Playoff hockey in North Bay looks more likely this season as the Troops took down the visiting Barrie Colts 6-2 Tuesday night at Memorial Gardens. Coming into the game, the Battalion held a three point lead in the standings for the eighth and final playoff spot on the Colts, but now hold a five point lead.
“We came out really strong.” Assistant Coach Scott Wray told Country 600 CKAT’s Blake McChristie after the victory.
“We played forty minutes of our best hockey this year and we needed to in a game like this.”
The Battalion certainly came out prepared for this one as they took a 3-1 lead before the end of the first period with a goal from Mason Primeau and two from Justin Brazeau. Barrie got their goal from Tyler Tucker. The second period was all North Bay as Brad Chenier got involved in the scoring, Primeau picked up his second, and Brazeau completed the hat trick. In the process, the Captain passed a former Captain in Barclay Goodrow for third all time in points on the franchise list at 230.
The third period did not see as much action as Tyson Foerster picked up the lone goal of the period on the powerplay for Barrie.
As mentioned, playoff hockey is certainly a strong possibility as the Battalion can clinch in two scenarios. Barrie takes on Owen Sound tomorrow, and if the Colts lose, North Bay gets in. The other scenario is even with a Colts victory, if North Bay locks down their game against Hamilton Thursday, the Troops will see an "X" next to their names in the standings and if this game is any indication, the Battalion are peaking at the right time.
“We have to go into the playoffs on a high,” Wray continued, who knows a thing or two about playoff atmosphere after leading the Powassan Voodoos to a Copeland Cup in the NOJHL in 2017.
“You don’t want to go in on a losing streak, you want to win.”
The Battalion can still catch the Bulldogs for seventh in the east as they trail Hamilton by two points before their matchup Thursday, but North Bay does hold a game in hand.
“We have a bigger game coming up Thursday. We are chasing Hamilton for seventh and if we play against them like we did in the first forty here tonight, we should be fine,” The former Centennial assessed.
Speaking of Centennials, when the Battalion take on the Bulldogs Thursday, the game will be Centennials night at the Gardens. The Troops will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Cents OHL title, with the Battalion looking to chase their own.
*disclaimer, this headline came from Matt Sookram who comes up with some awesome player sayings*