Sunday, September 30th, 2018: Oshawa Generals vs. North Bay Battalion
Tonight, the Oshawa Generals took to the ice at the Tribute Communities Centre for their 2018-2019 season home opener against the North Bay Battalion. The Gens came into the game with a 1-2-0-0 record in their first three games, looking to grab a big win at home before heading on the road to take on the Hamilton Bulldogs on October 5th.
The Gens came out of the gate with speed, getting an early breakaway chance by Eric Henderson that was denied. The Battalion answered with pressure of their own, but Generals goaltender Cole Ceci came up with a few big stops to keep the game scoreless. At just over seven minutes into the period, Justin Brazeau of the Battalion was able to capitalize off a turnover to open the scoring, putting the Gens down 1-0. Only a few minutes later, Brazeau rushed the puck and put another one past Ceci for his second goal of the night. The Gens received a powerplay shortly after the Battalion goal from an interference penalty to North Bay. Oshawa was able to capitalize on the opportunity, with Danil Antropov burying the puck past Battalion goalie Christian Purboo on assists from Ty Tullio and Kyle MacLean. Right after the goal, the Battalion took another penalty, giving the Gens the man advantage again. Making no mistake on the chance, captain Jack Studnicka passed to Serron Noel who rocketed the puck in to tie the game at 2-2. With only a few minutes left in the period, Brazeau completed his hattrick to put North Bay up 3-2. Refusing to go into the intermission down, Jack Studnicka potted a goal with assists from Allan McShane and Serron Noel to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the second period.
The period began with the play going back and forth and both teams getting a few chances on net. A quality chance for the Gens came from Nando Eggenberger, who drove to the net hard and just missed Nick Wong with a centring effort. At just over seven minutes into the period, a scrum in the Gens end resulted in both teams receiving roughing calls, but the Battalion received an extra two minutes to give Oshawa the man advantage. The Gens had a few looks on net but weren’t able to put one in on the opportunity. Just past the halfway point in the period, Serron Noel fought off a check for a breakaway chance and slid the puck past the Battalion’s goaltender for his second goal of the night, putting the Gens up 4-3. With about five minutes left in the period, Oshawa received a penalty to put them down a man. After a huge shorthanded chance for the Gens where North Bay’s goalie came up big, the puck returned to Oshawa’s end and in the back of their net, tying the game at 4-4. The game remained tied at four heading into the third period.
The Gens wasted no time to start the third, with Matt Brassard roofing the puck over the Battalion’s goaltender just over thirty seconds into the period to take a 5-4 lead. The goal marked Brassard’s first of the season, with assists going to Jack Studnicka and Allan McShane. The Gens continued to pile on the offense from there, with Nick Wong getting a top corner goal shortly after to increase Oshawa’s lead to 6-4. The goal was also Wong’s first of the season and went unassisted. With 8:31 left in the period, the Battalion were able to answer back and get a goal of their own, putting them within one of the Gens at 6-5. A minute after the goal, North Bay received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for a hit to the head, giving the Gens a long powerplay opportunity. Jack Studnicka was able to make use of the man advantage, tallying his second goal of the game to give the Gens an insurance goal. North Bay pulled their goalie for the last minute of the game but weren’t able to score, ending in a 7-5 win for the Generals.
With a big offensive performance and a win in the home opener, Oshawa improved their season record to 2-2-0-0. the Gens will look to carry the momentum on the road when the team travels to Hamilton to take on the Bulldogs on October 5th.