SUDBURY, Ont. – Joshua Leivo scored two goals and added two assists to power the Sudbury Wolves to a 4-3 Ontario Hockey League victory Friday night over the Brampton Battalion, which staged a furious third-period rally from a four-goal deficit and fell just short.
Jacob Harris contributed two goals and one assist and goaltender Joel Vienneau made 41 saves as Sudbury moved its won-lost-extended record to 17-16-7 for 41 points, fifth in the Central Division.
Brandon Robinson scored two goals and added one assist for the Battalion, and Patrik Machac had one goal and one assist. Jake Smith faced 30 shots in goal for the Troops, 19-16-6 for 44 points, third in the division.
“We didn’t quit,” said Battalion coach Stan Butler, whose charges outshot the home side 24-6 in the third period. “We had our chances.”
Robinson broke Vienneau’s shutout bid on the power play at 6:06 of the final frame as a delayed penalty was pending against Justin Sefton. He slammed the penalty box door, breaking the pane of glass in front of the timekeeper and incurring a misconduct. The cleanup and pane replacement, as well as several passes of an ice-resurfacing machine, delayed the game 15 minutes.
Robinson scored his 11th goal of the season at 10:27, taking the puck directly from Machac off a faceoff to Vienneau’s right and beating the goaltender with a drive to the short side.
Machac got loose in the slot to take a relay from Brendan Childerley on the right wing and chip home his ninth goal at 12:58 to set up a garrison finish before a vociferous contingent of fans from North Bay, which the Battalion will call home starting next season.
Nick Paul hit the right post at 16:00, while Childerley did yeoman’s work on faceoffs down the stretch and, with Smith off for a sixth attacker for the final 1:25, the Troops threatened through the final seconds.
Leivo opened the scoring shorthanded at 13:03 of the first period off a faceoff to Vienneau’s right. Harris chipped the puck off a Battalion win on the draw, and Leivo got past Zach Bell at the blue line for a breakaway, beating Smith high to the glove side.
Harris doubled the Sudbury lead on the power play at 16:22, cashing the rebound of a shot off the end boards from Smith’s left with the goaltender helpless.
With seconds left in a high-sticking penalty called against the Battalion’s Brennan Feasey at 5:02, Nathan Pancel grabbed a rebound and fired the puck off the right post with Smith down.
Feasey just failed to get his stick on a puck crossing the Sudbury goalmouth in the 12th minute.
Harris struck again for his 11th goal 51 seconds into the second period, snapping a shot from the slot off a three-on-two rush.
Leivo made it 4-0 on the power play at 16:09. Feasey was off for crosschecking when Leivo put a drive from the left-wing boards through traffic in front of Smith. Leivo tied Pancel for the team lead in goals with 18.
Brenden Miller fought Sudbury’s Nathan Cull at 2:02 of the period, with Cull getting the takedown after a mild exchange of punches.
The Troops went to the power play at 11:40 when Evan de Haan was called for interference, but the penalty was offset 14 seconds later when Matt MacLeod drew a goaltender interference call.
With the teams skating four a side, Machac tested Vienneau with a backhander from the lip of the crease, but the goaltender got the paddle down to direct the puck out of danger.
The Battalion was without Matej Machovsky, Mark Raycroft, Jamie Lewis and Barclay Goodrow. Sudbury was without Chad Thibodeau, Michael Kantor, Dominik Kahun, Conor Cummins and Brody Silk.
The Battalion hosts the Ottawa 67’s at 2 p.m. Sunday.
BATTALION NOTEBOOK: Attendance at the Sudbury Community Arena was 4,334, including four busloads of fans from North Bay. More than 400 tickets were sold to residents of the Northern Ontario centre and the surrounding area … The Battalion was to overnight in North Bay and hold an open practice Saturday at Memorial Gardens … The Battalion went 1-for-6 on the power play. Sudbury was 2-for-5 … The Troops are 8-10-4 on the road, while Sudbury is 11-6-3 at home … The Battalion’s Blake Clarke saw the end of a seven-game points streak during which he scored seven goals and earned two assists for nine points … Opening line combinations included Machac centring left winger Robinson and right winger Childerley, Nicholas Foglia pivoting left winger Clarke and right winger MacLeod and Mike Amadio centring left winger Paul and right winger Mathew Santos. Connor Jarvis centred left winger Feasey and right winger Calvin Gomes … The Battalion called up defenceman Kyle Wood from the junior A Orangeville Flyers for the game … Overager Childerley played his 250th OHL game and his 35th with the Troops since being acquired off waivers from the Owen Sound Attack on Oct. 5. He also has played with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds … Thibodeau has a lower-body injury, while Kantor has a facial injury. Kahun has been with Germany at the World Junior Championship at Ufa, Russia, and Cummins was a member of the Ontario team at the World Under-17 Challenge at Drummondville and Victoriaville, Que. Silk served a one-game suspension for having removed an opponent’s helmet in a 4-1 victory Monday over the host Barrie Colts … The Battalion and Wolves face off at Brampton on Jan. 13 in the sixth of eight season meetings.