IceDogs defeat Battalion
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Ryan Roobroeck scored three goals to lead the Niagara IceDogs to a 6-4 upset victory over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action Sunday.
Gavin Bryant had one goal and three assists and Ivan Galiyanov and Callum Cheynowski each provided a goal for Niagara, which has a won-lost-extended record of 14-27-7 for 35 points, fifth in the Central Division and last in the Eastern Conference.
Goaltender Charlie Robertson, making a seventh straight start as the teams opened a home-and-home series, posted 33 saves in defeating his former club for the second time in two tries after a Jan. 7 trade.
Owen Van Steensel scored two goals and added two assists, Anthony Romani contributed two goals and one assist and Dalyn Wakely assisted on all four goals for North Bay, while goaltender Mike McIvor allowed five goals on 26 shots, with Bryant scoring into an empty net.
The Battalion, 25-16-8 for 58 points, is second in the division, one point behind the Sudbury Wolves, who defeated the visiting Mississauga Steelheads 6-3.
North Bay, which completed a two-game road trip before an announced crowd of 5,021, downed the Brantford Bulldogs 6-4 Saturday. The Battalion is 7-2-2 in its last 11 games, with both regulation losses coming to Niagara.
Romani leads the OHL in scoring with 42 goals and 36 assists for 78 points in 49 games.
The teams were tied 3-3 through 40 minutes before defenceman Cheynowski took off from behind his own net, dashed up the middle of the ice, split the defence and scored an unassisted power-play goal at 1:57 of the third period.
Roobroeck took a pass from Bryant and, driving off the right wing, scored his 19th goal of the season at 4:19 before Van Steensel answered with his 26th goal on a breakaway 58 seconds later, assisted by Wakely and Bronson Ride.
Bryant collected the empty-netter at 19:20, outworking two defenders for the puck on the right-wing boards in the Battalion zone.
Van Steensel struck at 14:23 of the first period, getting weak contact on a shot from between the hash marks, possibly fooling Robertson. Romani and Wakely had the assists. Romani, who took a pass from Van Steensel on the end boards to the right of the net, then drilled the disc home from the goalmouth at 18:26.
Ethan Procyszyn leveled Niagara’s Mike Levin with an open-ice check that was called interference at 4:04 of the frame, with Andrew LeBlanc and the hosts’ Ethan Czata drawing roughing minors in the aftermath. Levin lay motionless for some time before being helped to the dressing room not to return.
Roobroeck connected 51 seconds into the second period, snapping the puck past McIvor from the left faceoff dot on assists by Bryant and Kevin He, and Galiyanov tied it at 11:55, converting a rebound tight to the left of the net as Urban Podrekar and Masen Wray drew assists.
Roobroeck gave Niagara a 3-2 lead on the power play at 16:02, cashing a rebound at the lip of the crease five seconds after Trevor McDowell went off for delay of game. Romani replied at 18:40, arriving off the right wing to put the rebound of Wakely’s shot from deep on the left side into the gaping net. Van Steensel also assisted.
The teams face off again at 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Gardens on Talk Today Night presented by Syngenta and Grain Farmers of Ontario.
BATTALION BULLETS: It was the fourth of six meetings, with each team going 2-2-0. In two road games, the Troops won 4-3 on Nov. 4 and 3-2 on Dec. 16 before Niagara prevailed 3-2 at North Bay on Jan. 21 … The Troops’ Sandis Vilmanis saw the end of a four-game points streak in which he had five goals and one assist for six points … Ride, who has an assist in each of the last six games, played at the Meridian Centre for the first time since joining the Battalion in the Robertson trade … The Battalion went 0-for-4 on the power play. Niagara was 2-for-6 … Opening lines included Wakely centring left winger Van Steensel and right winger Romani, Liam Arnsby centring left winger Justin Ertel and right winger Vilmanis and Procyszyn pivoting left winger Andrew LeBlanc and right winger Jacob Therrien. Brice Cooke centred left winger Ihnat Pazii and right winger Lirim Amidovski … Defence pairs had Tnias Mathurin with Paul Christopoulos, Ride with Jacob LeBlanc and McDowell with Wyatt Kennedy … The Battalion was without Brayden Turley, Nolan Laird, Ty Nelson and Stef Forgione … The Troops, who left North Bay on Saturday, overnighted at St. Catharines after the game at Brantford … Niagara’s Alex Assadourian served the fourth game of a five-game suspension for actions in a 10-0 road loss Jan. 26 to the Kingston Frontenacs … In a four-game points streak, He has three goals and four assists for seven points … Connor Mallon and Andrew Willmetts were the referees.