Battalion prevails 6-2
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Kyle McDonald scored two goals to lead the North Bay Battalion to a 6-2 Ontario Hockey League victory Friday night over the Peterborough Petes, giving the Troops a 3-2 lead in games in the Eastern Conference Championship Series.
Ty Nelson scored one goal and added an assist, and Josh Bloom, Owen Van Steensel and Liam Arnsby each had one goal for second-place North Bay before a sold-out gathering of 4,241, the largest crowd of the season.
Starting goaltender Dom DiVincentiis stopped 22 of 24 shots before leaving with 1:34 to play. Charlie Robertson, who made his OHL playoff debut, finished up without facing a shot.
The Battalion will try to capture the best-of-seven series in Game 6 at 7:05 p.m. Sunday at Peterborough. If required, a seventh game will be played Monday night at North Bay. The game at Peterborough can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.
Owen Beck and Tucker Robertson scored for fourth-place Peterborough, which grew increasingly chippier as defeat became more apparent. Starting goaltender Michael Simpson allowed all six goals on 35 shots before Liam Sztuska, in his first OHL playoff appearance, made 17 saves.
The Battalion, which led 3-1 after 20 minutes, reeled off three more goals in the second period before Peterborough answered, with McDonald getting the run started at 2:57. Tnias Mathurin put the puck to the net, and McDonald deftly controlled it, moving the disc to his backhand and using his reach to tuck it around Simpson’s right side.
McDonald struck on the power play at 6:16, firing the puck from the right wing and having it deflect off the skate of Shawn Spearing. Nelson assisted on McDonald’s league-leading 14th goal, which tied McDonald with Matt Duchene in 2009 and Barclay Goodrow in 2014 for the franchise record for most goals in a playoff year.
Nelson converted a short pass from Kyle Jackson with the man advantage at 10:12 after Jackson darted behind the net to emerge at the right post. Matvey Petrov had the second assist, his 18th of the playoffs.
Nelson’s league-high 24 points, on six goals and 18 assists, are tied with Goodrow for most points by a Battalion player in a postseason in the North Bay era. Nelson and Petrov surpassed Brenden Miller’s franchise record in North Bay of 17 assists.
After Sztuska replaced Simpson at 11:53, Robertson scored from Connor Lockhart at 14:16, with Lockhart attacking DiVincentiis and sparking a melee. Lockhart and DiVincentiis received roughing minors, while the Petes’ Brennan Othmann and the Troops’ Avery Winslow were handed misconducts.
Beck delivered a blindside hit to Alexander Lukin on the boards at 3:01 of the final period without a penalty, and the rest of the frame was punctuated by five minors, the three assessed to Peterborough including a slashing call on Braydon McCallum at 20:00.
The Battalion jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period, sparked by Bloom at 1:29. Jackson won a right-wing faceoff back to Bloom for a quick snap shot and his third goal.
Van Steensel backhanded the puck home at 6:17 off an odd-man rush after Nikita Tarasevich centred the disc from the left wing. DiVincentiis also received an assist on Van Steensel’s sixth goal and third in two games.
Arnsby took a back pass from Tarasevich and hammered the puck past Simpson from the top of the right circle at 9:18, with Winslow also assisting on the captain’s sixth goal.
Beck replied on the power play at 12:51, tipping the puck into the open right side from the lip of the crease for his fifth goal. Brian Zanetti and Samuel Mayer had assists.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion introduced 18 prospects attending the club’s conditioning camp on the weekend … The Battalion has an all-time won-lost record of 12-15 in the fifth game of a playoff series, including 9-6 at home. The Troops are 8-4 since relocation from Brampton and 7-0 at Memorial Gardens … In 31 playoff games, Nelson has six goals and 28 assists for 34 points, tied with Nick Paul and Kyle Wood for sixth place in franchise history … In 30 games, Jackson has 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points, ninth overall … In 31 games Petrov has five goals and 26 assists for 31 points and 10th place … In 31 games, McDonald has 20 goals and 10 assists for 30 points, tied with Luch Aquino for 11th place in franchise history … McDonald’s 20 goals are tied with Cody Hodgson for second place, while Nelson’s 28 assists are fourth and Petrov’s 26 are fifth … Jackson has a four-game points streak in which he has two goals and three assists for five points … The Battalion was 2-for-7 on the power play. Peterborough went 1-for-4 … The Battalion, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched Jacob Therrien, Brayden Turley, Luc Brzustowski, Ethan Procyszyn and Brett Bouchard … Lukin returned to action after leaving Game 4, a 5-2 road win Wednesday night, after blocking a shot … Among Peterborough’s scratches was Jonathan Melee, injured in Game 3. Chase Stillman completed a two-game suspension.