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Petes Fall to Battalion Blitz

Tonight the Petes fell to the North Bay Battalion 6-3 despite goals from Emmett Sproule, Tucker Robertson, and Nick Lardis at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

Peterborough opened the initial period with some serious pep in their step as the maroon and white registered their fourth short handed goal of the season six minutes and 23 seconds into regulation.

Emmett Sproule snagged the puck at center ice and beat the North Bay defender to forge his own breakaway goal. His sixth goal of the season extended his point streak to 10 games, which is currently tied with Ty Tullio of the Oshawa Generals for the longest active streak in the OHL.

Despite the Petes strong start, the Battalion fought back. Josh Currie scored at 10:03 to tie things up at 1-1. Off a face off in the Peterborough zone, veteran Mitchell Russell sent the puck to Avery Winslow on the blue line who found Currie at the point. With time and space, the left wing used his quick release to score his fifth goal of the season.

Tucker Robertson remained stellar in the circle, taking 14 draws and winning 11 in the first 20 minutes. He would finish the evening with a stat line including one goal, two shots, and 19 of 29 off the dot.

In the second, J.R. Avon pulled the puck out a battle in the corner and sent it to Brian Zanetti, who trailed the blue line and shot the puck from the point looking for a deflection. The puck bounced to Robertson’s stick and the reigning OHL Player of the Week backhanded it underneath Joe Vrbetic’s pads for his seventh goal this season.

It was a local boy who scored next, but he wore a green jersey. Dalyn Wakely, who grew up in Port Hope, Ont., squeaked the puck through Simpson to even the score once again and collect his sixth goal of the year in front of his family in attendance. Simon Rose and Owen Van Steensel picked up the assists.

Wakely noted how loud the Centre was tonight.

“It’s always good when the fans are as loud as the home town team,” Wakely said.

Donovan McCoy led a 3 on 2 Peterborough attack with 5:38 left in the second period. McCoy slipped the puck behind for Joe Carroll who sent a wrister toward net that was blocked, but ricocheted toward a stealthy Nick Lardis crossing the right circle. Lardis cashed in on the rebound to put the Petes up 3-2.

“It was a good play. I heard [Carroll] yelling for it,” McCoy said.

“It broke down pretty well.”

Samuel Mayer, who had been logging heavy minutes all night, was tossed from the game at the 14:04 mark of the period due to a cross-check. From that point on, the Battalion scored four unanswered goals.

The Battalion blitzed the Petes with two goals three seconds apart in the final minute of the middle frame from Paul Christopoulos and Van Steensel. Christopoulos was assisted by Liam Arnsby and Ty Nelson. Nelson is the 2020 OHL Priority Selection first overall pick and now has 11 points (2g – 9a) across 12 games. It was Van Steensel’s first OHL goal. The second period saw Peterborough trail in shots despite winning the majority of draws.

Michael Simpson blocked 23 of 27 shot attempts after two periods. The Petes were shut down in the third period, shooting only four pucks on net. Mitchell Russell scored on a race for the puck two minutes into the third for his ninth goal of the season.

Midway through the period, North Bay outnumbered the maroon and white behind Simpson’s net to wrangle possession. Brandon Coe, who leads the Battalion with 17 points, passed the puck to Kyle Jackson who fed a cross-ice pass to Matyev Petrov who blasted the rubber into the net.

The maroon and white won 36 of 62 faceoffs tonight and Simpson finished the night with 29 saves on 35 shots faced.

The Petes travel to face the Ottawa 67’s tomorrow night at TD Place.

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