SUDBURY, Ont. – The Sudbury Wolves solved Brampton Battalion goaltending while the reverse wasn’t the case, and the result was a 4-0 victory for the home side in an Ontario Hockey League game Friday night.
Michael Sgarbossa scored two goals and added one assist and Brody Silk and Josh McFadden had one goal and one assist each for Sudbury, which got 24 saves from first-year goaltender Joel Vienneau in his first OHL shutout.
Andrey Kuchin contributed three assists for Sudbury, which improved its won-lost-extended record to 14-10-1 for 29 points in the hotly contested Central Division. The Wolves, winners of four in a row, are fifth and last in the division but only three points behind the Niagara IceDogs and Battalion, who lead the Barrie Colts by one point and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors by two.
Goaltender Matej Machovsky faced 20 shots for the Battalion, which lost right winger Barclay Goodrow in the fourth minute of the opening period when he appeared to take a broken stick to his right ribs. Goodrow lay on the ice for some time before being assisted to the bench and then the dressing room.
The Wolves’ goals were the first against the Battalion on Sudbury ice this season after 5-0 and 3-0 Brampton wins on Sept. 24 and Nov. 20 respectively. The Wolves defeated the host Troops 4-1 Oct. 30 in the other previous meeting.
With centre Patrik Machac having suffered an apparent bruised shoulder in a 2-1 loss via shootout to the visiting Kitchener Rangers on Thursday night, the Troops had left winger Geoff Bezruchko in the lineup from the affiliated junior A Orangeville Flyers.
“In the first period, we had a couple of good chances and then, on their first scoring chance, they score,” said Battalion coach Stan Butler. “With the injury to Barclay, I didn’t think a lot of our guys responded very well. We got out of the first period 1-0, and then in the second period we shot ourselves in the foot by taking of a couple of bad penalties.”
Said Butler: “I don’t know if it was a combination of being a little short on bodies or whether guys were frustrated, but we took some more bad penalties, and the fourth goal they got in the third period was a highlight-reel goal by Sgarbossa.”
McFadden scored on a two-man advantage at 9:32 of the second period to give Sudbury a 2-0 lead. Defenceman McFadden, who sat out a 2-1 overtime victory over the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Tuesday night because of injury, netted his second goal of the season on a slap shot off a pass from Joshua Leivo.
Silk, despite being knocked down on the play by Philip Lane, cashed a pass from behind the net from Kuchin at 14:31.
The Battalion ran into a rash of penalties late in the period, with Bezruchko banished for crosschecking at 17:51, Sam Carrick for slashing at 18:11 and Lane for checking from behind at 19:11, all of which gave Sudbury a two-man advantage for three minutes.
Sgarbossa slipped through the slot to backhand home his team-leading 18th goal 55 seconds into the final period with Lane still in the box. Lane clearly was disgusted by the penalty call, which saw Kuchin on his feet and heading to the net as soon as the arm went up.
Sgarbossa opened the scoring at 10:17 of the first period, darting alone into the deep slot for a quick conversion of a pass from the left-wing corner by Silk.
Kuchin took a pass in the clear on the right side in the fifth minute but couldn’t get off a shot before cruising past the net.
Bezruchko fed a nice pass to Carrick from the right-wing boards in the 10th minute, and Vienneau produced a good save on the resulting shot.
Apart from Machac, the Battalion scratched Matt MacLeod, Alex O’Neil, Ian Watters and Michael Santini. Sudbury scratches were Cody Mintz, Jacob Harris, Chad Thibodeau and Nathan Pancel.
The Battalion hosts Niagara at 2 p.m. Sunday.
BATTALION NOTEBOOK: Attendance at the Sudbury Community Arena was 3,649 … The game was the last as Wolves public address announcer for Berk Keaney, who has given up the microphone after 59 years. Keaney, 90, announced his first game for the senior Wolves against the Kingston Frontenacs in the 1953-54 season. Keaney, who made use of a distinctive voice well known to OHL fans, told The Sudbury Star: “Seems like everyone else is retiring – Regis Philbin, Lloyd Robertson – so I may as well retire, too.” Taking over are Jeff Giffen and Rick Wyman, who have done play-by-play on Sudbury radio broadcasts … The Battalion went 0-for-8 on the power play. Sudbury was 2-for-6 … The Troops last were shut out Oct. 16, in a 1-0 overtime loss to the visiting Windsor Spitfires … Bezruchko, who made his Battalion debut, has three goals and five assists for eight points in 11 games with Orangeville. He recorded five goals and one assist for six points in 56 OHL games with the Peterborough Petes in 2010-11. He played three games this season with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League without registering a point … Goodrow’s early departure ended his career-high points streak at 10 games. He scored nine goals and added four assists for 13 points in the run, which started with two goals in a 3-1 home-ice win over the Guelph Storm on Nov. 6 … Opening line combinations featured Carrick centring left winger Brandon Robinson and Goodrow, Mitchell Porowski pivoting left winger Brett Mackie and right winger Lane and Jamie Lewis skating between Connor Jarvis on left wing and Andreas Tsogkas on right wing. Adam Lloyd centred Bezruchko and Brenden Miller on right wing.