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White propels Sarnia over Battalion

SARNIA, Ont. – Patrick White scored two goals and added one assist to pace the Sarnia Sting to a 5-2 victory Friday night over the North Bay Battalion, snapping Sarnia’s three-game Ontario Hockey League losing skid.

Sasha Chmelevski had one goal and one assist and Pavel Zacha and Nikita Korostelev the other Sarnia goals. Goaltender Justin Fazio faced 21 shots as the Sting improved its won-lost-extended record to 14-10-2 for 30 points, second in the West Division.

Mathew Santos and Zach Shankar scored for the Battalion, which lost for the first time in four games and is 12-11-2 for 26 points, fourth in the Central Division.

Starting goaltender Jake Smith allowed five goals on 22 shots through two periods. Jake Kment came on for the final frame and stopped the 12 shots he faced as the Troops opened a three-game road trip before a crowd of 2,615.

Zacha opened the scoring at 1:34 of the first period with his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Jordan Kyrou stripped Cam Dineen of the puck behind the net and fed the disc to Zacha, who wristed it home from the left-wing circle.

Santos replied with his sixth goal at 2:50. Daniil Vertiy thwarted a Sting attempt to clear its zone, and Mike Amadio slipped the puck to Santos, who got behind defenders to beat Fazio between the legs.

Chmelevski made it 2-1 at 11:55, firing a White pass between the pads of Smith, who faced 12 shots in the period and made key saves against Hayden Hodgson, Kevin Spinozzi, Troy Lajeunesse and Anthony Salinitri.

White scored the first of three unanswered second-period goals, the eventual winner, at 3:36 when he drove to the net and chipped a Chmelevski pass over a fallen Smith.

Korostelev connected on the power play at 8:27, snapping the puck over Smith’s glove from the left circle, and White scored again at 14:40. Smith bobbled Zachary Core’s shot and the puck fell into the crease, where White tapped it home.

The Troops held an 11-10 edge in shots in the frame. Fazio foiled Amadio, Santos, Kyle Wood, Brett McKenzie, Zach Poirier and David Sherman. Dineen hit the crossbar in the 16th minute with a left-point drive that a screened Fazio never saw.

Shankar struck at 7:59 of the third period, firing a Max Kislinger pass over Fazio’s glove. Poirier also assisted on defenceman Shankar’s second goal.

Kment was busy, coming up with solid stops on Zacha, Hodgson, Davis Brown and Josh Jacobs. Fazio faced six shots, turning away a Steve Harland rush off the right wing and chances by Brady Lyle and Brett Hargrave.

The Battalion visits the Saginaw Spirit at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The game can be heard live in North Bay on Country 600 CKAT.

BATTALION BULLETS: Amadio’s assist was the 107th of his career, tying Howie Martin for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time list. Amadio has three goals and six assists for nine points in the last four games … The Battalion went 0-for-3 on the power play. The Sting was 1-for-7 … The Troops, who arrived in Sarnia on Thursday night, boarded the bus for Saginaw after the game … Opening lines included Amadio centring left winger Vertiy and right winger Santos, McKenzie centring left winger Sherman and right winger Hargrave and Poirier pivoting left winger Mike Baird and right winger Harland. Kyle Potts centred left winger Kislinger and right winger Justin Brazeau … The Battalion scratched Jake Ramalho and Jacob Ball … Defence pairings saw Dineen with Riley Bruce, Wood with Mark Shoemaker and Shankar beside Lyle … Defenceman Ramalho has been named the Central Division’s academic player for November. Rookie Ramalho is a Grade 12 student at Chippewa Secondary School with an 89-percent average … Zacha has been invited to the Czech Republic’s selection camp for the 2016 World Junior Championship but, as a veteran of the 2015 tournament, the left winger is deemed a lock to make the roster. The New Jersey Devils made Zacha the sixth overall pick in the National Hockey League Draft in June.

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