GUELPH, ON - The North Bay Battalion showed the Guelph Storm they won't be a pushover in the OHL final.
The Storm battled back from a 2-1 3rd period deficit and then scored on their first shot in overtime to win game 1 of the best-of-seven OHL final 3-2 at the Sleeman Centre Thursday night.
Storm forward Jason Dickinson came down the right wing and went high glove side on Smith for the game winner on a partial screen only 57 seconds into the extra frame.
It looked like harmless play at first, as the shot came from just inside the top of the right circle and beat Smith on the short side for the game 1 game winner.
"You know we just needed to get shots through to the goalie and we really didn't test him and didn't do in the second so that's what we tried to do in the overtime," said Dickinson who netted his 6th of the playoffs with that game winner.
Storm netminder Justin Nichols was named the game's first star as he turned away 32 shots for the win.
"It was an exciting game for the fans," Nichols told Rogers TV in a post game interview.
"I don't know if we played the way we want to approach this series with but we realize there is a good team on the other side of the ice and we are going to learn from this game and hopefully improve."
The Storm came out hard in the first period outshooting the visitors 16-6, but after a early surge, the Battalion seemed to frustrate the Storm in hopes of getting them away from their North-South, fast paced style.
Ben Thomson opened the scoring for the Troops at 3:-03 of the second period as he blasted home a rebound off a Brenden Miller point shot on an early second period power play.
However, just over a minute later Scott Kosmachuk blocked a clearing pass by goaltender Jake Smith along the wall, won a puck battle and fed Brock McGinn who wired a shot over Jake Smith to make it 1-1.
It stayed that way until early 3rd as Jamie Lewis again used a heavy shot to surprise Nichols to make it 2-1 Troops at 3:35.
The Troops continued to frustrate the Storm as they outshot the Storm 10-0 to start the 3rd period. However, the Storm offence is potent and Zack Mitchell got loose and slipped across the slot and put a shot upstairs past a screened Jake Smith to make it 2-2 at 12:23.
"I thought we played hard, I thought it was a pretty even game," said Battalion head coach Stan Butler in the post game OHL Final Press Conference.
"But once you get into overtime one shot and it's done."
But Battalion forward Barclay Goodrow says they don't have time to dwell on the loss.