MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Alan Lyszczarczyk scored two goals, including the winner, to lead the Mississauga Steelheads to a 6-3 Ontario Hockey League victory Friday night over the North Bay Battalion, moving the winners three points ahead of the Troops in their battle for third place in the Central Division.
Keean Washkurak scored an empty-net goal and added two assists, and Cole Schwindt had one goal and one assist for Mississauga, which got its other goals from Adam Varga and Nick Isaacson. Goaltender Jacob Ingham faced 29 shots for the Steelheads, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to improve their won-lost-extended record to 23-20-6 for 52 points.
Justin Brazeau and Matthew Struthers each had one goal and one assist, and Mitchell Russell also scored for the Battalion, 23-24-3 and fourth in the division. Goaltender Christian Propp made 41 saves before 1,710 at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.
With the two points, Brazeau now is the franchise’s leading scorer in the North Bay era, which dates to the 2013-14 season. In 250 games, he has 111 goals and 98 assists for 209 points, two more than Mike Amadio. After registering 19 points in 63 games as a rookie in Brampton, Amadio played 200 games for North Bay, scoring 86 goals and earning 121 assists.
Russell struck unassisted at 1:41 of the second period, snapping the puck home from the right-wing circle, and Struthers converted the power-play rebound after Ingham knocked down a Brazeau shot from the goalmouth at 3:59, but that proved to be the end of Battalion scoring.
Isaacson replied 53 seconds later after a long scramble with Propp prone in the crease, and Schwindt tied it 3-3 with the man advantage at 13:57, shoveling the puck home on a backdoor play from the left side of the crease.
Lyszczarczyk connected on the power play at 16:19 after Cole Carter intercepted a clearing attempt and fired the puck from the high slot. Propp appeared to get a piece of it, with Lyszczarczyk knocking the disc home from the right side.
The Battalion killed the only penalty in the third period, a roughing call against Daniel Walker at 1:42, but failed to get the equalizer. Lyszczarczyk scored on a counterclockwise wraparound at 16:56, marking his 27th goal of the season and 23rd since arriving from the Owen Sound Attack, and Washkurak hit the empty net at 17:51, just 25 seconds after Propp was pulled for a sixth skater.
Varga gave Mississauga a 1-0 lead at 11:33 of the first period, taking a pass from Schwindt in the neutral zone and getting open on the right wing to power past Braden Henderson and score on a wrister from the right circle. Nick McHugh also assisted on Varga’s fourth goal.
Brazeau tied it at 19:20 with his team-leading 44th goal, the point that surpassed Amadio. Struthers fed the puck to the goalmouth from the boards deep on the left wing, and Brazeau used his long reach to tuck the puck around Ingham on the right side. David Maier had the second assist.
The Battalion plays host to the Sarnia Sting at 2 p.m. Sunday on Coach4Food Wrap-Up Day.
BATTALION BULLETS: Brazeau has 40 assists and 84 points in 50 games, second in league scoring to Tye Felhaber of the Ottawa 67’s. Amadio scored a franchise-record 50 goals in 2015-16, another mark Brazeau is chasing. Brazeau’s 111 career goals, tied with Raffi Torres for fourth place in club annals, are the most by a Battalion player for North Bay, while Amadio’s 121 assists are the mark in that category. Overall, Amadio is fourth in Battalion scoring, with 92 goals and 134 assists for 226 points. The Troops’ all-time leading scorer is Wojtek Wolski, who had franchise records of 130 goals and 198 assists for 328 points in 253 games over four seasons culminating in 2005-06. Brazeau ranks seventh, six points behind Luke Lynes … Brazeau turns 21 on Saturday, when coach Stan Butler is 63 … The Battalion is 2-2-0 against the Steelheads. The teams meet twice more, Feb. 17 at North Bay and March 15 at Mississauga … The Battalion went 1-for-2 on the power play. Mississauga was 2-for-3 … Opening lines featured Struthers centring left winger Luke Burghardt and right winger Brazeau, Mason Primeau pivoting left winger Harrison Caines and right winger Brandon Coe and Luke Moncada centring left winger Walker and Russell on right wing. Cameron Peters centred Pacey Schlueting, a defenceman, on left wing and Patrick Brown on right wing … The Battalion was without Travis Mailhot, Kurtis Evans and Brad Chenier.