Kingston Takes Game 3

Kingston Takes Game 3
photo/article credit- North Bay Battalion

Roman Schmidt and Paul Ludwinski each had one goal and one assist to pace the Kingston Frontenacs to a 4-1 Ontario Hockey League victory Monday night over the North Bay Battalion, cutting the Troops’ lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal to 2-1.

Ethan Miedema and Matthew Soto also scored for seventh-seeded Kingston, which got 20 saves from goaltender Mason Vaccari before 2,590 at Slush Puppie Place.

Jacob Therrien scored for second-seeded North Bay, while goaltender Mike McIvor gave up three goals on 26 shots in his first OHL playoff start before Ludwinski found an empty-netter.

The Troops were without goaltender Dom DiVincentiis, who left Game 2, a 7-3 home-ice win Saturday night, in the first period, and Anthony Romani, who last saw action in the first period of the opener, a 4-2 victory Thursday night at Memorial Gardens. Both are listed as day-to-day.

Kingston, which led 3-0 after the first period, took its first lead of the series at 12:19 when Miedema raced to the net off the left wing, eluded Wyatt Kennedy and slipped the puck between McIvor’s pads.

Defenceman Schmidt struck at 17:47, blasting a low drive past McIvor’s blocker from the top of the right-wing circle.

Liam Arnsby was serving the first half of a double minor for high-sticking when Kingston capitalized on the power play at 18:33, with Soto sweeping a loose puck home from the goalmouth.

Kingston outshot the Troops 10-4 in the frame. The Battalion’s best chance came in the 13th minute when Vaccari sprawled to foil Brice Cooke.

Therrien scored his first OHL playoff goal at 3:34 of the middle period when he converted a Ty Nelson rebound alone at the left post. Dalyn Wakely had the other assist.

Nelson’s assist was his 31st in playoffs, one more than Cody Hodgson amassed and a franchise record. In 36 games, Nelson has 39 postseason points, one more than Wojtek Wolski and third in Battalion annals.

Kingston forged an 11-7 edge in shots in the period. Vaccari faced two threats by Justin Ertel, parrying a shot headed for the top corner in the fifth minute and sealing the left post as Ertel charged to the net in the 13th. McIvor snared a Schmidt drive in the 10th minute and reacted quickly when Gage Heyes jumped on the rebound of a late Jacob Holmes shot.

North Bay outshot the hosts 10-6 in the third period but couldn’t beat Vaccari. The goaltender, who got his left shoulder on a Wakely drive off the right wing in the fourth minute, stretched to get the left pad on an attempt by Owen Van Steensel in the fifth. Sandis Vilmanis rang the puck off the left post in the fifth minute.

The teams were skating four-on-four when McIvor left for an extra attacker with 4:38 to play. The Battalion’s best chance came when Vaccari stopped a Nelson drive and corralled the puck as Van Steensel crashed the net looking for the rebound.

Ludwinski scored into the empty net at 18:57.

The fourth game is scheduled on the same ice at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion has a won-lost record of 50-44 in 94 playoff games since relocation to North Bay in 2013, including 21-25 in 46 road games … The Battalion is 16-24 all-time in the third game of a playoff series … Charlie Larocque backed up McIvor. Larocque, a resident of Kanata, Ont., was a sixth-round pick in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection from the Carleton Place Canadians U18s who dressed as a third goaltender during the second game … Jacob LeBlanc was called for holding midway in the second period, with Miedema handed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for embellishment … In 36 playoff games, Wakely has nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points, tied with Van Steensel, Dylan Blujus and Marcus McIvor for 19th place in franchise history … In 36 playoff games, Arnsby has 57 penalty minutes, two more than Adam Henrich and third on the franchise list … The Battalion went 0-for-2 on the power play. Kingston was 1-for-3 … Opening lines saw Wakely centring left winger Van Steensel and right winger Therrien, Arnsby centring left winger Ertel and right winger Vilmanis and Ethan Procyszyn pivoting left winger Ihnat Pazii and right winger Cooke. Dylan Richter centred left winger Nolan Laird and right winger Lirim Amidovski … In addition to DiVincentiis and Romani, the Battalion scratched Brayden Turley, Trevor McDowell, Andrew LeBlanc and Stef Forgione … Sean Kimmerly and Aaron Neely were the referees.

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