Troops rally to double Barrie 4-2
Article courtesy of www.nugget.ca
BARRIE, Ont. – Miles Liberati’s goal at 17:43 of the second period proved the winner as the North Bay Battalion snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 Ontario Hockey League victory Thursday night over the Barrie Colts.
Hampus Olsson had one goal and one assist and Brett McKenzie and Nick Moutrey, into an empty net, also scored for the Battalion, which moved its won-lost-extended record to 29-17-11 for 69 points, second in the Central Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Jake Smith made 17 saves.
The win was the first for the Troops since a 5-2 victory Feb. 15 over the visiting Sudbury Wolves.
Joseph Blandisi and Justin Scott scored for Barrie, which lost a second straight game and is 37-20-2 for 76 points, first in the division and second in the conference. The Colts, who lost 3-0 Wednesday night to the host Owen Sound Attack, are 9-3-0 in their last 12 games. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood faced 35 shots before a crowd of 3,644.
North Bay, which trailed 2-0 after Scott’s goal 40 seconds into the second period, tied it with two goals 14 seconds apart in the middle of the frame.
McKenzie struck on the power play at 11:15, snapping a Ryan Kujawinski feed into the top corner from the top of the right-wing circle. Zach Shankar earned the second assist on McKenzie’s eighth goal of the season.
Olsson collected his fifth goal at 11:29 when he banged the rebound of a Ray Huether shot between Blackwood’s legs from the goalmouth. Marcus McIvor had the other assist.
Mathew Santos set up the winner with a sterling individual display, battling several defenders down the right wing and into the corner before dishing the puck to defenceman Liberati, darting to the net. Olsson picked up the second assist on Liberati’s 10th goal.
A turnover led to the Colts’ first goal, at 12:44 of the opening period. McKenzie couldn’t corral a bouncing puck in Battalion territory, and Garrett Hooey pushed the disc to Blandisi, who put a wrister past Smith’s glove.
The Battalion outshot Barrie 13-6, testing Blackwood a number of times. The goaltender made back-to-back saves against Santos on the power play in the 17th minute and came up with stops on Liberati, Kujawinski and Kyle Wood, who also narrowly missed converting the rebound of a Nick Paul shot.
At the other end, Brendan Lemieux fired a shot off the crossbar in the final seconds.