Petes force a Game 7

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Avery Hayes scored at 2:40 of overtime to give the Peterborough Petes a 4-3 Ontario Hockey League victory Sunday night over the North Bay Battalion, sending the Eastern Conference Championship Series to a deciding seventh game.

J.R. Avon, Chase Stillman and Samuel Mayer also scored for fourth-place Peterborough, while goaltender Michael Simpson made 26 saves.

Josh Bloom, Anthony Romani and Matvey Petrov scored for second-place North Bay as goaltender Dom DiVincentiis, who faced a penalty shot attempt, provided 40 saves before a crowd of 3,836 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

The teams meet at North Bay at 7 p.m. Monday to determine who plays the London Knights for the OHL title. London defeated the host Sarnia Sting 5-1 earlier Sunday to win the best-of-seven Western Conference Championship Series four games to two.

The Troops were without Pasquale Zito, sidelined with an upper-body injury after being checked from behind into the boards by Cam Gauvreau in the previous game, a 6-2 Battalion victory at home Friday night. Gauvreau has been suspended indefinitely.

After the Petes blocked a shot in their zone, Brennan Othmann, who had two assists, dashed off on a two-on-one rush against Paul Christopoulos with Hayes, feeding him the puck on the left side for a one-timer and his team-leading eighth goal of the playoffs.

Petrov gave the Battalion its first lead, at 3-2, with his fourth goal at 9:18 of the third period. The goal was unassisted, as Petrov stripped Stillman of the puck and raced down the left wing to beat Simpson between the legs.

Mayer tied it at 10:46, scoring from the right circle on assists by Othmann and Tucker Robertson. It was defenceman Mayer’s second goal of the postseason and series.

The Battalion, which trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes, tied it with two second-period goals, the first a shorthanded strike by Bloom, who stole the puck from Shawn Spearing in the neutral zone and went in to beat Simpson for a fourth playoff goal.

Romani scored at 19:13, going to the crease and ripping at the puck delivered to the goalmouth by Liam Arnsby. Simpson made a left-pad save, but the puck rebounded to hit Romani’s left skate, reversing direction and slipping under the pad. Brayden Hislop had the other assist on Romani’s sixth goal.

Avon opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first period, darting down the left wing and wristing the puck to the far side of the net from the faceoff circle. Spearing was credited with the lone assist on Avon’s fifth goal.

Stillman, who returned from a two-game suspension after incurring a match penalty for slew-footing, struck 1:03 later, redirecting a Connor Lockhart shot-pass inside the right post. Owen Beck also assisted on Stillman’s second goal.

Stillman was awarded the penalty shot at 12:25 on the basis of a foul from behind by Alexander Lukin on a breakaway attempt. Stillman cruised past the crease without getting off a proper shot.

DiVincentiis made a sterling left-pad save against Hayes during a Peterborough power play and froze the puck in the 14th minute, then received attention from athletic therapist Andrew Sachkiw as the goaltender flexed his knee.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion has an all-time won-lost record of 7-8 in the sixth game of a playoff series, including 6-4 on the road, 3-4 since relocation from Brampton and 3-3 on the road as North Bay … The Battalion is 13-25 all-time in postseason overtime. It was the Troops’ fourth overtime game of the playoffs, tying the franchise record set in 2009 as Brampton … In 32 playoff games, Petrov has six goals and 26 assists for 32 points, tied with Kyle Jackson for ninth place in franchise history. Jackson has 16 goals and as many assists in 31 games … Jackson saw the end of a four-game points streak in which he had two goals and three assists for five points … The Battalion went 0-for-2 on the power play. Peterborough was 0-for-4 … In addition to Zito, the Battalion, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched Wyatt Kennedy, Jacob Therrien, Brayden Turley and Brett Bouchard … Dave Lewis and Joe Monette were the referees … At North Bay, Team Green defeated Team White 6-2 in a 45-minute game to end the Battalion’s conditioning camp, attended by 32 skaters and goaltenders. Lirim Amidovski and Therrien each scored two goals and Dylan Richter and Kayden Buller had one apiece for Green. Declan Gallivan and Stepan Chukharev scored for White. Green goaltenders were Jack Lisson and Charlie Larocque and their White counterparts Mike McIvor and James Meredith.

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