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Veterans lead Generals past Battalion

Troops hang around but lose their 12th game in last 13

NORTH BAY, Ont. – Allan McShane scored two goals and overager Brett Neumann added the game-winning goal to go along with an assist in a 4-3 Oshawa Generals road win over the North Bay Battalion on Thursday at Memorial Gardens.

The win snapped a brief two-game losing skid for the Generals, who are ranked seventh in the latest CHL Top 10 Rankings, while the Battalion was unable to build off a win in its previous game Sunday, it's first in 12 games. It was an evenly played game much like the previous meeting between the two clubs when Oshawa also came away with a one-goal victory on Oct. 10. The Generals beat North Bay 5-1 at home on Oct. 4 and lead the season series 3-0-0 with the final matchup scheduled for Dec. 29 in Oshawa.

“We were close, but unfortunately close doesn’t help,” said Battalion head coach Stan Butler. “They’re big, they’re strong. With our young defence tonight, we struggled a bit with them driving to the net. Two of their goals were direct results of their guys being more physically strong than our D and being able to go to the net with our D not being able to do anything about it.”

One player who, predictably, brought that physical edge was former Battalion forward Daniel Walker. Traded to Oshawa in the offseason, Walker made his first appearance at Memorial Gardens as an opposing player and was up to his usual tricks. Last season’s OHL penalty minute leader was a thorn in the side of the Troops the entire game, with Pacey Schlueting surprisingly matched up with him on the majority of shifts, holding his own with his overage ex-teammate. Walker received his customary roughing minor in the second after getting too intimate with North Bay goaltender Joe Vrbetic.

The visitors held the play in the first period and came out of it with a 17-5 edge in shots, but the score finished tied at 1-1 with Chenier replying for the Battalion. Oshawa broke the game open in the second with two goals in 24 seconds off the sticks of McShane and Oliver Suni. They pressed for a third and buzzed around the offensive zone for long stretches, but it was the Battalion that narrowed the deficit to 3-2 on a fortunate two-on-one rush up ice that ended with Cameron Peters’ cross-ice pass deflecting off the sliding defender and into the net.

Neumann added his powerplay marker early in the third and Brandon Coe completed the scoring with a nice toe-drag and snapshot at 10:05. The Troops had a late powerplay and played with six skaters for the last two minutes of the game but were unable to find the equalizer.  

Attendance at the game was 1,826. The loss drops the Battalion to an unsightly 4-18-0 record on the season. Next up is a road date with the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday night before returning back home Sunday afternoon to host the Niagara IceDogs.