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Josh Bloom hat-trick leads Battalion to back to back wins

'My linemates are making my life really easy right now'
Battalion celebrate one of Josh Blooms three goals in 4-2 win over Kingston. Photo by Sean Ryan.

It hasn't taken long for Josh Bloom to blossom in Battalion green. Since being acquired from Saginaw on November 16th, Bloom has played in eight games with North Bay and has twelve points (6G-6A). Including a hat-trick in the Troops 4-2 win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Friday night at the Leon’s Centre. That includes five multi-point games for the Buffalo Sabers prospect. It’s a second straight win for the Battalion, coming off a 7-4 victory over the Wolves in Sudbury on Wednesday.  

Bloom is well on his way to earning consideration for the OHL, and maybe even CHL player of the week honours as he had two goals in Wednesdays win over Sudbury to bring him to five goals on the week with still one more game to play when the Battalion (17-8-0-0) play against the Petes in Peterborough on Saturday.  

“My linemates are making my life really easy right now,” says Bloom. “It’s a lot of fun playing with Jacko (Kyle Jackson) and Erts (Justin Ertel). They are an absolute treat to be on the ice with. We’re finding the right spots in the o-zone, and creating chances, but also getting a little bit lucky at times.”  

That luck came into play in the Battalion’s opening goal at 5:23 of the second period. The shot came in from Paul Christopoulos in the high slot and it deflected off Bloom’s (11) stick and past Kingston goaltender Ivan Zhigalov, giving North Bay a 1-0 lead.  

Bloom says, “My stick was in the right place in the right time. I felt that rattle up the stick and I looked in the net and it was squeaking five-hole. I think 'Pauly' did all the work there,” says Bloom.  

Bloom (12) added another goal about seven minutes later. With the Troops on the power play, Bloom took advantage of the open ice in between the hash marks and finished off a great passing play that started with Ty Nelson at the point, passing the puck to Matvey Petrov in the far-side circle, who quickly flipped it to Bloom, who took the pass just behind his back, brought it forward and caught Zhigalov off balance to make it 3-0 North Bay.  

That followed Jackson's 15th goal of the season which came at 11:05. Ertel forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed the puck to Jackson at the blue line. Jackson carried it down the wing, broke in towards the net and slapped it past the goaltender, giving North Bay a 2-0 lead. Jackson is on a five-game point streak with four of those games being multi-point affairs for the Seattle Kraken 7th round pick. He also has 15 points over his last ten games with nine of those being goals.  

Bloom (13) secured the hat-trick, the second of his OHL career, by burying an empty net goal in the third. 

“Nelson found me for that last one, I didn’t realize there was only two seconds left in the game, but that felt good to get it.”  

The Frontenacs pulled to within one goal when Gabriel Frasca scored back-to-back goals between the second and third periods. The first goal came at the 17:40 mark of the second which sent the Teddys flying.   

“I thought Kingston came on strong with-it being Teddy Bear Toss night, they seemed to have some firepower to their game, but we weathered the storm well.” 

After Frascas’ second goal went in just 30 seconds into the third, the Frontenacs only managed five total shots on net in the third, paving the way for Dom DiVincentiis (12-4-0) to pick up his first win since a 6-2 victory at home over these very same Frontenacs back on November 17th. DiVincentiis was held out of the lineup over the last week after undergoing concussion protocols when he was bumped during a mid-week practice.  

DiVincentiis made twenty saves overall and Bloom says, “He keeps our group even keeled. That first one went in off a bad turnover on myself, but he just settled everyone down, and in a one goal game his game never changed. He made some huge stops when we needed him to. That’s why he’s an NHL draft pick and we’re thrilled he’s back.”  

The Battalion outshot the Frontenacs 41-22, including 20-5 in the third period. Both teams scored a power play goal, with North Bay going 1-3 on their opportunities and holding Kingston to 1-5. The Battalion are now 12-6 on the road with 18 of their first 26 games being played away from Memorial Gardens. They’ll look to continue that trend as they head to Peterborough on Saturday night.  

“We’re starting to string some wins together,” says Bloom. “Got two big points and now it's on to Peterborough for a heavyweight matchup.” 


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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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