Generals fend off Battalion comeback

OSHAWA, Ont. – Michael Dal Colle’s goal at 17:05 of the third period proved the winner as the Oshawa Generals held on to defeat the North Bay Battalion 5-3 in an Ontario Hockey League game Friday night.

The Generals appeared in command with a 4-1 lead at that point, but the Battalion rallied with two goals before an empty-netter settled the issue, the teams having combined for four goals in a span of 2:46.

Matt Mistele scored two goals and added one assist for Oshawa, which got one goal and one assist from each of Brent Pedersen and Cole Cassels. Goaltender Ken Appleby faced 25 shots before a crowd of 5,619.

Oshawa has a won-lost-extended record of 35-7-2 for 72 points atop the East Division, Eastern Conference and league.

Mike Amadio had one goal and two assists for the Battalion, while Ray Huether and Nick Paul also scored. Goaltender Jake Smith made 33 saves for North Bay, 21-12-9 for 51 points, second in the Central Division.

Coach Stan Butler shuffled his lines after the Battalion suffered its first shutout of the season in a 3-0 home-ice loss Thursday night to the Saginaw Spirit.

Oshawa carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, besieging Smith for much of the frame as the Troops killed a bench minor for too many men and a Mike Baird crosschecking penalty.

At 13:42, one second after Baird’s penalty expired, Mistele’s wrister from the right wing beat Smith to the short side. Dal Colle then made it 4-1 when he converted an Anthony Cirelli pass at the left side of the crease with a delayed penalty pending to Brett McKenzie.

Paul’s 21st goal pulled the Troops within two at 17:19 as he parked himself in front of Appleby, took a feed from Amadio, whirled and stuffed the puck past the goaltender’s right leg.

Smith left for a sixth attacker before the comeback hopes appeared to end when Paul went off for hooking at 19:05. Penalty killer Amadio cut the deficit to 4-3 at 19:45, burying a McKenzie feed over Appleby’s glove for a team-leading 22nd goal.

Cassels put a power-play goal into the empty net at 19:51.

Huether opened the scoring on the power play at 13:33 of the second period, sliding the puck between Appleby’s legs with Amadio and Brenden Miller earning assists. Pedersen replied 1:20 later, wiring a Tobias Lindberg feed over Smith’s glove from the right circle.

Mistele connected at 18:55 after Dakota Mermis jumped on a turnover and fired the puck off the end boards. Cassels tried to convert the rebound as a sprawling Smith made the save but was unable to deny Mistele at the right post.

The Generals forged an 11-3 edge in shots in the first period.

The Battalion hosts the Sudbury Wolves at 1 p.m. Sunday.

BATTALION BULLETS: Miller earned his 45th career power-play assist, eclipsing Jason Maleyko for sole possession of seventh place on the franchise list … The Battalion went 0-3-1 against Oshawa this season … Butler was charged with his 600th OHL loss. In 1,262 games, he has a won-lost-tied record of 597-600-65, including 527-551-52 with the Battalion. Butler went 70-49-13 in two seasons with Oshawa … North Bay was 1-for-5 on the power play. Oshawa went 1-for-4 … Opening line combinations included Amadio centring left winger Paul and Zach Poirier on right wing, Ryan Kujawinski centring McKenzie on left wing and right winger Alex Henriksson and Huether pivoting left winger Baird and right winger Mathew Santos. Zach Shankar, a defenceman, centred left winger Owen Green and right winger Hampus Olsson … The Battalion scratched Zach Bratina, Nick Moutrey and Mark Shoemaker … Shankar returned from a 10-game suspension levied for a match penalty for a head check on visiting Oshawa’s Aidan Wallace on Dec. 19 … Among Oshawa’s scratches were Hunter Smith and Mitchell Vande Sompel … Mistele, Mermis and Michael McCarron were acquisitions before the trade deadline who weren’t in the lineup when the teams met Jan. 1 with the host Generals winning 2-1 via shootout … The referees were Mike Cairns and Pat Myers.

The online game sheet can be found here.

The game highlights can be found here.

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