NORTH BAY, Ont. – Jason Robertson scored the only goal in a shootout to give the Kingston Frontenacs a 2-1 victory Sunday over the North Bay Battalion in an action-filled Ontario Hockey League game.
Michael Dal Colle scored in the second period for Kingston, which got 28 saves through overtime from goaltender Jeremy Helvig. The Frontenacs secured a third consecutive victory to move their won-lost-extended record to 30-13-3 for 63 points atop the East Division and Eastern Conference.
Cam Dineen scored in the third period for North Bay, which went beyond regulation time for a third straight game. Goaltender Jake Kment, in a stellar performance, made 36 saves through overtime for the Battalion, which welcomed defenceman Riley Bruce back to action after a 10-game suspension.
The loss, the Troops’ first in four games, before a Memorial Gardens crowd of 3,315 put their record at 23-16-6 for 52 points, tied for second place in the Central Division and third in the conference with the idle Niagara IceDogs, who hold a game in hand.
Dineen scored at 1:50 of a wide-open third period. Helvig stopped a Zach Poirier drive off the right wing, with a long rebound making its way to the left point and Dineen, who fired it past Helvig, possibly screened by Brett Hargrave. Maurizio Colella also assisted on defenceman Dineen’s 10th goal of the season.
Kment, who faced 15 shots in the frame, produced several huge saves, none bigger than when he robbed Lawson Crouse alone in the slot with a glove grab at 2:53. Helvig’s biggest save came in the 15th minute when he denied Colella’s backhander on a breakway.
Mike Baird received a major penalty for checking from behind, on Warren Foegele, and a game misconduct at 16:15, leaving the Battalion shorthanded for the rest of the period and the first 1:15 of overtime. Kment was outstanding, denying chances for Spencer Watson, Roland McKeown, Conor McGlynn, Stephen Desrocher and Juho Lammikko.
The Frontenacs believed they had scored with seven seconds left when a Foegele pass caromed off Chad Duchesne into the net. Referee Steve Picco immediately signaled no goal, ruling the puck had been kicked into the net. The decision was upheld upon video review.
Both teams had chances in overtime, which never went to three skaters a side, as there was no whistle after Baird’s penalty expired. Kment made saves on Desrocher, Foegele and Crouse, while Helvig turned away two chances by Dineen.
In the shootout, Helvig stopped Mathew Santos, Mike Amadio and Dineen. Kment denied Watson and Dal Colle before being beaten by Robertson, the last shooter.
The Troops dominated the second period, but Dal Colle connected at 9:52, taking a pass from Foegele on the end boards and beating Kment from tight on the right wing. It was Dal Colle’s 18th goal and his 10th in 10 games since a trade from the Oshawa Generals.
The Battalion had a 14-10 edge in shots, testing Helvig repeatedly. He made two stops in the first minute on Daniil Vertiy and good saves against Steve Harland and Santos in the fourth. Colella crashed the net and flipped the puck home at 8:16, but Picco indicated that the net had come loose before the shot was taken. The play went to video review, and the ruling stood.
Kment foiled Foegele in the eighth minute and was strong in the 17th when Foegele tried to convert the rebound of a Dal Colle drive.
Kingston outshot the Battalion 9-6 in the first period.
Kment was busy early, dealing with chances from Dal Colle, Foegele, Crouse and Desrocher before stopping a Watson blast off the right wing in the 20th minute. The Battalion’s best chance came in the sixth minute when Santos missed converting at the right post off a two-on-one rush with Dineen.
The Battalion visits the Guelph Storm at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The game can be seen live in North Bay on CogecoTV Channel 12 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: Dineen has three goals and one assist for four points in the last three games. On the season, he has 32 assists for 42 points, second in scoring among blueliners, one point behind Rasmus Andersson of the Barrie Colts. Dineen also is second in rookie scoring, 15 points behind Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads … Amadio saw the end of a five-game points streak during which he had five goals and three assists for eight points … The Battalion went 0-for-4 on the power play. Kingston was 0-for-2 … Opening lines featured Amadio centring left winger Vertiy and right winger Santos, Brett McKenzie centring left winger Baird and right winger Harland and Poirier pivoting left winger Colella and right winger Hargrave. Jacob Ball centred left winger Max Kislinger and right winger Justin Brazeau … The Battalion scratched Zach Shankar, David Sherman and Kyle Potts, who has an upper-body injury … Bruce was suspended for what was deemed a head check on Owen Tippett in a 6-3 home-ice win Dec. 31 over Mississauga. The suspension for what many viewed as a clean check has been widely condemned in the media and by fans and league observers. Bruce received strong applause when introduced as a starter … Scott Oakman was the other referee.