Troops down Flint 5-3
Battalion, Spirit play tonight
FLINT, Mich. — Adam Mcmaster’s second goal of the game proved the winner as the North Bay Battalion skated to a 5-3 victory Friday night over the Flint Firebirds, handing the hosts their eighth straight Ontario Hockey League loss on a day that saw head coach Ryan Oulahen resign.
Justin Brazeau scored two goals and added two assists for North Bay, while Mcmaster also had an assist and Brad Chenier provided one goal and two assists. Goaltender Christian Propp produced 35 saves in a stellar display. The Battalion, which earned its first road win of the season in opening a three-game trip, has a won-lost-extended record of 3-5-0 for six points, fifth and last in the Central Division.
Assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the Battalion bench, as head coach Stan Butler is on medical leave and didn’t make the trip. Despite his absence, Butler was credited with his 1,500th OHL game coached, fourth on the alltime list.
Theo Calvas, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Sarnia Sting, made his Battalion debut alongside Braden Henderson, another former Sarnia blueliner, as the Troops dressed 11 up front and seven defencemen.
Oulahen’s resignation for “personal reasons and my family” was announced barely two hours before the game. Greg Stefan was named to serve as head coach against the Battalion and for a Saturday night visit by the Kitchener Rangers.
Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes and Eric Uba scored for the Firebirds, while goaltender Emanuel Vella faced 25 shots. Flint, at 0-8-0 the last winless team in the league, is last in the West Division.
Uba knotted the score 3-3 at 9:28 of the third period from a scrum with Propp on the ice, but Mcmaster replied on the power play at 12:02 with Holmes off for crosschecking. Mcmaster scored his fourth goal of the season on a screened blast from the right-wing circle as Chenier and David Maier drew assists before Chenier added a power-play goal at 19:19.
Mcmaster broke a 2-2 tie at 17:10 of the second period, cashing a snap shot from the right circle off a rush, with Brazeau assisting.
Dellandrea scored 42 seconds into the frame to offset a firstperiod goal by Brazeau before he connected again on the power play at 6:17 as Flint’s Jake Durham served an instigating penalty. It was Brazeau’s team-leading seventh goal.
Holmes tied it again at 11:32 with a pop shot from the slot.
Brazeau initiated the scoring 4:13 after the opening faceoff, sweeping the puck home to the far side from the right faceoff dot. Mcmaster had the sole assist.
Propp made numerous sparkling saves in the first period, starting when he denied Kyle Harris alone in front twice in the third minute. Propp foiled Evan Vierling after a turnover in the fifth minute and stopped C.J. Clarke on a solo chance off an Egor Postnov giveaway in the eighth. The goaltender’s top stop of the frame came in the 16th minute, when he got the right pad on a closerange drive by Vierling.
The Battalion continues its trip with a visit to the Saginaw Spirit at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The game can be seen live in North Bay on Yourtv Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
Goaltender Emanuel Vella of the Flint Firebirds, with teammates Fedor Gordeev and Marcus Gretz, watches for any incoming shot with Brad Chenier of the North Bay Battalion in their Ontario Hockey League game Friday night at Flint's Dort Federal Event Center. The Battalion opened a three-game road trip.