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Sudbury sneaks by North Bay in overtime

North Bay is 2-4-1 against rival Wolves this season

NORTH BAY, Ont. – Former Battalion captain Brad Chenier was all over the scoresheet Wednesday night, capping his night by setting up Macauley Carson for the one-time game-winner in overtime to give the Sudbury Wolves a 4-3 win on the road over North Bay.

Chenier had a busy night against his former team, scoring two goals, assisting on the game-winner and also taking two separate trips to the penalty box. Alex Christopoulos, the Battalion’s most dangerous forward of late, matched Chenier in the scoring department with two goals of his own to push his goal-scoring streak to three games, while Luke Moncada added his team-leading 33rd goal to round out the North Bay scoring.

The usually spirited Wolves-Battalion matchup did not disappoint, with the Battalion being mostly in control with three separate leads throughout. Nick Grima dropped the gloves with Chase Stillman in the second period to punctuate the physical portion of the game, but it was the Wolves who came from behind a number of times before finally securing the win in the extra frame, sending the Battalion and the 1,921 fans in attendance home disappointed.

“It was tough to get into overtime and come out on the wrong end of things.” said Battalion coach Ryan Oulahen. “It always stings because you feel like you put in a really good effort for 60 minutes. From the drop of the puck tonight, I was very happy with our start. I thought we were engaged and ready to go, and I thought we were taking it to them and we really stuck to our game pretty well.”

David Bowen earned his second straight win in goal for the Wolves following a huge 2-0 shutout win over Ottawa on Sunday. Bowen, the son of popular Maple Leafs commentator Joe Bowen, has been excellent following a recall from the NOJHL’s Rayside-Balfour Canadians and has raised some questions about the state of the Sudbury crease moving forward. The previous tandem of Christian Purboo and Mitchell Weeks has been suboptimal for the Wolves, who despite that still lead the Central Division over Barrie by 4 points and occupy the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Fans hoping to see top prospect Quinton Byfield were again disappointed when the phenom was scratched with a wrist injury that has kept him out since Feb. 7. It was the third straight Sudbury at North Bay game that Byfield has not played. The Battalion scratches remained the same from Sunday, with Ty Hollett, Mason Primeau (12 consecutive games missed), Braden Henderson (12 games) and Mitchel Russell out of the lineup for the Troops.

Many positives could be taken away from the game for North Bay despite the loss. The game continued the best stretch of hockey the Battalion has played this season, going 3-1-2 over its last six games.

“I really liked the way we played with the puck today,” said Oulahen. “I thought we limited their chances and we were aggressive in the offensive zone, keeping pucks alive. The defence was jumping down, we were playing on our toes and that was good to see. That’s the type of game we want to play because the results are going to come.”

The game capped a season-long four-game homestand for the Battalion, which now heads on the road for games at Erie against the Otters on Saturday and at St. Catharines to face the Niagara IceDogs on Sunday.