The North Bay Battalion find themselves with a 1-0 series lead in their best of seven playoff matchup with the Mississauga Steelheads after a convincing 5-1 victory.
“The first game of the playoffs, I know we were all excited about it and amped up,” said head coach Ryan Oulahen.
“Sometimes when you’re overly wanting to do well, you end up making mistakes and being a little bit sloppy and I thought that was the case early.
“We did a really good job of creating some offence and capitalizing on our chances, I think the one big thing you have to learn from in that third period is staying disciplined and out of the penalty box.”
After a rough and tumble start to the first period, Ty Nelson (1) picked up his own rebound and knocked it past Ryerson Leenders for his first OHL playoff tally.
After the lone goal in the first, it was all North Bay in the second starting with Dalyn Wakely (1) at the 2:20 mark of the period. Six minutes later, Anthony Romani (1) scored a highlight reel goal for his first of two in the period. If his first goal was one for the highlights, his second is a candidate for goal of the year as he dipsy-doodled his way past all the Steelheads defenders and deked Leenders out of position less than three minutes later.
“Every goal he scores, it seems to be a highlight,” Oulahen said on Romani. “I know he’s playing with a lot of confidence and he’s a really good weapon for us.”
Towards the end of the period, Josh Bloom (1) channeled his inner Alex Ovechkin and one timed one from the faceoff dot. That goal was Bloom’s first postseason goal, and gave North Bay a 5-0 lead after two periods.
Mississauga scored their lone goal late in the third as James Hardie (1) beat Dom DiVincentiis on the powerplay.
Game two of the series goes Sunday from Memorial Gardens.
“It looks like it’s going to be a physical and aggressive series,” stated Oulahen.
"We just have to make sure we’re a little under control. We have to be better, every game in the playoffs the other team is going to be better and we have to make sure we’re getting better as well.”
You can catch the game live on the Frontline YouTube channel starting at 1:50pm.