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ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Dougie Hamilton’s goal at 2:41 of overtime lifted the Niagara IceDogs to a 3-2 victory over the Brampton Battalion in an Ontario Hockey League game Thursday night.
Defenceman Hamilton took a cross-zone pass from Mitchell Theoret and, after moving deep toward the net through the right-wing circle, beat sprawling Battalion goaltender Matej Machovsky.
Theoret had one goal and two assists for Niagara, which got one goal and one assist from Ryan Strome. Goaltender Christopher Festarini made 37 saves, although he wasn’t tested in overtime.
Niagara moved its won-lost-extended record to 7-4-1 for 15 points, second in the Central Division.
Mathew Santos scored two rapid-fire goals for the Battalion, while Machovsky faced 26 shots. The Troops are 3-4-4 for 10 points, tied with the Sudbury Wolves for fourth place in the division.
"I thought in the second half of the game we really took it to them," said Battalion coach Stan Butler. "It’s unfortunate that we had to lose the game on a bad line change.
"We’ve had a lot of games that we’ve found ways to lose. What we need to do as a team is find ways to win those games instead."
The Battalion trailed 2-0 before Santos scored a pair of goals 33 seconds apart in the latter half of the second period.
Santos first struck at 13:29, cashing the rebound of a shot by Blake Clarke, who stepped into the left-wing circle for the initial shot. Santos put the puck past Festarini from the goaltender’s right.
Santos then found himself loose down the left side and backhanded home his own rebound from tight quarters for his fourth goal of the season, an unassisted effort.
Theoret had scored at 2:03 of the period, beating Machovsky to the glove side from the mid slot.
Strome opened the scoring with his eighth goal at 1:59 of the first period. Theoret carried the puck clockwise behind the net and fed it back to Strome on the left lip of the crease for the slip-in.
The goal came seconds after Brendan Childerley almost had a partial breakaway following his stripping of the puck from Niagara’s Luke Mercer at the Battalion blue line.
Clarke gave Festarini trouble at 7:12, almost tucking the puck home off a bounce off the end boards. From the ensuing faceoff, Mike Amadio fed Clarke alone in the slot, but he couldn’t pull the trigger with Festarini seemingly vulnerable.
Machovsky made a solid save against Theoret in the ninth minute after Matt MacLeod was denied at the Niagara blue line. With the Troops on a change, Strome and Theoret took off on a virtual two-man breakaway, but Machovsky foiled Theoret on a pass from Strome.
Niagara’s Mack Lemmon had two chances in the scoreless third period, ringing a shot off the left post in the third minute and firing the puck wide left on a solo possession deep on the right side in the 18th.
A sprawling Festarini made an outstanding right-pad save in the fifth minute to deny Nick Paul with an open net on a rebound, and Jamie Lewis jammed repeatedly at the rubber in Festarini’s crease before he covered up at 15:56.
The Battalion scratched Brandon Robinson. Niagara scratches were Ryan Shipley, David Sysala and Aaron Haydon.
The Battalion hosts the Windsor Spitfires at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
BATTALION NOTEBOOK: Attendance at the Jack Gatecliff Arena in the Gatorade Garden City Complex was 2,986 … The arena has shot boards mounted at each end of the ice, but only one was operative for the first two periods. The other showed zeros for 40 minutes before kicking into action to record third-period and overtime shots … Each team went 0-for-2 on the power play … Santos also scored the Troops’ first goal in their previous game, a 5-3 home-ice victory Sunday over the Saginaw Spirit that ended a losing streak at four games. Santos, who scored his first OHL goal Sept. 30 in a 7-4 road loss to the Oshawa Generals, signed as a free agent Sept. 1 … Clarke, taking exception to a check from behind into the boards by Mike Robinson that drew no call, slashed the miscreant, bringing up the arm of referee Dave Koziel. Brenden Miller then jumped Robinson, resulting in a fight at 11:19 of the first period. When the players went to the box, Koziel had forgotten Clarke’s involvement and charged Miller with the slash as well … Opening Battalion line combinations included Patrik Machac centring left winger Connor Jarvis and right winger Barclay Goodrow, Lewis centring left winger Paul and right winger MacLeod and Nicholas Foglia skating between left winger Derek Froats and right winger Childerley. Amadio centred left winger Clarke and right winger Santos … Strome has a four-game points streak, having registered a point in all but one game this season … MacLeod is from nearby Niagara Falls, Ont. … In the teams’ first meeting, the visiting IceDogs defeated the Battalion 2-1 via shootout in its season opener Sept. 21. They face off Dec. 1 at St. Catharines in the third of six meetings ... Scott Oakman was the second referee.