NORTH BAY, Ont. — Bode Wilde scored two goals, including the winner 49 seconds into overtime, and added an assist as the Saginaw Spirit rallied to defeat the North Bay Battalion 4-3 in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night.
Brady Gilmour and Damien Giroux also scored for Saginaw, which won in Chris Lazary’s head coaching debut to move its won-lost-extended record to 12-9-2 for 26 points, second in the West Division. Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 28 saves as the Spirit rebounded from a 3-1 third-period deficit.
Kurtis Evans, Justin Brazeau and Brandon Coe scored for the Battalion, which lost a fourth consecutive game and is 10-11-2 for 22 points, fifth in the Central Division. Mason Primeau and Harrison Caines each had two assists, while goaltender Christian Purboo faced 36 shots before 2,130 on Enercare Night in support of Coach4Food.
Saginaw won 6-2 at home Oct. 13 in the season’s only other meeting between the Troops and the onetime North Bay Centennials franchise.
“Overall, we played a pretty good game,” said Battalion assistant coach Adam Dennis. “We had our chances to put them away in the second and third, and credit to their goalie, but some of our guys would like to have a second shot at some of those chances.”
Coe ripped a loose puck over Prosvetov’s glove from the right-wing circle to put North Bay up 3-1 at 1:20 of the third period. Primeau and Caines drew the assists on Coe’s sixth goal of the season. The Troops applied pressure looking to increase their lead, but Prosvetov denied Brazeau, Caines, Nick King and Brad Chenier.
Saginaw cut the deficit to one goal at 8:02 as Cole Coskey tumbled to the ice in the deep slot and slid the puck to Gilmour, who put the puck home on the short side past the right post.
Adam McMaster had a solid chance to restore the Battalion’s two-goal lead in the 11th minute, but Prosvetov got the tip of his right skate on McMaster’s attempt at an open net from the deep slot, and Giroux netted the equalizer at 16:27, redirecting Wilde’s right-point shot over Purboo’s glove.
Defenceman Wilde ended the game when he took the puck behind his own net, raced into Battalion territory, eluded David Maier and flicked the puck high to Purboo’s glove side.
Wilde was credited with the first goal, at 3:30 of the opening period. He rushed to the net off the left wing and slid the puck into the crease, where Cole Cameron’s clearing attempt appeared to bounce off defender Patrick Brown into the net.
Evans replied at 4:38, finishing off a three-way passing play with Caines and Luke Moncada from deep in the right circle. Evans scored for the first time since last Dec. 15 when he recorded his first OHL goal in a 6-3 road win over the Niagara IceDogs.
Brazeau put the Battalion in front at 6:35, breaking in alone on Prosvetov and hoisting a backhander over the goaltender’s right arm. Chenier and Primeau assisted on Brazeau’s team-leading 21st goal. Brazeau, who has 22 assists and 43 points in 23 games, is tied with Kevin Hancock of the Owen Sound Attack atop the OHL scoring race.
Saginaw outshot the Troops 17-10 in the scoreless second period. Purboo faced several tough chances as the Battalion killed two penalties. Purboo foiled Coskey, Nicholas Porco, Cole Perfitti, Albert Michnac and Hayden Davis late in the frame while Coskey dug for the rebound.
Prosvetov sprawled in his crease in the eighth minute to deny Coe’s drive off the right wing and Chenier’s attempt at the rebound. Prosvetov also foiled Brazeau in alone early in the period and got in the way of Brazeau’s tip at the lip of the crease in the 10th minute.
The Battalion visits the Mississauga Steelheads at 7 p.m. Friday. The game can be heard live in North Bay on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: Conducting the ceremonial faceoff were Dale MacCormack of Enercare, which provided noisemakers to 2,000 fans, and Debbie Marson, coordinator of Coach4Food. Twenty-four minor hockey teams are taking part in a collection blitz for the North Bay Food Bank through Dec. 1, with leading teams in three categories to earn Battalion-led practices … Brazeau has 88 goals, tied for ninth place on the franchise’s career list with Brett McKenzie. They lead Battalion scorers in the North Bay era … In 42 games, the fewest against any opponent, the Battalion has a won-lost-tied record of 19-22-1 against Saginaw and the Centennials … The Troops went 0-for-2 on the power play. Saginaw was 0-for-3 … North Bay, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched Pacey Schlueting, Travis Mailhot, Daniel Walker and Matthew Struthers … Walker and Struthers each served the second game of a suspension resulting from actions in a 7-1 home-ice loss last Friday night to the Sudbury Wolves … In two games against the Battalion, Giroux had four goals and two assists for six points … Among the missing for Saginaw was right winger D.J. Busdeker, who completed a two-game suspension for a slew-footing match penalty in a 5-2 road loss to the Kitchener Rangers last Friday night … The referees were Ryan Elbers and Mike Hamilton.