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Battalion comeback falls short in OT loss to Fronts

‘Obviously a tough outcome for us’

A Francesco Arcuri goal at the 16:36 mark of overtime gave the Kingston Frontenacs a 5-4 victory over the North Bay Battalion.

The best of seven series is now tied at one game apiece.

“Obviously a tough outcome for us,” head coach Ryan Oulahen said post game. “We talked about not making mistakes and we made some mistakes that ultimately cost us the outcome.

“Overall in the hockey game, I think we’re all going to go to bed feeling pretty good about the way we play and just the effort and the things we’re trying to do and execute are pretty good. We’re not going to sorrow on this  too long on this one. We’re going to regroup real fast and we have a chance to go to Kingston and put our best foot forward.”

It was Kingston who got off to a fast start in this one as Jake Murray (3) put one past Joe Vrbetic 3:06 in to the first period.
After a good pushback from the Troops, Kingston once again scored as Matthew Soto (1) made it 2-0 before Martin Chromiak (3) added on 17  seconds later. That third Fronts tally chased Vrbetic out of the net and brought in Dom DiVincentiis for his OHL playoff debut.

A few minutes later, Mitchell Russell (8) gave North Bay some life as he made it a 3-1 game going in to the first intermission.

Just over three minutes into the second frame, Brandon Coe (5) kept the momentum going for the Battalion as he beat Leevi Meriläinen. As North Bay continued the momentum wave, Anthony Romani (2) tied the game 3-3 off a nifty feed from Dalyn Wakely before getting past a Kingston defender himself to pus the puck past Merilänen.

In the third, the Frontenacs came out quickly as Soto netted his second of the game 30 seconds in. Five minutes later, Matvey Petrov tied the game at 4-4 with his first of the postseason.

Neither team found a way to solve either goaltender the rest of the way and overtime resulted in the Arcuri goal and the Frontenacs victory.

“He was outstanding,” Oulahen said of DiVincentiis making 23 saves.

“He prepares the exact same way whether he is in the net that day or not, so we knew if there was a situation like that, we would not hesitate and expect him to go in there and play the way he is capable of playing, and he was really good.”

The Battalion and Frontenacs face off again on Tuesday in Kingston for game three of the series. The next home game will be next Saturday at 7:00pm for game five.

“They’re an offence gifted team so we have to make sure going on the road there is a little less pressure and won’t play on our toes and have fun with it,” explained Oulahen.

“We want to enjoy ourselves and I told the guys to pack some flip flops and shorts and who can complain with that.”