Troops down Steel­heads in OT

North Bay Nugget - - WORLD NEWS -

Justin Brazeau’s sec­ond goal of the game, at 2:33 of over­time, gave the north Bay Bat­tal­ion a 4-3 vic­tory thurs­day night over the Mis­sis­sauga Steel­heads in the teams’ bat­tle for po­si­tion­ing in the on­tario hockey League’s Cen­tral divi­sion.

nick King and theo Cal­vas also scored for north Bay and Brazeau added an as­sist as the Bat­tal­ion im­proved its won-lost-ex­tended record to 20-18-3 for 43 points, two more than Mis­sis­sauga and third in the divi­sion. goal­tender Chris­tian Propp con­trib­uted 36 saves be­fore 2,276 at Me­mo­rial gar­dens as the troops ral­lied from a 2-0 first­pe­riod deficit.

the three-point game saw Brazeau climb into first place in the ohl scor­ing race with 39 goals and 32 as­sists for 71 points in 41 games, two points ahead of tye Fel­haber of the ot­tawa 67’s.

aidan Prueter, Cole Sch­windt and Keean Washku­rak scored for Mis­sis­sauga, 18-17-5 for 41 points in fourth place in the divi­sion. Joe ranger faced 27 shots in the Mis­sis­sauga net.

“the best thing that hap­pened tonight was we got two points,” said Bat­tal­ion as­sis­tant coach adam den­nis. “i don’t think we played very well. We chased the game for most of the night. We got some big saves in the third and we cap­i­tal­ized in over­time. that’s the best that i can say about it, be­cause it was pretty ugly.”

den­nis said he felt Propp re­bounded after a tough start.

“he started a lit­tle bit slow. the first goal is one he could prob­a­bly play a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. But after that he re­ally held us in there. it’s not al­ways about how many saves you make but about the tim­ing of them. he made a re­ally big back­door save late and then there was the wrap­around save in over­time, and then we went down and scored. When you can get those big saves, they can turn the mo­men­tum of the game.”

the teams were tied 3-3 through 40 min­utes, and Mis­sis­sauga dom­i­nated the third pe­riod, forc­ing Propp to make 19 saves, none big­ger than when he slid in the crease to deny Cole Carter at the left post in the 11th minute with the Steel­heads on the power play.

the Bat­tal­ion had sev­eral chances early in over­time and, after Propp made back-to-back saves on alan Lyszczarczyk, a stretch pass by Matthew Struthers sent Brazeau in on a break­away to whip a wris­ter past ranger’s blocker.

Prueter opened the scor­ing 46 sec­onds into the first pe­riod, cap­i­tal­iz­ing on a Cal­vas turnover deep in Bat­tal­ion ter­ri­tory by driv­ing to the net and loft­ing a back­han­der over Propp’s glove. an­other turnover led to Mis­sis­sauga’s sec­ond goal as Sch­windt in­ter­cepted a Braden hen­der­son clear­ing at­tempt and even­tu­ally scored off a pass from Lyszczarczyk at 18:42.

With the troops forg­ing an 11-9 edge in shots, ranger was solid on chances for Brazeau, Struthers, Brad Che­nier and Bran­don Coe. the Bat­tal­ion failed to gen­er­ate a good scor­ing op­por­tu­nity after Liam ham went off for both hold­ing and rough­ing at 13:30.

north Bay tied the game with goals 1:13 apart in the sec­ond pe­riod, sparked by King con­nect­ing on the power play at 4:51 when he beat ranger to the short side from deep in the left-wing cir­cle. Che­nier and Brazeau as­sisted on de­fence­man King’s sev­enth goal.

Cal­vas found the equal­izer at 6:04 when his slap shot from the top of the right cir­cle eluded a sprawl­ing ranger. Coe earned the only as­sist on Cal­vas’s first goal since last Jan. 17 when he scored as a mem­ber of the Sar­nia Sting in a 6-3 road win over the Flint Fire­birds.

Washku­rak put Mis­sis­sauga back in front with the man ad­van­tage at 9:47, con­vert­ing a Carter pass on a back­door play at the right post.

Brazeau tied it at 10:54 when he tipped a screened right-point shot by david Maier be­tween ranger’s pads. Struthers also earned an as­sist.

the Bat­tal­ion opens a two-game week­end road trip when it faces the Peter­bor­ough Petes 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

Nick King of the North Bay Bat­tal­ion fights for po­si­tion against Richard Whit­taker of the Mis­sis­sauga Steel­heads in On­tario Hockey League ac­tion Thurs­day night at Me­mo­rial Gar­dens. Rear­guard King scored the first Bat­tal­ion goal in the meet­ing of Cen­tral Divi­sion ri­vals.

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