Troops shoot down Spitfires in exciting fashion

A last-minute goal from Kyle Macdonald put the difference between two of the top three OHL teams in the North Bay on Thursday as the Battalion beat the Windsor Spitfires 5-3.

“It was a fun game and a fun night,” head coach Ryan Oulahen said after the game.

“Wow, they’re a good team over there. We thought we had something that could definitely be tackled and cleaned up, and Battalion’s way of making it fun in the end.”

“It’s only fitting that McDonald’s and Zito are part of that goal. It was kind of cool, so I’m really happy with the people there.”

The game got off to a good start for Windsor as former Troop, with Alex Christopoulos (27), making his first appearance since his trade from North Bay in 2021, defeated Dom Divincentis to give the Spitz a 1-0 lead. Alex is the twin brother of Battalion defenseman Paul Christopoulos. Less than a minute later, however, Darin Wakeley (20) scored his career-best goal with a loose pack in the crease of Joey Costanzo. The Spitfires were not deterred as they regained the lead moments later from the stick of Colton Smith (15) and went up 2-1 after the first.

Josh Bloom (22) scored his first goal since December 28 against Sudbury in the second period to heat up the heat. Assisted goal by Paul Christopoulos. Former Spitfire Kyle McDonald, 18, put the North Bay up to his 3-2 lead into the second break before the period expired.

With just over five minutes to go, Liam Greentree (18) wired a laser past DiVincentiis to tie the game at 3-3. The score remained intact until McDonald (19) put Troops up to his 4-3 at 19:02 and Paul his Christopoulos (2) empty net his tally clinched his deal.

“I love those kids so much,” Oulahen said of the twins. Paul, on the other hand, was a steady Eddie, and watching the minutes he played every night, he was incredible.

“It was fun to be able to participate in practice with them for a year, so I thought that practicing with them today would increase the tension with them.”

The coach also offered his thoughts on former bench boss Stan Butler winning the head coaching job at the Ellie Otters.

“I don’t have a lot of thoughts. It’s Erie’s business, it’s what they do, and we’re just worried about what the battalion is doing, and that’s the way things are.

“I don’t think so,” Oulahen said to the sea otter’s face when he visited on February 16. “I’ve done it before and it’s never been a problem. The group of players here had never had him as a coach, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. .”

The unit resumes operations on Saturday and travels to St. Catharines to fight Niagara Ice Dogs.

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