Skip to content

Battalion take down IceDogs in convincing fashion

'We were able to take care of business today, which is a good thing'

It was more home cooking for the North Bay Battalion Sunday as the Troops took down their Central Division foes, the Niagara IceDogs 9-3.

“We were able to take care of business today, which is a good thing,” head coach Ryan Oulahen said.

“They’re a dangerous hockey team, they have had our number a couple of times and they have some young, dangerous and good talent over there so you always give them respect and you know what they’re capable of.

“I think that second period, especially the first half, we were able to play to our game and keep their tired legs on the ice and fast transition I thought was key and led to making that spread. From there we ran the bench and took care of business.”

Niagara looked to threaten early as they were given a four-minute powerplay, leading to a grade “A” chance on Mike McIvor, but the rookie netminder for North Bay kept the game scoreless with an unbelievable sliding save.  McIvor made at least two more highlight reel saves despite not being nearly as busy as his former teammate in the Niagara net. 

The Troops then broke the ice at the 9:02 mark as Lirim Amidovski found Dalyn Wakely (33) in behind the IceDogs defence, and #14 in green dipsy doodled around old teammate Charlie Robertson for the first marker.

Later in the period, on a powerplay of their own, Sandis Vilmanis (29) fresh off signing a contract with the Florida Panthers, threw the puck towards the Niagara net looking for Wakely, but the puck bounced off an IceDogs defender and into the back of the net. That made the score 2-0 North Bay at the end of the period.

“He’s a special player,” Oulahen said on Vilmanis. “Obviously we knew getting him from Sarnia, watching him a lot and our due diligence and we knew he was a good player and maybe he has exceeded our expectation a bit.

“He’s a frontline, world junior, high-end world-class player. He’s come with us and had a ton of confidence and seems to like killing penalties for us which is new for him, but allows for extra ice time. He skates so well, big and strong and what don’t you like about a player like that."

In the second the Troops upped the pressure even more as Ethan Procyszyn (14) beat Robertson 6:15 in. Less than three minutes later, Andrew LeBlanc (15) finished off a wrap around, while minutes later Wakely (34) one timed his second home on the powerplay. On the same powerplay, as it was a double minor for high sticking against the IceDogs, Owen Van Steensel (33) made the score 6-0.

However, Niagara attempted a comeback as within 57 the IceDogs scored twice. The first came on a cross crease pass to Gavin Bryant (17) who beat McIvor at the 16:43 mark. Ryan Roobroeck (24), the impressive rookie for the IceDogs, made the game 6-2 on a breakaway.

With 29 seconds left in the frame, the Battalion added again, this time Justin Ertel (24) with the goal.

In the third, it was more home-cooking for North Bay as Jacob Therrien (19) fired home a rebound chance to put himself on the board in his first game back after a five-game suspension.

Continuing with the goal scoring, Trevor McDowell (1) found a loose puck just above the faceoff dots, slapping his first career OHL goal over the glove of Robertson.

“He’s quiet and steady,” Oulahen remarked on McDowell. “I think he’s the type of player that knows our systems, knows where to be, veteran guy, older player and big body.

“Nice to see him get his first there and the guys were pretty happy for him.”

Niagara had one last gasp as Ethan Czata (7) beat McIvor as a puck deflected off a Battalion defender's stick right to the Niagara forward with 50 seconds left in the game. That goal pushed the final to 9-3 Battalion.

North Bay will look to enjoy a week at home as the team hosts the Windsor Spitfires Thursday night at Memorial Gardens.

“It’s nice to get a Western Conference team earlier in the week because you can prepare for them a little bit more,” Oulahen stated on the Spitfires. “We’ll do that over the next couple of days and be ready for Thursday.

“Lots of tight hockey coming at us in the next couple of weeks and that’s what you want this time of year.”

You can catch the Frontline’s North Bay Mitsubishi After Action Report live on Spreaker shortly after the final whistle of every Battalion home game.