Generals shutout OHL-best Battalion

Oshawa, Ont., – In what looked to be another tough contest for the Generals turned into yet another giant slayed at the Tribute Communities Centre. Just a week removed from their 9-5 victory over the west’s best Windsor Spitfires, the Oshawa Generals took down one of the east’s best in the North Bay Battalion.

In front of a crowd of 5,721 fans strong, it took the home side just eight minutes to find the scoresheet. Despite early pressure from the Battalion, it was the Generals’ Ryan Gagnier finishing a nice cross-crease feed from Calum Ritchie to open the scoring. Ritchie continues his recent string of offense with this assist.

Before the first period could finish, it was Oshawa adding to their lead, yet again from OA forward Ryan Gagnier, with his team-leading 20th of the season.

Jacob Oster started in net for the Generals, making his first appearance for the home crowd. Oster stopped all 12 shots he saw in the first period, coming off a 19-save shutout in his last appearance on Friday.

Beginning the second period on a power play, the league’s best power play group got to work. Just 22 seconds into the frame, Stuart Rolofs picked up a fumbled puck in front of Battalion rookie netminder, Mike McIvor, and finished a deke to make it 3-0. It was Rolofs 18th of the season.

With the powerplay goal, Oshawa’s number-one ranked power play continues to grow, and is currently clipping at a rate of 25.4 per cent, despite being one of the youngest teams in the OHL

On the other side, the Generals’ penalty kill continues to be lights out, with Oshawa now killing 21 straight penalties, and 41 of their last 43 chances, good for 95.3 per cent in this stretch.

The third period gave Oshawa the opportunity to shut it down for two points. Outshooting the Battalion 9-6 in the period, North Bay wasn’t able to create any high-quality chances, and anything they could get in the way of Oster was turned aside.

Midway through the final frame, Ryan Gagnier stripped a Battalion of the puck at the blue line, carried it into the zone, and picked top-corner for his third of the game and 21st of the season. It was Gagnier’s first career hat trick and fourth point of the night.

Jacob Oster stopped all 30 shots for his second career and second consecutive shutout. His stat line since joining the Generals continues to impress, at a 3-1-0-0 record, two shutouts, 1.00 goals against average, and a 0.965 save percentage.

With the win, Oshawa moves within two points of the Sudbury Wolves for the final playoff spot, with a game in hand on the Wolves.

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