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Battalion take a bite out of the Wolves

The Brampton Battalion are back to their winning ways, at least for the time being anyways. With the victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday, the Battalion have put together a string of three straight wins since Coach Stan Butler returned from his eight-game suspension.

It wasn’t a pretty win and in fact, the Battalion had to dig deep against a Sudbury team that has played them tough each and every time they’ve visited the Powerade Centre this year.

It took nearly a whole period for the first goal of the game. Barclay Goodrow netted his 23rd goal of the season on a beautiful shot that beat Sudbury goalie Johan Mattsson. Sam Carrick and Zach Bell would draw the assists at 19:15 of the first period.

Heading into the second period with the lead, the Battalion soon found themselves with an obstacle to overcome. A checking from behind penalty to Goodrow gave the Wolves a five-minute power play to work with. It also forced the Battalion forward from the game in only the first minute of the second period. On the ensuing power play, Wolves forward Michael Sgarbossa cashed in with his 37th on the season to tie the game at 1-1. Josh McFadden and Josh Leivo would draw assists on the goal.

Just over two minutes later, Battalion Sam Carrick sniped a shot past Mattsson to put the Troops ahead 2-1. Matt MacLeod and Zach Bell picked up the assists on the go-ahead goal.

MacLeod would make it 3-1 Battalion from Sam Carrick just beyond the midway point in the period. The game misconduct to Goodrow opened the door for MacLeod to join Brandon Robinson alongside Carrick on the top line. After two consecutive shifts of non-stop pressure in the Sudbury zone, they were rewarded for their hard work with the goal.

Sgarbossa would cut the Battalion lead to 3-2 before the end of the second period. Leivo picked up his second helper of the afternoon. Samuel Schutt also assisted on the goal. To end the second frame, Brandon Robinson and Marcus McIvor took penalties 13 seconds apart, giving the Wolves a two-man advantage to end the second and start the third period.

A Josh McFadden slap shot beat Matej Machovsky once again knotting the score up, this time at 3-3. Michael Kantor and Sgarbossa picked up the assists after setting the power play up in the Battalion zone. Sgarbossa would complete his hat-trick with just over five minutes to go in the game, converting a pass from Leivo in front of the net.

With the Wolves holding their first lead of the game, the Battalion turned up the pressure offensively. A Patrik Machac tip on a Cameron Wind point-shot forced a video review. The play was confirmed as a goal knotting the score once again at 4-4. The remainder of regulation proved uneventful and overtime was needed.

It took almost the whole period, but Mitchell Porowski broke in on a partial breakaway before being hauled down. Much to the dismay of the Wolves, a penalty shot was awarded on the play. Porowski would make the best of his opportunity, reaching around Mattsson to slip the puck in to make it 5-4 and giving the Battalion their third straight win.

“I had my move set and as soon as I got in I turned back and it was a great feeling” Porowski said. “I think it might help that I can go side to side with these long arms.”

“It’s tough not getting two points when you’ve got the lead and you’re working hard but bounces and calls aren’t going your way” said Sudbury forward Leivo. His three assists on the afternoon give him 58 points in 53 games.

“It’s hard, overtime and a penalty shot, the game ends like that and it’s always tough” said Sgarbossa who set a new personal best for himself with his 39th goal. “It’s nice to get that, but it puts a damper on the mood when you lose like that.” With the four points in the game, Sgarbossa currently sits tied for second with Tanner Pearson in the OHL scoring race.

The Wolves won’t need to wait long to get back on the ice as they visit Mississauga at 2:00pm on Monday. Brampton heads to Peterborough to try to make it four in a row Monday afternoon as well.

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