North Bay Battalion are back-to-back Central Division champions


Locking down their fifth shutout on their current nine-game winning streak, the North Bay Battalion sealed a second straight Central Division title on Thursday night, blanking the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 4-0.

Winnipeg Jets prospect Domenic DiVincentiis stopped all 14 shots he faced as the Troops had a big night from blueliner Ty Nelson, who scored his 23rd goal of the season to record his 73rd point, a new single season franchise mark by a blueliner. Sophomore winger Anthony Romani was the game’s first star, scoring twice.

This marks theΒ thirdΒ timeΒ the North Bay Battalion have captured the Emms Trophy. The Battalion franchise won other Central Division titles in Brampton in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009. The North Bay Centennials have their name on the trophy in back-to-back years in 1986 and 1987. The distinction is a nod to late goaltender and founder of the OHA’s Barrie Flyers, Hap Emms. The award was first handed out to the Hamilton Fincups in 1976.

Thursday was the Battalion’s 46th win and 95th point of the season, placing them one shy in both categories of the club’s all-time franchise mark set in Brampton during the 2008-09 season, one that saw them emerge as Eastern Conference champions before falling to the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL Championship Series.

The Troops currently boast the League’s top penalty killing corps, one operating at 87.1 percent, a nearly four point lead over second-place Ottawa. Their 179 goals-against are the second-fewest in the OHL.

The 46-17-2-1 Battalion have a pair of games remaining on their schedule as they make a visit to Niagara on Saturday before closing things out at home against the Mississauga Steelheads on Sunday at 2:00pm.

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