luke Moncada and darting through the left-wing circle to the crease and lofting the puck over Bowen’s left shoulder. Eric Allair also assisted.

Defenceman Bastasin scored at 11:03, just 10 seconds after emerging from the penalty box. Drake Pilon put a cross-crease pass to Bastasin on the left side for the chip-in.

Coe opened the scoring at 14:12 of the first period, converting a pass from McMaster after he deftly eluded several defenders on a rush up the left side and fed Coe driving to the crease from the right. Moncada also assisted on the first goal of the preseason for the Battalion’s first-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection last April.

Woroniuk got the glove on a drive by Murray at 2:23 before Luke Burghardt hit the left post at the other end off an odd-man rush.

Darian Pilon high-sticked Burghardt without a call in the 17th minute, leading to Burghardt checking Pilon into the boards seconds later and the players exchanging words at the next whistle.

The Battalion completes its exhibition schedule with a home-and-home series against the Owen Sound Attack, visiting Owen Sound at 2 p.m. Saturday and playing host to the Attack at 2 p.m. Sunday.

BATTALION BULLETS: Assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis manned the Battalion bench while head coach Stan Butler watched from the stands … Each team dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit … Opening lines featured Burghardt centring left winger Chenier and right winger Alex Robert, McMaster centring left winger Moncada and right winger Coe and Patrick Brown pivoting left winger Daniil Vertiy and right winger Andy Baker. Kyle Potts centred left winger Walker and Kurtis Evans on right wing … Defence pairings were Jesse Saban with Payton Vescio and Allair with Travis Mailhot, with Rose the fifth blueliner … Mailhot left the game with an upper-body injury, and Walker saw time on the blue line … The Battalion was without Adam Thilander, Cam Dineen, Riley Bruce, Rhys Forhan, Brett McKenzie, Justin Brazeau, Jacob Ball and Brady Lyle … The Battalion has five players away at National Hockey League camps, while Bruce, Forhan and Ball were either sick or recovering from injury … Julian Sime backed up Woroniuk … Saban wore the captain’s ‘C’ with McMaster and Potts serving as alternates … Among the missing for Sudbury were Michael Pezzetta, Ryan Valentini, David Levin and Dmitry Sokolov … North Bay went 0-for-4 on the power play. Sudbury was 1-for-4.

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