Battalion Clinch and Record Their 800th Win

Battalion Clinch and Record Their 800th Win
photo/article credit-North Bay Battalion

Sandis Vilmanis scored at 6:55 of the third period to lift the North Bay Battalion to a 3-2 comeback victory Saturday night over the Flint Firebirds, clinching a playoff berth in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

Dalyn Wakely had one goal and one assist and Justin Ertel scored on a penalty shot for North Bay, which won the middle game of a three-game road trip in as many days and improved its won-lost-extended record to 30-18-8 for 68 points, second in the Central Division.

It was the 800th win in franchise history. The Battalion has an all-time won-lost-tied record of 800-830-52 since entering the league as an expansion team in Brampton for the 1998-99 season.

Dom DiVincentiis made 26 saves for his 70th career victory, second-most by a Battalion goaltender. In 109 games, including 104 starts, DiVincentiis has a won-lost-extended record of 70-26-7. He’s 20-9-4 this season. Jake Smith holds the franchise record of 90 wins, 81 of them posted after relocation to North Bay in 2013.

The Troops, who defeated the Saginaw Spirit 6-3 Friday night as Vilmanis scored three goals, are 12-4-2 in their last 18 games.

Matthew Wang and Coulson Pitre scored for Flint, which led 2-0 after the first period. Goaltender Jacob Brown made 23 saves before 3,332 at the Dort Financial Center.

Flint, which has lost three straight games, is 24-28-4 for 52 points, third in the West Division.

Wakely took a backhanded pass from Owen Van Steensel to the right of the net and crossed the goalmouth to put another backhander behind Brown at 1:49 of the third period, tying it 2-2. The goal was Wakely’s 29th of the season.

Wakely then fed the puck toward the net, and Vilmanis managed to control it and fire it home for the winner. It was Vilmanis’s 28th goal, his 18th in 18 games since a trade from the Sarnia Sting.

The Battalion halved its 2-0 deficit when Ertel was awarded the penalty shot at 5:13 of the second period after being hauled down from behind on a breakaway by Blake Smith. Ertel, who beat Brown under the glove, netted his 22nd goal.

Wang scored 12:08 into the game, benefiting from a bounce at the blue line and driving to the left lip of the crease to register his third goal.

Pitre deflected a left-point shot by Jimmy Lombardi at 14:30. Gavin Ewles earned his second assist of the period on Pitre’s 23rd goal, tied for the team lead.

The Troops, who had a 10-5 shots advantage in the opening period, missed several outstanding chances. Wakely broke to the net for back-to-back shots in the first minute, and Ertel drilled the puck off the right post only to have it bounce back across the crease to end up under Brown at 7:17.

Penalty killer Ertel intercepted a Brown clearing attempt for a solo break-in midway in the frame, but the sprawling goaltender played spoiler with the right pad.

BATTALION BULLETS: In the teams’ only other meeting, the Battalion won 6-4 at home Oct. 22 … Van Steensel has an eight-game points streak in which he has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points … The Battalion went 0-for-1 on the power play. Flint was 0-for-5 … Opening lines saw Wakely centring left winger Van Steensel and right winger Anthony Romani, Liam Arnsby centring left winger Ertel and right winger Vilmanis and Ethan Procyszyn pivoting left winger Andrew LeBlanc and right winger Brice Cooke. Left winger Ihnat Pazii and right winger Lirim Amidovski had rotating linemates … Defence pairings had Wyatt Kennedy with Ty Nelson, Tnias Mathurin with Paul Christopoulos and Bronson Ride with Jacob LeBlanc. Trevor McDowell also saw action … The Battalion was without Jacob Therrien, Brayden Turley, Nolan Laird and Stef Forgione … Therrien served the third game of a five-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in a 5-3 home-ice loss to Saginaw last Sunday … The Firebirds announced Wednesday that head coach Paul Flache has signed a multiyear contract extension. Flache, who played three seasons with the Battalion culminating in 2001-02, assumed the reins Oct. 6

Hello Awesome People!

It looks like you are using Ad Blocker. We can understand that you don't like to see the ads frequently. But please try to understand that our business survive on the ads. Main source of revenue is Ads, please support us by disabling ad blocker.

Thank you for visiting Report North Bay!