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Dom dominates, earns first career OHL shutout in 3-0 Troops win

'You have a lot of trust in him and it eases your mind to know that if you make a mistake, he’s there to bail you out'
Kyle Jackson battles for a puck along the boards during North Bay's 3-0 win over Peterborough. Photo by Sean Ryan.

After 43 career OHL games, Dom DiVincentiis has his first shutout in game number 44 as the North Bay Battalion blanked the Peterborough Petes 3-0 to earn their third straight win and improve to 18-8-0 on the season.  

Playing in his second game since returning from about a week-long stint on the injured list,  DiVincentiis (13-4-0) was tested often throughout the game but never allowed the Petes to get one passed him. The Petes piled up 29 shots before the third period began and many of them were from inside the face-off circles and around the hash marks. But the Winnipeg Jets draft pick was not giving up many rebounds and kept the Petes at bay through 40 minutes of play and that was a big reason the Battalion carried a 1-0 lead into the third period.  

“You have a lot of trust in him and it eases your mind to know that if you make a mistake, he’s there to bail you out,” says second year defenseman Wyatt Kennedy.  
The Battalion captured a first period lead, (despite being outshot 14-10), when Kennedy stopped a clearing attempt by the Petes and released a shot that travelled all the way in passed Petes goaltender Michael Simpson at 5:04 of the opening frame.  

“I was just trying to walk the line and get it on net and it found its way in. It was a good way to get the game going,” says Kennedy.  

It’s Kennedy’s second goal of the season and the 17-year-old from Vars Ontario is becoming a very reliable option on the blue line for Head Coach Ryan Oulahen.  

“I’m getting more comfortable with the league and the coaching staff has been so supportive of me. They are great people to have behind you when you play,” says Kennedy. “You can see it in the way our team plays and how successful we’ve been so far this season.” 

To this point of the season, the Battalion have never let a lead slip away in the third and are now 14-0-0 on the year in that category as DiVincentiis made nine saves to close things out.   

It was a battle between the second and third place teams in the Eastern Conference as the Battalion, who lead the Central Division, went into the Peterborough Memorial Arena to play the Petes who sat five points back of the Troops for the number two spot.   

Going into the Game, the Battalion had a perfect 2-0 record on the year against Peterborough, beating the Petes by identical 3-1 scores on October 6th in Peterborough and on October 13th for the home opener in North Bay.  

It was also the first meeting between the two Eastern Conference teams since they made big moves off the ice just two days apart, bringing in Western Conference Captains to their respective locker rooms.  

On November 14th, the Petes swung a deal to acquire Flint Firebirds Captain Brennan Othmann in exchange for Artem Guryev and three draft picks. The Battalion then brought in Saginaw Spirit Captain Josh Bloom and defenseman Brayden Hislop onto their roster.  

Both teams can be happy with the early results. Othmann came into Saturday's contest with eight points in his first seven games as a Pete (2-6-8), while Bloom had 12 points in nine games with six goals and six assists, and Hislop is a +4 with two assists and hasn’t looked out of place being regularly paired with Seattle Kraken prospect Tye Nelson on the blue line.  

But it was North Bay’s trade assets that shone brighter in the win as Bloom racked up another point, getting an assist on a power play goal early in the third period. It’s Blooms sixth point of the weekend after a hat-trick on Friday night and a two-goal performance on Wednesday. Bloom won the offensive zone faceoff to Matvey Petrov, who dished it off to Kyle Jackson and the Seattle Kraken prospect potted his 16th of the season to expand the Battalion lead to 2-0 just 2:31 into the third. It was the sixth goal for Jackson in his last six games to continue a point streak that also includes four assists.   

It seems no game in Peterborough is complete these days without Dalyn Wakely getting to hear his name announced for scoring a goal. The Battalion’s 2020 third round draft choice from nearby Port Hope, Ontario has scored in three of the four games he has played in his OHL career at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. Wakely’s 15th of the season came at the 11:07 mark of the third period. It started with Petrov feeding a pass through the neutral zone perfectly onto the tape of Nikita Tarasevich at the blue line. Tarasevich carried it up to the top of the circle, then quickly dropped the puck back to Wakely who was travelling through the high slot and slapped it low stick side to finish off a spectacular full line play.  

It’s a line that has been clicking extremely well as of late. Wakely is well on his way to surpassing his career high of 20 goals last year, while Petrov has six points in his last six games and Tarasevich has shown off his speed and neutral zone awareness to create many odd-man rushes into the zone and he has already surpassed his career high with six goals on the season and sits at 16 points after Saturdays win.  

The Battalion have now wrapped up their five-game road trip and will be back on the ice on Thursday when they host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Troops Teddy Bear Toss night. The three straight wins this week for the Battalion came off a two-game stretch in which they dropped road games to Hamilton and Niagara.   

Kennedy says, “It’s been a successful week and I think everyone is looking forward to a couple of days off so we can get ready to get back at it next week.” 

You can catch the Thursday contest on the Frontline Gameday Broadcast on YouTube. Hit the subscribe button and you’ll receive a notification when the broadcast starts and listen to live play by play from your seat at the rink.  

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Matt Sookram

About the Author: Matt Sookram

Matthew Sookram is a Canadore College graduate. He has lived and worked in North Bay since 2009 covering different beats; everything from City Council to North Bay Battalion.
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