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Battalion can’t reel in the big one against the Trout

‘Clearly we weren’t good enough‘

After a 5-1 victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Wednesday, the North Bay Battalion were looking for a win over the Mississauga Steelheads, but when the game was over it was a 4-2 victory for the Trout.

“Clearly we weren’t good enough,” stated head coach Ryan Oulahen post game. “A little bit disappointing actually with our guys. We weren’t our normal selves. We were fighting the puck a lot and not on sync.

“We were trying to make a push, but every time it just seemed like it was hard to make that secondary push. We got what we deserved tonight. Mississauga came in here and outworked us, outplayed us and ended up earning the two points.”

The first period started with a bang as Mississauga scored the ice breaker as Angus MacDonnell (16) managed to knock a rebound past Dom DiVincentiis. While the goal came 1:23 in to the first period, that was all the offence of either team provided heading in to the first intermission.

In the second period, the Steelheads continued their assault as Mason Zebeski (4) and Porter Martone (10) found cracks in the Battalion defence between spectacular saves from DiVincentiis. However, with just over a minute left in the middle frame, Matvey Petrov matched his jersey number with his 22nd goal of the season to help the Troops show some life. After 40 minutes of play, Mississauga led 3-1.

The comeback looked to be on in the third period as Josh Bloom (24) brought the Battalion to within a goal, but an empty netter by James Hardie (30) late sealed the deal and two points for the Steelheads.

“That’s where you get to the third period and you’re down by one and you starting thinking Dom was good enough and maybe we can squeeze a point out of this performance,” explained Oulahen on DiVincentiis who made 27 saves in defeat. “He’s our best player for us, no doubt about it and he’s doing a great job for us day in and day out.”

The Troops will look to reset in the coming days before they host the Kingston Frontenacs on Sunday at 4 p.m. 

“These are learning things that you have to do,” the head coach explained. “You have to bounce back the next day. These are all things that we have been talking about and we get some healthy guys back in the lineup which will help and go to work.

“The thing is when you have a poor performance, no one is going to feel sorry for you, no one. Kingston is not going to come in here and go ‘oh they didn’t have a good performance last game, maybe we should-‘ no. They’re going to sniff blood so we have to make sure this doesn’t happen and we’re better at home.

“No tweaks are needed, it’s just guys being dialled, guys being prepared and sharp and ready to play.”

You can catch the game live on the Frontline Gameday Broadcast YouTube channel at 3:50pm Sunday.