Troops rally for shootout win
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Adam McMaster and Justin Brazeau scored in a shootout to lift the North Bay Battalion to a stirring 4-3 comeback victory Sunday over the Peterborough Petes, extending the Troops’ season-high Ontario Hockey League winning streak to five games.
McMaster also scored in regulation time for North Bay, which twice trailed by two goals. The Battalion got its other goals from Riley Bruce and Jake Henderson in moving its won-lost-extended record to 18-19-6 for 42 points, third in the Central Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Peterborough.
Goaltender Christian Propp faced 19 shots through overtime before 2,247 at Memorial Gardens.
Pavel Gogolev, Bobby Dow and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev scored for the Petes, 18-21-4 for 40 points, fourth in the East Division and seventh in the conference. Goaltender Dylan Wells made 29 saves through overtime.
Trailing 3-2 late in the third period, Battalion coach Stan Butler pulled Propp for a sixth skater with 1:34 left. A Bruce turnover led to close-in chances at the empty net for Christopher Paquette and Nikita Korostelev, but Bruce thwarted two threats, one with the puck on the goal line, before Henderson forced overtime at 19:49.
Adam Thilander kept the puck in the Peterborough zone and, once Wells stopped a Jesse Saban drive from the middle of the blue line, Henderson shoveled the puck home after a touch by Brazeau. It was Henderson’s seventh goal of the season and first since joining the Battalion in a trade Tuesday from the Kitchener Rangers.
After both teams had chances in the fast-paced overtime, with Wells denying Brazeau twice while Propp turned away Gogolev and Zach Gallant, the Petes went first in the shootout. Propp foiled Gogolev before Korostelev scored. The win was sealed when Propp turned away Nick Robertson.
The Petes, who led 2-1 after 40 minutes, extended their lead when Der-Arguchintsev struck with the man advantage at 9:10 of the third period, ripping a wrister over Propp’s glove from the left-wing circle.
Bruce replied on the power play at 11:42 on a low drive from the blue line that may have glanced off Gallant. Nick King and Brad Chenier assisted on defenceman Bruce’s fifth goal.
Gogolev opened the scoring 49 seconds into the second period. Korostelev seized a Braden Henderson turnover off the side of the Battalion net and passed the puck to Gogolev, who went high over Propp’s glove from point-blank range. Dow struck at 4:37, taking a Matthew Timms stretch pass from behind his own goal line to the North Bay blue line and breaking in alone on Propp, beating him low to the glove side.
McMaster responded off a rush at 10:28. Rhys Forhan fired a nifty diagonal pass to McMaster on the right wing, where he dashed past Timms toward the net, putting the puck over Wells’s glove. King earned the second assist on McMaster’s fifth goal.
The Battalion thoroughly dominated the first period, outshooting the Petes 11-2. The Troops, who enjoyed two power plays, tested Wells severely. He denied a net drive by McMaster, stopped Kyle Potts’s redirection of a Bruce shot from the right point, blocked a Brazeau chance at the right post and later sprawled to repel another Brazeau attempt.
The Battalion plays host to the Sudbury Wolves at 7 p.m. Thursday.
BATTALION BULLETS: The teams have two games left in their season series, at Peterborough on Feb. 10 and March 15. The visiting Petes won 7-3 on Oct. 9 … The Troops last tied a game in the final minute of the third period on Nov. 6, 2016, when they scored at 19:10 in an eventual 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Mississauga Steelheads … Peterborough has gone 2-1-1 since Andrew Verner took over as interim head coach from the fired Jody Hull on Jan. 5 … Propp, who blanked the host Barrie Colts 3-0 Saturday night, is 7-3-3 with a goals-against average of 3.06, an .896 save percentage, one shutout and one shared shutout in 13 appearances since being acquired Oct. 22 from the Owen Sound Attack … Brazeau has a six-game points streak during which he has four goals and nine assists for 13 points … Linemate Luke Burghardt saw the end of a five-game points streak in which he had five goals and six assists for 11 points … Matthew Struthers was held without a point for the first time in six games since joining the Troops from Owen Sound in a trade Jan. 3 … North Bay went 1-for-4 on the power play. Peterborough was 1-for-3 … The Battalion scratched Simon Rose, Daniel Walker and Kurtis Evans … Saban, a native of Bridgewater, N.S., marked his 21st birthday Sunday … Among the missing for Peterborough, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, were Nick Isaacson and Adam Timleck.