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Saginaw turns back Troops

KITCHENER, Ont. — Brady Gilmour scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Saginaw Spirit to a 5-2 victory over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League exhibition action Sunday.

Jake Goldowksi also provided two goals for Saginaw, while Mason Millman had one goal and one assist and Cole Perfetti contributed four assists. Goaltender Carter Tahk made 29 saves in the last game for each team in the Preseason Showcase hosted by the Kitchener Rangers.

Mason Primeau and Mitchell Russell scored for North Bay, which trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes and 5-0 by the 6:44 mark of the third period. Goaltender Christian Cicigoi faced 42 shots as the Troops completed the showcase with three losses.

The Battalion was defeated 6-5 by Kitchener on Friday night and 3-2 by the Peterborough Petes on Saturday. Kitchener, Saginaw and Peterborough all posted won-lost records of 2-1.

Goldowski scored first at 15:39 of the second period, weaving through the offensive zone with two teammates and wristing the puck behind Cicigoi. Mitchell Smith had the lone assist.

Gilmour connected on the power play at 19:57, wiring the puck from the top of the right-wing circle on assists by Perfetti and D.J. King.

Gilmour struck again 34 seconds into the final period off an odd-man rush down the left wing for what proved to be the winning goal, and Goldowski made it 4-0 at 6:01 off a forecheck when he snapped the rubber from the left circle.

Millman then scored shorthanded, giving Saginaw four goals in a span of 6:47 starting with the late second-period tally. Perfetti and Gilmour drew the assists.

North Bay’s Matthew Struthers left the game midway in the second period with an upper-body ailment but was believed to have escaped serious injury.

Primeau broke Tahk’s shutout aspirations at 13:03, slipping down the left boards and putting home a high shot from a sharp angle, and Russell completed the scoring at 14:54. Both Battalion goals were unassisted.

Shortly after Russell’s goal, David Campbell found himself alone in front of Tahk but failed to get off a shot, the puck skittering wide left of the net, and the Troops couldn’t capitalize on a major penalty and game misconduct assessed to Smith at 17:27 for a head check on Luke Moncada.

The Battalion had the only power play in the first period after King went off for hooking 23 seconds after the opening faceoff. Patrick Brown had a first-period breakaway and a quick dart to the net off the right wing in the 14th minute but was denied twice by Tahk.

Assistant coaches Adam Dennis and Scott Wray ran the North Bay bench while head coach Stan Butler watched from a suite.

The Battalion has two exhibition games left before the season opener, visiting the Owen Sound Attack at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and playing host to Owen Sound the next day.

BATTALION BULLETS: Opening lines featured Struthers centring left winger Harrison Caines and right winger Alex Christopoulos, Primeau centring left winger Brad Chenier and right winger Russell and Moncada pivoting left winger Campbell and right winger Mat Hardwick. Liam Arnsby centred left winger Kyle Jackson and right winger Brown … Defence pairings were Nick King with Ty Hollett, Pacey Schlueting with James Mayotte and Braden Henderson beside Paul Christopoulos … Joe Vrbetic backed up Cicigoi, who made his OHL debut … The Battalion was without Ryan Thompson, Simon Rose, Niki Korpialho, Josh Currie, Kurtis Evans, Brandon Coe, Cameron Peters and Christian Purboo … Chenier wore the captain’s ‘C’ for the third straight game while Struthers and Primeau were the alternates … The Battalion went 0-for-5 on the power play. Saginaw was 1-for-3 … The Troops were to bus to North Bay immediately after the game … Hardwick has been assigned to the junior A Powassan Voodoos of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and Hollett to the Navan Grads of the junior A Central Canada Hockey League, reducing the Battalion roster to 26 … It was the second annual four-team showcase at Kitchener. The Battalion and Saginaw have participated in both.

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