Dean bemoans Battalion’s OT marker
by Peter Ruicci (Independent Media) | Photo by Bob Davies
A golden opportunity for Jordan D’Intino hit the cross-bar on Friday and, moments later, transformed into the visitor’s winning goal.
Ethan Procyszyn scored at 2:17 of overtime as the North Bay Battalion edged the Soo Greyhounds 5-4 in front of 3,962 at GFL Memorial Gardens.
“That’s not a good goal,” Soo head coach John Dean said of the winner.
Shortly after D’Intino rang one off the iron for the second time in the game, Procyszyn started a rush from his own blue-line. He went around Hounds defenceman Andrew Gibson, opened up netminder Charlie Schenkel and slipped the puck through the five-hole.
“Our defenceman can’t get walked and our goalie has to have it, 100 per cent,” said Dean, whose team lost for the first time in either overtime or a shootout this season.
The Soo was 3-0 after regulation going into Friday’s contest.
“That’s how it works,” shrugged D’Intino, when asked about how quickly fortunes can change.
“Just a big-bodied play. That kid’s going to be a really-good player in this league,” Battalion head coach Ryan Oulahen said of Procyszyn’s goal. “He showed what he can do there. I like when you’re going across to throw it five-hole. He made the right play.”
The victory for the Battalion (9-6-4-1) was its first after regulation this season, following four overtime losses and one shootout setback.
“Our D corps really struggled managing pucks,” said Dean, whose club fell to 13-7-1-0, heading into Erie next Thursday. “North Bay is good being on top of things, they play second-effort hockey. They play heavy.”
The Hounds coach went on to explain how he “thought in the first period we sliced right through them in the neutral zone, quite honestly.”
However, in the second and third periods, he lamented the fact his defencemen went away from that.
“The D had a really, really tough night. It wasn’t for a lack of caring, but it’s confusing why we had such success in the first period and decided to go away from it.”
The Greyhounds also had trouble solving North Bay netminder Mike McIvor, who was sharp throughout.
Veteran winger Jack Beck spoke of how he and his teammates have high hopes this season.
However, there are lessons that must be mastered.
“We need to learn how to win,” said Beck, who finished with a goal and an assist. “There are things we need to work on to be a championship team.”
D’Intino, who scored once in defeat, spoke of how “puck management has to be better.”
Beck went on to say the Hounds can’t force things offensively, but instead must choose to make simpler plays.
North Bay took a 4-3 lead midway through the third period. Jacob Therrien sped down the left wing, beat two Hounds defenders and fed Ertel, who had beaten Bryce McConnell-Barker to the front of the net, with a slick backhand pass.
All alone, Ertel scored his second of the night, beating Schenkel on the blocker side at 10:14.
But the Hounds clawed back.
Schenkel made a great save on Therrien alone in front with 6:25 left in regulation. With 4:44 to go, Arttu Karki moved around a defender and let fly from the right wing. Marco Mignosa redirected the puck past McIvor and the game was tied.
“We had a good pushback when they went ahead,” said D’Intino, who had scored just once in his previous 15 games going into Friday.
Mignosa, who made a nice play to set up Beck’s goal in the first period, finished with a goal and an assist.
Rookie Brady Martin scored his first career goal for the Hounds on a night when the home side held a 30-27 edge in shots.
Ertel, son of Hounds assistant Tyler Ertel, was outstanding for the winners, producing two goals and an assist. Liam Arnsby added a goal and an assist and Anthony Romani also scored for North Bay, who faced a 3-2 deficit after 20 minutes.
Therrien was a key factor with three assists.
“We out-chanced them, but we need a save here and there to help us out. But that didn’t happen tonight,” said Dean, whose club faced a North Bay squad which played an OT game at home on Thursday night, before driving to the Sault for Friday’s clash.
“We should have taken advantage of that opportunity,” Dean said when asked about the Battalion possibly being fatigued. “That’s disheartening. We should be able to jump all over a team like.”
Asked about Martin, Dean spoke of how the young centre “played great. That’s the Brady I know and love.”