Troops prevail in shootout
OTTAWA — Adam McMaster and Adam Thilander connected in a shootout as the North Bay Battalion posted a 6-5 victory over the Ottawa 67’s in an Ontario Hockey League game Friday night.
Daniel Walker scored two goals and added one assist, Luke Moncada contributed one goal and three assists and Brandon Coe and Justin Brazeau also scored for North Bay, which lifted its won-lost-extended record to 21-20-6 for 48 points, third in the Central Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference, vaulting past the Oshawa Generals, who fell 4-1 to the host Kingston Frontenacs. Goaltender Christian Propp faced 34 shots through overtime.
Sasha Chmelevski scored two goals, Sam Bitten and Jacob Cascagnette each had one goal and one assist and Tye Felhaber also scored in regulation time for Ottawa, 19-21-6 for 44 points, fourth in the East Division and seventh in the conference. Goaltender Olivier Tremblay made 31 saves through overtime before 2,299 at TD Place.
The Battalion led 5-3 through 40 minutes, but Cascagnette cut Ottawa’s deficit in half at 4:36 of the third period when he ripped a Bitten feed high over Propp’s glove.
Tremblay went to the bench for a sixth skater with 2:06 left, and the 67’s kept the Troops hemmed in their own territory until Chmelevski tied it at 18:59, arriving at the right side to convert a Travis Barron rebound.
The Battalion failed to score during a bench minor for too many men on the ice issued to Ottawa at 1:52 of overtime, and both teams had solid chances after the penalty ended. Propp denied Austen Keating in close, and Ottawa turnovers produced excellent chances in the final seconds for Kyle Potts, who fired high on a breakaway, and Brazeau.
McMaster, with the first attempt in the shootout, scored before Brazeau failed to get a shot off. Thilander scored the decisive goal as Propp, who allowed a goal to Graeme Clark, turned away Chmelevski and finally Felhaber to secure the win.
Walker opened the scoring at 2:23 of the first period. Tremblay stopped a drive from the high slot by Moncada, and the rebound fell to Walker in the right-wing circle. The goal was Walker’s first since he scored two in an 8-2 home-ice romp Oct. 22 over Kingston. He returned Jan. 18 after missing 25 games with a back injury.
Walker struck again at 16:10, racing down the right wing and beating Tremblay with a wrister to the stick side. Jake Henderson earned the lone assist on Walker’s seventh goal of the season.
Ottawa tied it with two goals 28 seconds apart, as Bitten scored on a backhand deke at the crease at 17:46 and Felhaber snapped a Barron feed high over Propp’s glove.
The Troops scored three straight goals in the second period, with Coe connecting at 6:30. He and Moncada staged a two-on-one rush against Kevin Bahl and, after Tremblay stopped Moncada off the left wing, the rebound went right to Coe, who shoveled it home for his fifth goal. Brad Chenier also assisted.
Moncada was credited with his sixth goal when his shot from the left circle pinballed off defenders Carter Robertson and Merrick Rippon into the net at 11:54.
Brazeau scored shorthanded at 13:05. Moncada seized a turnover in Battalion territory and raced away with Brazeau, who gathered a Moncada feed and crashed the net, beating Tremblay with a backhand deke. The goal was Brazeau’s team-leading 30th of the season.
Chmelevski replied at 18:29, cruising across the slot and snapping the puck past Propp’s blocker.
The Battalion plays host to the Niagara IceDogs at 1 p.m. Sunday on Cogeco Hockey Day in the OHL and Coach4Food Day.
BATTALION BULLETS: It was the second of four games between the teams, after Ottawa won 4-3 in overtime Oct. 12 at Memorial Gardens. The next meeting is March 1 at North Bay … The Battalion, with three wins and five losses in overtime, has won two of three games decided by shootout … Brazeau has three of North Bay’s four shorthanded goals, the other having been scored by Patrick Brown … Chenier has a five-game points streak in which he has two goals and three assists for five points … Moncada enjoyed the first four-point game of his OHL career … The Battalion is 8-14-1 on the road. Ottawa is 11-8-4 at home … Each team went 0-for-4 on the power play … Opening line combinations included Matthew Struthers centring left winger Luke Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Potts pivoting left winger Chenier and right winger Coe and Rhys Forhan centring left winger McMaster and right winger Henderson. Moncada centred left winger Walker and right winger Andy Baker … The Battalion was without Travis Mailhot, Kurtis Evans and Brown … Battalion defencemen Riley Bruce and Simon Rose are from nearby Carp and Renfrew respectively … Among the missing for Ottawa, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, were Shaw Boomhower and Kody Clark … All 20 teams were in action Friday night … The referees were Ryan Harrison and Ben Moser.