Troops Going to the 'Dogs
NORTH BAY, Ont. - Rodion Tatarenko will see his first Ontario Hockey League action when the North Bay Battalion visits the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday, general manager Adam Dennis said Wednesday.
In addition, Owen Outwater will return to play after taking part in the Capital City Challenge at Ottawa as the Battalion looks to the makeup of its forward ranks in light of the suspension of Josh Currie and the trade Monday of right winger Alex Christopoulos to the Windsor Spitfires.
North Bay has a won-lost-extended record of 13-7-2 for 28 points, first in the Central Division and Eastern Conference. Hamilton, which visits the Barrie Colts on Thursday night and can jump past the Battalion in the conference, is 12-5-3 for 27 points atop the East Division.
Despite having gone 1-1-1 last week, the Battalion moved up one spot to No. 8 in the Canadian Hockey League's Top 10 rankings. Hamilton is No. 10.
Tatarenko, who is to join the Battalion for practice Thursday, is slated to play left wing after being called up from the affiliated junior A Powassan Voodoos of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, whom he leads in scoring with 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 21 games.
Toronto resident Tatarenko, chosen in the ninth round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Red Wings minor midgets, was signed to a standard player's agreement Nov. 4.
Outwater has played for Team Red at the under-17 tournament at TD Place, which included three Canadian age-group rosters and the national women's team. His squad was to face Team Black for the tourney title Wednesday night.
Outwater has played centre for the Battalion most recently but also has seen action at left wing. Among others in the mixture for ice time are wingers Owen Van Steensel and Nic Sima, centre Michael Podolioukh and Anthony Romani, who has skated at both right wing and centre.
Left winger Currie received an automatic two-game suspension after being handed a match penalty for slew-footing in a 3-2 overtime loss last Saturday to the host Ottawa 67's. He will sit out the Hamilton game and a Saturday night visit to the Niagara IceDogs which wraps up weekend play and a stretch of five straight road games.
On the back end, defenceman Tnias Mathurin, who suffered a shoulder injury last Thursday night in a 5-3 road loss to the Peterborough Petes, is expected to be sidelined several weeks.
The Battalion handed the Bulldogs, who entered the game 4-0-0, their first loss of the season Oct. 21 at Memorial Gardens when Mitchell Russell scored two goals, including the winner at 16:51 of the third period, and Kyle Jackson provided one goal and two assists in a 4-2 decision. Liam Arnsby had an empty-net goal assisted by Paul Christopoulos and Brandon Coe, who marked his 20th birthday Wednesday. Goaltender Dom DiVincentiis made 27 saves.
Jan Mysak paces the Hamilton offence with a team-leading 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 19 games, while Logan Morrison has scored six goals and added a team-high 21 assists for 27 points in 19 games. George Diaco has nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 20 games.
Dennis said the trade of Alex Christopoulos came at the player's request.
"Alex is a great kid. I think the reality is he was looking for a bigger role on the team, and we were able to find him that with Windsor."
Meanwhile, the Sudbury Wolves have suspended all operations after 12 players tested positive for covid-19, prompting the postponement of at least three games, starting with a Wednesday night visit to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. They're the first such suspensions since the OHL returned to play this season.
"We're to expect cases, especially with the colder weather," noted Dennis. "I think it's just a reminder to all of us to make sure we're taking the precautions necessary and making sure that we don't have to follow suit."
The game at Hamilton can be seen live in North Bay on YourTV Channels 12 and 700.
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