Troops suffer Game 7 loss

NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion’s season of successes succumbed to the Peterborough Petes on Monday night in the seventh game of the third round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

J.R. Avon scored at 5:42 of the third period to break a tie and earn Peterborough a 3-2 victory and the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champions.

Owen Beck and Brennan Othmann also scored for fourth-place Peterborough, which opens the OHL Championship Series against the London Knights, winners of the Western Conference, at the Forest City on Thursday night.

Goaltender Michael Simpson made 22 saves for the Petes, who forced the deciding game with a 4-3 overtime win at home Sunday night.

Josh Bloom and Liam Arnsby scored for second-place North Bay, while goaltender Dom DiVincentiis produced 24 saves before a sellout crowd of 4,219.

“For sure, I give credit to the Peterborough Petes and congratulations,” said coach Ryan Oulahen, whose Troops set franchise records for wins and points in the regular season in capturing a second straight Central Division title.

“It’s a big victory, but just for us I couldn’t be more proud of our group and the effort, and you go on and on all season long, the adversity we faced, everything. It’s a special group of guys. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye to a lot of them.”

The teams battled to a 2-2 tie through 40 minutes before Avon slipped past Alexander Lukin and, fending him off, chipped the puck over DiVincentiis from short range. Assisted by Brian Zanetti and Samuel Mayer, it was Avon’s sixth goal of the playoffs.

The Troops pulled DiVincentiis for an extra attacker with 1:54 to play but, with Arnsby, Matvey Petrov, Kyle Jackson, Kyle McDonald, Anthony Romani and Ty Nelson on the ice for the final push, failed to generate a tying goal.

Bloom, scoring in a third consecutive game, struck at 10:56 of the first period, getting to the left side to put the puck into an open net after a rush almost disintegrated. Justin Ertel and Dalyn Wakely drew assists on Bloom’s fifth goal.

The Petes’ Shawn Spearing, who was struck in the face by the puck off a slap shot during a Battalion power play after a delay-of-game call against Connor Lockhart at 8:27, was helped to the dressing room, and Tommy Purdeller followed Spearing at 12:40. He was checked to the torso by Ethan Procyszyn but clutched a knee in falling and favoured it upon leaving.

Beck replied at 1:24 of the second period when Lukin fell to create a two-on-one rush and Beck snapped home his sixth goal from the right circle. Konnor Smith and Zanetti assisted.

With the teams skating four on four, Othmann connected at 6:55, driving deep on the left wing and beating DiVincentiis over the right shoulder on the short side. Donovan McCoy and Tucker Robertson had the assists on Othmann’s seventh goal.

Arnsby tied it at 12:49, getting to the net front and redirecting a semi-lob from the blue line by Nelson. Avery Winslow drew the second assist on Arnsby’s seventh goal. In 33 career playoff games, Nelson has six goals and 29 assists for 35 points, tied with Barclay Goodrow for fifth place in franchise history.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion has an all-time won-lost record of 5-1 in the seventh game of a playoff series, including 3-1 at Memorial Gardens. The series was the second in a row that went the distance, with the Troops having defeated the visiting Barrie Colts 3-1 in Game 7 of a conference semifinal April 25. The Battalion downed the visiting Petes 4-1 in the seventh game of a conference quarterfinal on April 5, 2016 … Nelson completed his season as the OHL’s playoff scoring leader with six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in 20 games. The 25 points are tied with Evgeny Grachev’s total in 2009 for the third-most in a single postseason in franchise annals. Cody Hodgson had 31 and Matt Duchene 26, both in 2009. In the seven games against Peterborough, Nelson had two goals and five assists for seven points … The Battalion went 0-for-3 on the power play. Peterborough was 0-for-2 … The Battalion, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen, scratched Wyatt Kennedy, Jacob Therrien, Brayden Turley, Brett Bouchard and Pasquale Zito, who missed a second straight game after incurring an upper-body injury when checked from behind into the boards … Among the missing for Peterborough were Jonathan Melee and the suspended Cam Gauvreau … In the seven games against North Bay, Othmann had three goals and five assists for eight points … Scott Ferguson and Mac Nichol were the referees.

More News
Nelson signs with Seattle
3 weeks ago
'Proud of the season'
3 weeks ago
OHL honours DiVincentiis
3 weeks ago
Petes force a Game 7
4 weeks ago
Troops survive testy tilt
4 weeks ago
Battalion prevails 6-2
4 weeks ago