Gagnier, Oster trump Troops
OSHAWA, Ont. — Ryan Gagnier scored three goals and added an assist and goaltender Jacob Oster posted his second consecutive shutout as the Oshawa Generals defeated the North Bay Battalion 4-0 in an Ontario Hockey League game Sunday night.
Stuart Rolofs also scored for Oshawa, which earned a third straight victory to move its won-lost-extended record to 18-21-4 for 40 points, fifth and last in the East Division.
Oster, in his fourth game with Oshawa after a trade from the Guelph Storm, made 30 saves for his second career OHL shutout after blanking the host Kingston Frontenacs 2-0 in a 19-save performance Friday night.
Goaltender Mike McIvor, making his second OHL start, faced 29 shots for North Bay, which lost for the first time in four games. The Troops completed a two-game weekend road trip after an 8-2 victory Saturday night over the Niagara IceDogs.
The Battalion is 32-12-2 for 66 points, first in the Central Division and two points behind the East Division’s Ottawa 67’s, who lead the Eastern Conference after a 4-2 road win Sunday over the Mississauga Steelheads.
At the request of the Generals, the Troops wore their white-based Centurion-themed uniforms on Retro Night before a Tribute Communities Centre crowd of 5,721.
Gagnier opened the scoring at 8:47 of the first period when he converted from the left side off a rush, with Calum Ritchie and Luca D’Amato assisting.
Gagnier struck again at 18:06. Beckett Sennecke fed the puck off the end boards for a one-timer from the left faceoff dot. Ben Danford had the other assist.
Rolofs scored on the power play 22 seconds into the middle period while Alexander Lukin served a roughing call from late in the first frame. Gagnier and Ritchie provided assists on Rolofs’s 18th goal of the season.
Pasquale Zito stole the puck from Luca Marrelli in the mid slot, but neither Zito nor Anthony Romani could get the puck behind Oster, who covered up at 4:19. Rolofs reciprocated when a sprawling McIvor got his stick on a one-timer in the 10th minute.
The Troops’ Matvey Petrov spun and fired only to see the puck slide just outside the right post in the 19th minute.
Gagnier netted his team-leading 21st goal at 7:23 of the third period after forcing a neutral-zone turnover and advancing to wire the puck from high in the left circle.
Zito and Rolofs exchanged a flurry of punches 23 seconds later after Zito took exception to a Rolofs hit on Ty Nelson on the end boards, with Zito getting the takedown. Each received a fighting major.
The Battalion visits the Sudbury Wolves at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. The game can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.
BATTALION BULLETS: It was the third of four games between the teams after the Battalion posted two home-ice wins, 7-3 on Dec. 31 and 3-2 on Jan. 5. The last meeting is March 10 at Oshawa … The Battalion went 8-2-1 in January … North Bay was shut out for the first time since a 3-0 setback Jan. 28, 2022, at Mississauga … Oshawa acquired Oster on Jan. 9 for goaltender Patrick Leaver and a conditional OHL Priority Selection pick. An Ottawa product, Oster was a fifth-round choice by Guelph in 2020 from the Kemptville 73s midgets … The shutout brought to an end three Battalion players’ scoring runs of seven games. Petrov had a streak during which he had seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. Kyle Jackson had three goals and 10 assists for 13 points in his streak, and Kyle McDonald saw the end of a span in which he scored 10 goals and added five assists for 15 points … The Battalion went 0-for-3 on the power play. Oshawa was 1-for-3 … The Battalion, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched Tnias Mathurin, Justin Ertel, Liam Arnsby, Luc Brzustowski, Brett Bouchard and Charlie Robertson … Dom DiVincentiis backed up McIvor as Robertson, who played in the CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game at Langley, B.C., Wednesday night, was given another day of rest … The Troops overnighted at St. Catharines after the game there … Chris Chapman and Ryan Jenken were the referees.