Battalion bests Sudbury

SUDBURY, Ont. — Dalyn Wakely scored two goals and Matvey Petrov had one goal and three assists, powering the North Bay Battalion to a 5-1 victory Wednesday night over the Sudbury Wolves and a tie with the Ottawa 67’s atop the Ontario Hockey League.

Kyle Jackson provided one goal and two assists and Jacob Therrien the other goal for North Bay, which improved its won-lost-extended record to 33-12-2 for 68 points, first in the Central Division. Ottawa, which has two games in hand, is first in the East Division, the other half of the Eastern Conference.

Nikita Tarasevich had three assists and goaltender Dom DiVincentiis contributed 22 saves, including on a second-period penalty shot by Alex Pharand.

Petrov assumed the OHL scoring lead with 21 goals and 48 assists for 69 points, one more than Matthew Maggio of the Windsor Spitfires. Petrov has 61 career goals, surpassing Lukas Havel by one for the most by an import in franchise history. The Russian, who eclipsed Havel in points two games earlier, was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.

Ryan Oulahen has coached the Battalion in 150 games with a record of 89-48-13 for a points percentage of .637.

Ethan Larmand scored for Sudbury, 18-21-6 for 42 points, fourth in the Central. Goaltender Kevyn Brassard faced 34 shots before a crowd of 3,017.

The teams had further regulars added to the ranks of the missing. The Troops’ Pasquale Zito suffered a lower-body injury in a 4-0 loss Sunday night to the host Oshawa Generals. Sudbury’s David Goyette served the second game of a four-game suspension issued after he received a head-checking major, fighting major and game misconduct in a 4-3 road loss Saturday night to the Owen Sound Attack.

Wakely struck first, at 2:23 of the opening period, knocking the puck past Brassard from the lip of the crease. Tarasevich and Petrov had assists. Jackson then won a right-side faceoff directly to Therrien on the inner edge of the circle, and he wired the puck inside the far post at 5:40 for his fourth goal of the season and what proved to be the winner.

Petrov drilled the rubber to the stick side at 2:27 of the middle period on assists by Tarasevich and Jackson, and Wakely took a short setup from Petrov in the goalmouth and slipped the puck past Brassard at 19:27 for a 4-0 lead. Tarasevich had the other assist as Wakely collected his 22nd goal, marking two more than he scored last season.

Larmand replied 14 seconds later, scoring on a high shot off a rush from the left circle.

DiVincentiis denied Pharand on the penalty shot at 3:32. Pharand was impeded by Avery Winslow in splitting the defence, but DiVincentiis got a shoulder on the subsequent untimed shot.

The third period developed into a series of penalties as the frustrated and ever chippy Wolves demonstrated their customary form. The Battalion failed to score on a two-man advantage lasting a full two minutes, and Sudbury was blanked in a shorter such edge.

North Bay’s Owen Van Steensel and Matthew Mania engaged in a spirited scrap at 8:05, with Van Steensel rebounding from an early takedown to deliver a series of telling blows and secure the final takedown and the win.

With the teams skating four on four, Jackson collected his team-leading 28th goal at 11:14, catching up to a lofted pass into the offensive zone from Petrov to elude Nolan Collins and beat Brassard. In 166 career games, Jackson has 68 goals and 86 assists for 154 points, tied with Brad Chenier for 16th place in franchise history.

The Battalion plays host to the Mississauga Steelheads at 7 p.m. Thursday on Bruce Power Night.

BATTALION BULLETS: It was the sixth of eight meetings and the last at Sudbury. The Battalion is 5-1-0, having posted road wins of 7-4 on Nov. 30 and 2-1 via shootout Jan. 11 while taking two games at home, 7-3 on Dec. 28 and 2-1 on Jan. 22. The Wolves won 3-2 at the Sudbury Community Arena on Dec. 30. The last two games are at Memorial Gardens on March 2 and 19 … The Battalion went 0-for-7 on the power play. Sudbury was 0-for-6 … Apart from Zito, the Battalion scratched Tnias Mathurin, Brayden Turley, Justin Ertel, Liam Arnsby and Luc Brzustowski … Chase MacQueen-Spence was up from the junior B St. Marys Lincolns of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, for whom he has 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 36 games. A fourth-rounder in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection from the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs U16s, he played seven OHL games last season … Charlie Robertson was back in uniform after not having dressed since playing in a 5-4 loss Jan. 20 at Mississauga. He tended goal in the second half of the CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game at Langley, B.C., on Jan. 25. Mike McIvor, who backed up DiVincentiis in three games before getting the start Sunday, has been returned to the North Bay Trappers U18s … Sudbury, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched the injured Kocha Delic and Quentin Musty … Drew Jackson and Aaron Neely were the referees.

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