Troops turn back Attack
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Matthew Struthers scored two of his three goals during a four-goal second-period outburst that propelled the North Bay Battalion to a 7-4 victory over the Owen Sound Attack in Ontario Hockey League preseason play Saturday.
Brandon Coe contributed two goals and Justin Brazeau one goal and two assists. Brad Chenier had one goal and one assist, while goaltender Christian Propp made 41 saves.
Cade Robinson scored two goals and added one assist and Mitchell Russell and Daylon Groulx provided a goal apiece for the undermanned Attack. Starting goaltender Andrew MacLean gave up three goals on 13 shots before being relieved by Nathan Torchia, who surrendered four goals on 19 shots and took the loss.
The Battalion, which played its only game on home ice and moved its won-lost-extended record in exhibition action to 2-2-0, completes its preseason schedule with a visit to Owen Sound at 2 p.m. Sunday.
North Bay led 2-1 through 20 minutes before Struthers scored two goals 54 seconds apart midway in the second period. He struck first at 10:23, as an attempted pass off a rush deflected into the net to end MacLean’s crease time, and followed up by tucking a rebound home.
Coe made it 5-1 with the eventual winner at 12:23 on a backhanded effort, and Chenier slipped the puck between Torchia’s legs at 15:00 off a stretch pass from Brazeau.
Owen Sound scored three straight goals in the third period, sparked by Groulx when he stepped out of the left-wing corner on the power play at 4:23. Robinson connected with the man advantage at 8:11 and popped the puck high over Propp from a scrum 1:21 later to pull the visitors within 6-4.
Struthers, who joined the Battalion in a trade with Owen Sound last January, replied with his fifth goal of the preseason at 16:45, poking the puck home from the right side.
Russell opened the scoring on the power play at 6:34 of the first period before the Troops responded with a pair of goals despite being outshot 16-10 in the frame.
Coe swept across the goalmouth to his forehand and lofted the puck behind MacLean at 7:26, assisted by Adam McMaster and Daniel Walker, with Brazeau giving North Bay the lead with the man advantage at 13:22 when he dashed between defenders at the blue line to go in alone on net.
BATTALION BULLETS: Attendance was recorded as 724 … Opening Battalion line combinations included Struthers centring left winger Chenier and right winger Brazeau, McMaster centring left winger Walker and right winger Coe and Luke Moncada pivoting left winger Cameron Peters and Egor Postnov on right wing. Rhys Forhan centred left winger Harrison Caines and right winger Andy Baker … Defence pairings had Nick King with Simon Rose, Braden Henderson with David Maier and Pacey Schlueting with Payton Vescio … Christian Purboo backed up Propp … The Battalion scratched Cole Cameron, Travis Mailhot, Kurtis Evans, Patrick Brown and Kyle Potts … Cameron arrived in North Bay shortly before the game after being acquired from Owen Sound in a trade Thursday for the Battalion’s fourth-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection … The Attack dressed 15 skaters, three below the limit, as several players are at National Hockey League camps … Brazeau wore the captain’s ‘C’ while Struthers and King served as the alternates … The Battalion went 1-for-3 on the power play. Owen Sound was 3-for-6 … Assistants Scott Wray and Adam Dennis manned the North Bay bench while head coach Stan Butler watched from a private box … Ryan Harrison and Mac Nichol were the referees.