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Troops Double Trout for Playoff Certainty

March 21, 2015
By

March 20, 2015 – Ontario Hockey League (OHL) North Bay Battalion

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Ryan Kujawinski and Nick Paul each scored two goals to pace the North Bay Battalion to a 6-3 Ontario Hockey League victory Friday night over the Mississauga Steelheads, giving the Troops third place in the Eastern Conference and a first-round playoff meeting with the Kingston Frontenacs.

Brenden Miller had one goal and one assist and Ray Huether the other goal for North Bay, which has a won-lost-extended record of 36-20-11 for 83 points, second in the Central Division. Mike Amadio contributed three assists, while goaltender Jake Kment faced 24 shots.

The Troops, winners of their last three games, host Kingston at 2 p.m. Sunday to close out the regular season before opening a best-of-seven conference quarterfinal against the Frontenacs at Memorial Gardens next Friday night.

Kment remained unbeaten through his fifth start since signing with the Troops on Jan. 5. He has a won-lost-extended record of 5-0-0 in seven appearances. He saw action in two of three straight games for the first time, having backstopped a 4-3 victory via shootout last Sunday over the host Belleville Bulls.

Bobby McIntyre, Nathan Bastian and Michael McLeod scored for Mississauga, 24-39-3 for 51 points, fourth in the division and ninth in the conference. The Steelheads were eliminated from playoff contention when the Peterborough Petes defeated the visiting Sudbury Wolves 4-2 Thursday night.

Mississauga goaltender Cameron Zanussi made 34 saves before an announced crowd of 2,958 at the Hershey Centre.

North Bay carried a 5-3 lead into the third period, and each team had an early power play, with Sean Day threatening at the right post after the Battalion just failed to clear the puck out of its zone.

But the Troops held off the persistent Steelheads and, after Mississauga coach James Boyd called a timeout with 2:05 to play and pulled Zanussi for a sixth attacker, Paul scored into the empty net at 18:11 on a pass from Amadio.

It was Paul’s team-leading 37th goal, tied as the seventh-best single-season total in franchise history with Sam Carrick’s production in 2011-12 and the most in the Battalion’s two seasons in North Bay. Barclay Goodrow scored 33 goals last year.

The Battalion got out of the first period with a 3-2 lead after outshooting the Steelheads 15-7 in the frame.

Kujawinski, who dashed down the ice on a two-on-one rush with Mathew Santos, took a pass from Miles Liberati in the right-wing corner and wired the puck home from the mid slot to open the scoring at 4:05.

MacIntyre replied at 6:18 when he fooled Kment from a sharp angle to the goaltender’s left, but Huether restored North Bay’s lead 59 seconds later. Brett McKenzie shoveled a rebound to the right side of the crease, and Huether knocked it out of the air for his 12th goal.

With Bastian serving a high-sticking penalty, Miller scored on the power play at 8:34. Kyle Wood and Amadio made cross-ice passes atop the zone to set up Miller on the blue line for his 17th goal. It was a franchise-record 35th career goal for a defenceman, eclipsing the mark set by Rostislav Klesla in 2000-01, the Troops’ third of 15 seasons in Brampton.

Bastian pulled Mississauga within a goal at 14:40. Josh Burnside, who took a puck to the face late in the game, slipped behind Wood for an initial shot and, with Kment hesitating about grabbing the disc, Bastian arrived to chip it into the net.

Paul struck for what proved to be the winning goal at 3:49 of the second period after Amadio followed the puck behind the net and fed it back out front for the conversion.

McLeod responded at 10:27, taking an out-of-the-air tap pass from Jimmy Lodge and breaking in alone to slip the puck past Kment.

Kujawinski scored at 14:50 off a faceoff to Zanussi’s left, with Nick Moutrey getting the lone assist. It was Kujawinski’s 32nd goal of the season and his 19th since a Jan. 5 trade from Kingston.

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Ontario Hockey League Stories from March 20, 2015

  • Troops Double Trout for Playoff Certainty – North Bay Battalion
  • Sting Secure 7th with Win over Spits – Sarnia Sting
  • 2015 OHL Playoff Tracker – OHL
  • Kohn Notches OT Winner – Kitchener Rangers
  • Kingston Fires Back with 2-1 Win at Home – Oshawa Generals
  • Steelheads Open Final Weekend with Loss – Mississauga Steelheads
  • Spirit Fall to Knights – Saginaw Spirit
  • 67’s Beat Petes; Can Clinch Home Playoff Ice on Sunday – Ottawa 67’s
  • 2015 Colts Playoff Tickets on Sale Now – Barrie Colts
  • Wolves Lose Close One in Peterborough – Sudbury Wolves
  • Possible Playoff Scenario Announced – Sarnia Sting
  • Rangers Announce Home Playoffs Dates – Kitchener Rangers
  • Cancer Screening Saves Lives – Oshawa Generals
  • Final Regular Season Weekend for Attack – Owen Sound Attack

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Article source: http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4940456

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