The results of the games will finally count in five days, as the exhibition season wrapped up for the North Bay Battalion in a 4-0 loss to visiting Owen Sound Attack on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gardens. The Troops end a winless exhibition campaign, although they used these games as a full extended test to see who might be ready for opening night, and who may need a little more seasoning within the Junior-A ranks, before getting the call to put on a pickle green jersey. Players chosen anywhere from the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, right through last Aprils draft were given a look at some point throughout the preseason and it’s now up to the front office staff to assemble what they feel will be the best team for opening night on Friday against divisional rivals the Barrie Colts.
A player who was on the roster at this time last year did the most damage against the Troops in Sunday's game. Former Battalion Adam McMaster opened the scoring at 4:09 in the first period. The Attack came on the rush and after the initial shot was blocked by Goaltender Christian Cicigoi, several players crashed the crease with the puck bouncing past the Battalion netminder and across the line for the opening tally, to put the visitors ahead.
McMaster then had a highlight-reel goal in the second period. With the Attack on the power play, he went coast to coast, through the D and roofed the puck over the glove side shoulder of Cicigoi. It’s too bad that wasn’t a regular-season goal, it would be an early candidate for goal of the year.
Through the first two periods, the Battalion scoring chances outnumbered the Attack. Several times the Troops were sending cross-zone passes to an open man that had a wide open look on Attack goalie Mack Guzda, but the shot would either hit the iron, go wide, or go right into the pads of the Attack netminder.
Ethan Burroughs got the Attack ahead by three when he sent one toward the net from a sharp angle at the top right-hand side of the zone. The puck hit the crossbar over Cicigoi’s shoulder and deflected down and in, less than four minutes into the third and Daylon Groulx finished the scoring, making it 4-0 two minutes later.
The Troops moved the puck well. They made a lot of clean passes and set themselves up for good looks in the zone.
They outshot the Attack 32-19 and had four power play opportunities compared to Owen Sounds three, but the visiting side was able to score on one of their man advantages.