Battalion upend Greyhounds in overtime

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Puck management was a major concern at times along with critical mistakes for the Greyhounds

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Naturally, they’re happy with getting a point, but there are a number of issues they want to clean up moving forward as the Ontario Hockey League regular season continues on.

Check that, the issues are ones that need to be cleaned up for a team that clearly has high hopes for this season.

Mismanaging the puck and some critical mistakes helped lead to a 5-4 overtime loss on Friday night for the Greyhounds at home against the North Bay Battalion at the GFL Memorial Gardens.

Ethan Procyszyn scored in overtime to give the Battalion the victory on the road.

On the overtime winner, Greyhounds coach John Dean was critical of how the tally played out.

“It’s not a good goal,” Dean said.

“Our goalie has got to have it, one hundred per cent and our (defenceman) can’t get walked,” Dean said.

North Bay coach Ryan Oulahen called the winning goal “just a big body play.”

“That kid is going to be a really good player in this league, and he just showed what he can do there,” Oulahen added. “He made the right play and threw it to the net.”

In a game where they managed to pick up a point, Dean said there were issues throughout the game for the Greyhounds.

“Our D corps really struggled tonight mismanaging pucks,” Dean said. “North Bay’s really good at being on top of things and second-effort hockey. They play heavy hockey. In the first period, we sliced through them in the neutral zone. The D, for some reason, in the second and the third, didn’t want to do it anymore.

Dean said he also felt the Greyhounds fought the puck in the loss.

Overage forward Jack Beck said there were a lot of “mixed emotions” when asked about the game.

Beck agreed that puck management was an issue in the loss.

For North Bay, Friday’s win comes on the heels of an overtime loss at home on Thursday night.

“We didn’t have a great game last night, but this was a gutsy effort,” Oulahen said. “They did the little things. It’s that extra little battle. Yeah, you’re going to give up chances, but you just find ways to get it done.”

North Bay opened the scoring 3:52 into the game when Justin Ertel beat Charlie Schenkel high stick side from the left circle.

Beck tied the game just over five minutes later when he shifted into an open spot in the left circle and beat North Bay goaltender Mike McIvor high short side.

North Bay took a 2-1 lead when Anthony Romani capitalized on a turnover in close and beat Schenkel stick side at 16:07.

Om the next shift, Brady Martin picked up his first OHL goal as he deflected a shot by Matthew Virgilio past McIvor at 16:42.

The homeside took a 3-2 lead with 21 seconds to go in the period as Jordan D’Intino skated over the North Bay line and beat McIvor from the high slot low stick side.

North Bay tied the game in the middle period when Liam Arnsby took a pass in the right faceoff circle from Ertel and beat Schenkel at 8:12.

The Battalion took a 4-3 lead thanks to Ertel’s second goal of the night 8n a back-door pass from Jacob Therrien after the latter slipped past a Greyhounds defenceman in the right faceoff circle at 10:14 of the third period.

Marco Mignosa tied the game at 15:16 when he redirected a pass in tight from Arttu Karki on the right side past McIvor.

In overtime, moments after D’Intino hit the post, Procyszyn cut in from the bright wing at the other end before sliding the puck past Schenkel for the game-winner at 2:17 of the extra frame.

Beck and Mignosa had a goal and an assist each for the Greyhounds in the loss.

Schenkel made 22 saves.

Ertel paced the Battalion with two goals and an assist while Therrien chipped in with three assists.

Asked about Ertel’s game, Oulahen said the veteran forward “was a horse tonight.”

“He was a game-changer,” Oulahen added. “That whole line with Arnsby and Therrien were leading the charge for us all night.”

Arnsby added one of each for North Bay.

McIvor made 26 saves.

“He settled in,” Oulahen said. “Obviously made some 10-bell saves at times to really keep us into the game and let us get to the third period and give 20 minutes of all-out effort.”

Friday’s loss caps off a quiet week for the Greyhounds, who will not play again until Thursday of next week in the opening game of a three-game road trip.

The trip will take the team to Erie on Thursday to face the Otters before facing the Brantford Bulldogs the following night and wrapping up the trip with a Sunday afternoon game against the Mississauga Steelheads in the trip finale.

Dean said the time off between games will be a bit of an opportunity to reset for the Greyhounds.

“There’s some trends here we don’t like,” Dean said.

Friday’s result leaves the Greyhounds with a record of 13-7-1-0 heading into next week’s road trip.

The Greyhounds fall three points behind the Kitchener Rangers for the lead in the OHL’s Western Conference and remain atop the West Division standings.

North Bay improves to 9-6-4-1 with the win and remain a point behind the Mississauga Steelheads, who also won on Friday, for top spot in the Central Division.

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