Troops down Flint 5-3

Bat­tal­ion, Spirit play tonight

North Bay Nugget - - SPORTS -

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.

Sean ryan Photo

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.

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