SAULT STE. MARIE – Rory Kerins scored two of his three goals in the third period, breaking a tie and sending the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to an 8-5 Ontario Hockey League victory Friday night over the North Bay Battalion, which saw a valiant comeback effort fall short.
Kerins also had three assists for a six-point game, and Cole MacKay, who scored the last goal, provided two goals and three assists. Marco Mignosa contributed two goals and Tye Kartye one goal and three assists for Sault Ste. Marie, which moved its won-lost-extended record to 5-2-0 for 10 points atop the West Division.
Goaltender Samuel Ivanov made 28 saves before a crowd of 2,789 at GFL Memorial Gardens.
Matvey Petrov and Mitchell Russell each had one goal and one assist for North Bay, which got its other goals from Tnias Mathurin, Josh Currie and Liam Arnsby. Brandon Coe and Ty Nelson each earned two assists.
Rookie goaltender Dom DiVincentiis, making a second consecutive start after backstopping a 4-2 home-ice verdict Thursday night over the previously unbeaten Hamilton Bulldogs, faced 30 shots.
The Battalion, 4-3-0 for eight points, first in the Central Division, has a rematch at 7:07 p.m. Saturday on the same ice.
The Greyhounds, who saw the Troops storm back from a 5-2 deficit to a 5-5 tie through 40 minutes, went in front for good when Kerins beat DiVincentiis between the legs at 3:21 of the final period. Kerins struck again on the power play at 5:57, just 14 seconds after Arnsby went off for tripping, on assists by Ryan O’Rourke and Tanner Dickinson.
Ivanov denied Arnsby off the right wing at 11:34 on what may have been North Bay’s best chance the rest of the way, and MacKay connected on an odd-man rush with Kerins at 17:43.
Sault Ste. Marie, which led 3-1 at the first intermission, saw Mignosa add to the advantage at 1:23 of the second period, snapping the puck through traffic as the trailer on a rush, before Currie responded shorthanded at 6:23, scoring from deep on the right wing.
Kartye struck for the 5-2 lead at 9:09 before the Battalion capitalized after coincidental roughing minors to Russell and Kirill Kudryavtsev at 11:40.
Arnsby swept the puck past Ivanov at 11:59 on assists by Simon Rose and Coe, and Petrov shovelled the rubber into the net from the left lip of the crease off a pass from Nelson deep on the left wing at 13:36, both goals coming with the teams skating four a side.
Russell struck for his team-leading sixth goal on the power play at 15:45, wristing the puck from the right circle with assists to Nelson and Kyle Jackson to tie it.
Mignosa scored 24 seconds into the game after a turnover in the neutral zone before defenceman Mathurin scored his first OHL goal at 11:37 on assists by Petrov and Coe. MacKay connected off a Kerins pass from behind the net at 15:25, and Kerins scored at 19:24, driving up the middle and taking a pass from Kartye.
The Saturday game can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.
BATTALION BULLETS: The trip marks the first time in franchise history, which dates to 1998-99 when the club was based in Brampton, that the Battalion has played regular-season road games against the same opponent on consecutive days. It has happened twice in playoff series: March 27-28, 2012, in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Sudbury Wolves and May 1-2, 2014, in the OHL Championship Series against the Guelph Storm after relocation to North Bay for that season … Coe has a seven-game points streak, during which he has five goals and seven assists for 12 points … The Battalion went 1-for-2 on the power play. Sault Ste. Marie was 1-for-3 … Opening lines saw Arnsby centring left winger Petrov and right winger Coe, Jackson centring left winger Currie and right winger Russell, Dalyn Wakely centring left winger Owen Van Steensel and right winger Alex Christopoulos, and Michael Podolioukh pivoting left winger Owen Outwater and right winger Nic Sima … Defence pairings had Rose with Avery Winslow, Mathurin with Nelson, and Paul Christopoulos beside Alexander Lukin … Joe Vrbetic backed up DiVincentiis … The Battalion scratched Cam Gauvreau and Anthony Romani … Dickinson has a seven-game points streak in which he has one goal and seven assists for eight points … Chris Ferreira and Mac Nichol were the referees.