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Ottawa takes exhibition split

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Vsevolod Gaidamak scored one goal and assisted on another as the Ottawa 67’s downed the North Bay Battalion 4-1 Saturday to grab a split of their preseason home-and-home series.

Brenden Sirizzotti, Brady Stonehouse and Dylan Robinson added a goal apiece for Ottawa, while goaltender Collin MacKenzie provided 26 saves. The 67’s have two wins and as many losses in Ontario Hockey League exhibition action.

Dalyn Wakely scored for North Bay, which lost for the first time in three outings. Goaltender Reece Proulx faced 25 shots in the final preseason game at Memorial Gardens.

The Battalion dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit, with 11 forwards and six defencemen in uniform, as was the case at Ottawa, where the Troops prevailed 3-2 Friday night. The 67’s had a full contingent of 18 skaters.

Sirizzotti opened the scoring at 1:32 of the second period, but the Battalion answered 40 seconds later when Owen Outwater and Wakely staged a two-on-one rush, with Outwater sending a pass to Wakely on the left side for a conversion that gave MacKenzie no chance.

Stonehouse struck 33 seconds after that for what proved to be the winning goal, using a decoy on a two-on-one sortie and firing the puck past a collapsing defender.

Gaidamak connected on the power play at 18:43, taking a pass at the right post on the back door and seeing the puck trickle past Proulx.

After trailing 3-1 entering the third period, the Battalion outshot Ottawa 12-7 in the final frame, but Robinson collected the only goal, redirecting a right-point shot by Thomas Sirman through traffic at 11:02.

The teams battled through a scoreless opening period in which North Bay had a 9-8 edge in shots. Ottawa’s Will Gerrior tipped the puck off the right post in the third minute, and Proulx snagged a drive by Gaidamak at 18:25 after he was sent alone up the middle.

The Battalion served three minor penalties in the period to Ottawa’s one, but the Troops dominated while shorthanded the first time, with Kyle Jackson and Owen Van Steensel among those who gave the 67’s as much as they could handle.

The Battalion was short two men for eight seconds in the 14th minute after a delay-of-game call against Cam Gauvreau for putting the puck into the stands and a slashing minor to Wakely, but the penalty killers dispensed with the problem.

Referees Drew Jackson and Matt Scott made slashing the penalty of the day, as the infraction accounted for five of 10 minors issued. It almost was a majority of calls, as Outwater was assessed a high-sticking penalty at 19:57 of the third period.

The Battalion completes its preseason schedule with a visit to the Owen Sound Attack at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

BATTALION BULLETS: Opening line combinations saw Liam Arnsby centring left winger Josh Currie and right winger Alex Christopoulos, Jackson centring left winger Michael Podolioukh and Van Steensel on right wing and Wakely skating between left winger Outwater and right winger Nic Sima. Centre Anthony Romani and right winger Christian Stevens had various linemates … Arnsby wore a facial cage for a second consecutive game after suffering a broken nose in a 4-2 home-ice victory Sept. 18 over Owen Sound … Defence pairings had Simon Rose with Paul Christopoulos, Tnias Mathurin with Ty Nelson and Gauvreau alongside Wyatt Kennedy, who was assigned to the junior A Rockland Nationals of the Central Canada Hockey League after the game … Dom DiVincentiis backed up Proulx … North Bay again was without Joe Vrbetic, Avery Winslow, Alexander Lukin, Brandon Coe, Matvey Petrov, David Campbell and Mitchell Russell … Petrov and Vrbetic were expected to return to North Bay on Sunday from the Edmonton Oilers’ and Montreal Canadiens’ National Hockey League camps respectively, while Lukin is scheduled to arrive from Russia on Tuesday … Arnsby, Jackson, Rose and Nelson again served as alternate captains, with no one wearing the ‘C’ … The Troops went 0-for-5 on the power play. Ottawa was 1-for-5.

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