The Niagara IceDogs were looking to start 2020 on a positive note against the North Bay Battalion, a team they’ve had their fair share of struggles against. 2000-born forward Jackson Doherty returned to the line up, to dress in his 150th Ontario Hockey League game.
Still missing veterans Akil Thomas and Kyen Sopa (World Juniors), and Elijah Roberts (injury), the ‘Dogs’ young forwards and defence corps were slated to play big minutes against a divisional rival. First year goaltender Josh Rosenzweig suited for his second straight start, with injured goaltender Christian Sbaraglia backing up in case of emergency.
Jake Uberti gave Niagara early in the first period, just 44 seconds in! Uberti scored his second goal in as many nights as he banged away at a loose puck in the crease.
The Battalion tied the game shortly thereafter, but Adrien Beraldo restored the IceDogs lead on a power play with a blast from the blueline that trickled its way into the back of the net.
With the game tied up at 2 past the midway point of the first period, Ivan Lodnia pounced on the rebound off a shot from Phil Tomasino to give the IceDogs the lead once again.
In another tied game situation, down a man, Ivan Lodnia stole the puck from the Battalion defenceman and raced into the offensive zone. Lodnia’s shot on net bounced out in front of the goalie onto the stick of Mason Howard, who scored his fourth of the season shorthanded to carry a 4-3 lead into the second period.
The Battalion made a goaltender change to start the second period. Ivan Lodnia picked up right where he left off in the first period, scoring his second of the night on a power play! If players could get hat tricks from collecting three assists, Oliver Castleman and Phil Tomasino would have sent the hats flying with their assists on Lodnia’s 5-3 goal.
Cameron Snow got in on the fun, scoring his third goal of the season. Snow went top shelf on the netminder to extend the ‘Dogs lead by two once again.
The Battalion tied the game at 6 towards the end of the second period.
North Bay took their first lead of the game less than three minutes into the final frame of regulation. The Battalion lead didn’t last long as Mason Howard’s shot right off the face off hit the back of the net. With his second tally, Howard had his first two-goal game of his OHL career.
Less than a minute later, Phil Tomasino added a goal to his three assists to re-gain the lead. Tomasino’s 20th of the season leads the IceDogs.
The Battalion tied the game back up at 8. As high scoring as this game was, there was guaranteed to be one more goal, as the game headed into overtime, guaranteeing at least one point for the IceDogs.
With 2.3 seconds remaining in the extra period, Mason Howard recorded his first OHL hat-trick to win the game for the IceDogs, and capture the extra point in North Bay! Goaltender Josh Rosenzweig picked up his first OHL win in the overtime thriller!
The IceDogs are back home on Saturday, January 4th for a matchup against the Kitchener Rangers. Tickets are starting as low as $15/person and can be purchased online HERE, or in person at the following locations:
IceDogs Meridian Centre Offices 905-687-3641
Meridian Centre Box Office
Pen Centre Customer Service
Seaway Mall Customer Service
Big Marco’s Three Stars of the Game
- Mason Howard (3G)
- Ivan Lodnia (2G, 4A)
- Luke Moncada (NB)