North Bay takes Game 3 in OT

North Bay takes Game 3 in OT
Photo/article credit- North Bay Battalion

 Dalyn Wakely’s second goal of the game, at 12:19 of overtime, completed a stunning North Bay Battalion comeback to a 6-5 Ontario Hockey League victory Tuesday night over the Sudbury Wolves that gave the Troops a 3-0 lead in games in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.

Owen Van Steensel provided one goal and two assists, and Justin Ertel had one goal and one assist, while Ihnat Pazii and Ethan Procyszyn scored one goal apiece for second-seeded North Bay, which rallied from a 5-2 deficit after two periods. Sandis Vilmanis had three assists.

Goaltender Mike McIvor contributed 41 saves before an announced crowd of 4,648.

The Battalion can win the series in the next game, scheduled at the Sudbury Community Arena at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. A fifth game would be played Saturday night at North Bay.

Nathan Villeneuve scored two goals and Dalibor Dvorsky, Chase Coughlan and Zacharie Giroux each had one for fifth-seeded Sudbury, while goaltender Jakub Vondras, seeing his first action in the series, made 28 saves, none in the second period, when the Battalion was held without a shot.

In overtime, Wakely, open in front, one-timed a feed from Van Steensel deep on the right wing. Wakely’s league-leading ninth goal of the playoffs also was assisted by Andrew LeBlanc.

The Battalion scored three third-period goals to get to overtime, starting with Ertel’s shorthanded marker, his sixth, at 5:56. Vilmanis sent Ertel away alone from the Sudbury blue line, and he beat Vondras over the blocker.

With McIvor gone for an extra attacker, Van Steensel struck during a two-man advantage for his fourth goal at 16:40, one-timing a Vilmanis pass from the right circle. Ertel also assisted.

Procyszyn precipitated overtime with his second goal, also on the power play and with an extra skater deployed, at 17:08 when he tipped a heavily screened Ty Nelson drive from the mid blue line. Vilmanis drew the second assist.

Sudbury, which led 3-2 after 20 minutes, added two goals in the middle frame. Coughlan swiped the puck between McIvor’s legs off a pass from the right wing from Alex Pharand at 14:43, and Giroux scored with the man advantage at 19:00, tapping the puck home from the back door at the right side off a cross-crease pass from Kocha Delic. Donovan McCoy had the other assist.

The Battalion jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on its first three shots, sparked by Pazii at 1:53 when he converted at the left lip of the crease off a rush. Brice Cooke and LeBlanc assisted on Pazii’s third goal.

Wakely, on a between-the-legs shot, slipped the puck under Vondras from the left side at 4:04 on assists by Van Steensel, who backhanded the disc to the net, and Jacob Therrien.

Sudbury answered with two goals 47 seconds apart, ignited by Villeneuve at 5:07 when he ripped the puck from the slot after forcing a turnover. Dvorsky then scored his third goal from the goalmouth. Quentin Musty and Landon McCallum had the assists, McCallum sending the puck down the ice on what should have been an icing call and Musty digging it out of the right corner.

Villeneuve gave Sudbury its first lead of the series at 17:10, tipping the puck behind McIvor after Evan Konyen out it to the net from high on the right wing. Matthew Mania also assisted on Villeneuve’s second goal.

Game 4 can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.

BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion has a won-lost record of 102-110 in 212 playoff games, including 46-59 on the road. The Troops are 55-44 in 99 games since relocation to North Bay in 2013, with a road record of 23-25 … The Battalion is 14-25 all-time in playoff overtime … The Troops are 17-24 in the third game of a playoff series … In 41 playoff games, Van Steensel has 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points, one more than Matt Duchene and 13th in franchise history … In 41 postseason games, Wakely has 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points, 15th in franchise annals. Wakely’s 15 goals are tied with Duchene for eighth all-time. Wakely has three game-winning goals, tied with five others for sixth in Battalion history … The Battalion went 2-for-2 on the power play. Sudbury was 1-for-7 … Opening lines featured Wakely centring left winger Van Steensel and right winger Therrien, Procyszyn pivoting left winger Ertel and right winger Vilmanis and Cooke centring left winger Pazii and right winger LeBlanc. Dylan Richter centred left winger Stef Forgione and right winger Lirim Amidovski … The Battalion was without Dom DiVincentiis, Brayden Turley, Liam Arnsby, Trevor McDowell, Anthony Romani and Nolan Laird … Arnsby served the fourth game of a six-game suspension … With the junior A Carleton Place Canadians’ season over, Charlie Larocque was recalled to back up McIvor … Marcus Vandenberg backed up Vondras … The OHL U-18 Priority Selection will be conducted via the Internet starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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