IceDogs trip Troops 3-2
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Ryan Roobroeck’s goal at 8:44 of the second period proved the winner as the Niagara IceDogs edged the North Bay Battalion 3-2 Sunday, ending the Troops’ season-high four-game winning streak.
Andrew Vermeulen and Kevin He also scored for Niagara, while goaltender Charlie Robertson, making his first start since joining the IceDogs in a Jan. 9 trade with the Battalion, provided 34 saves.
Niagara, which dressed 16 skaters, two below the limit, has a won-lost-extended record of 12-24-6 for 30 points, fifth and last in the Ontario Hockey League’s Central Division.
Andrew LeBlanc had one goal and one assist and Jacob Therrien the other goal for North Bay, which got 20 saves from goaltender Mike McIvor before a Memorial Gardens crowd of 2,655 on Cogeco Minor Hockey Day.
The Battalion is 22-15-6 for 50 points, second in the division, one point behind the Sudbury Wolves, who defeated the visiting Barrie Colts 6-3.
“I do think this is probably going to be a good little reset for us, a good little learning moment,” said Battalion coach Ryan Oulahen. “First and foremost, you always give the team credit that comes in here. They worked hard today and they earned two points against us.”
Oulahen was generous in praise of Robertson.
“Give Charlie credit. He’s a good goaltender. He’s a great kid, and we wish him all the luck, obviously not against us all the time.”
Roobroeck gave Niagara a 3-1 lead with his goal as he stepped around Liam Arnsby and snapped the puck home from between the hash marks. Alex Assadourian and Ivan Galiyanov had the assists on Roobroeck’s 13th goal of the season.
Robertson denied Dalyn Wakely on a drive to the net in the third minute of the final period and, with the teams skating four a side, LeBlanc hit the post before scoring seconds later at 9:14 with each team still short a man. Sandis Vilmanis assisted on LeBlanc’s 12th goal, his third since a trade from the Sarnia Sting.
The black-clad Battalion pulled McIvor for an extra skater in the final minutes but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Vermeulen scored the only goal of the first period at 5:40, tapping the puck fully across the goal line at the right post after Evan Klein spun in the mid slot to fire a rebound toward the net. Masen Wray had the other assist on Vermeulen’s fifth goal.
Robertson stopped Owen Van Steensel on a shorthanded breakaway at 9:04 and foiled Brice Cooke at the right side in the 15th minute.
Niagara’s He struck on the power play at 2:26 of the second period after the Troops killed a two-man disadvantage lasting 45 seconds. With Wakely still in the box, He beat McIvor to the short side from the left circle, with Assadourian and Gavin Bryant assisting on He’s team-leading 21st goal.
Therrien replied at 4:48, getting loose on the left side to convert the rebound of a LeBlanc shot. Ty Nelson also assisted on Therrien’s 15th goal.
The Battalion plays host to Sudbury at 7 p.m. Thursday to open a home-and-home series.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion’s Anthony Romani saw the end of a 19-game points streak, the OHL’s longest such run this season and the second-longest in franchise history, in which he amassed 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points. Cody Hodgson had 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 23 straight games from Nov. 21, 2008, through Feb. 11, 2009, before relocation from Brampton. At 33, Hodgson is attempting a professional comeback after retiring in 2016 … Van Steensel had a 10-game points streak ended, one in which he had five goals and seven assists for 12 points … In 168 games, Nelson has 121 assists, one more than Jeff Bateman and fifth in franchise annals … The Battalion went 0-for-1 on the power play. Niagara was 1-for-5 … Opening lines saw Wakely centring left winger Van Steensel and right winger Romani, Arnsby pivoting left winger Justin Ertel and right winger Vilmanis and Cooke centring left winger LeBlanc and right winger Therrien. Left winger Ihnat Pazii and right winger Lirim Amidovski had various linemates … Defence pairs had Bronson Ride with Nelson, Tnias Mathurin with Jacob LeBlanc and Wyatt Kennedy with Paul Christopoulos, while Trevor McDowell also saw action … Ride, who sat out the previous two games while sick, faced his former Niagara teammates for the first time … The Battalion scratched Brayden Turley, Nolan Laird, Stef Forgione and Ethan Procyszyn, who flew Sunday to Moncton for the Kubota CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night …. Vilmanis turns 20 Tuesday.