By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Fans of the Oshawa Generals definitely got their money’s worth during the team’s home opener.
The Gens pulled off a 7-5 win over the North Bay Battalion in a game that wasn’t short of offense, hits and calls questioned by 4,574 home faithful in attendance.
The game got off to an auspicious start for Oshawa, as North Bay’s Justin Brazeau scored twice in the first 10 minutes as the Battalion dominated play.
However, only a few minutes later with a North Bay player in the penalty box, Danil Antropov scored his second of the season to get the Gens rolling.
Just over another two minutes passed by before Serron Noel scored his fifth of the season from captain Jack Studnicka and Matt Brassard on the powerplay to even the score.
Undaunted Brazeau buried his third of the game, notching a hat trick before the first intermission.
The see-saw action continued on as Studnicka answered only 40 seconds later to put the score at 3-3 heading into the second period.
The defense tightened up in the first half of the second, but Noel scored his second of the game, and sixth of the season, unassisted, at 11:50.
It appeared the Gens had gained a two-goal advantage a few moments later, but the goal was quickly turned over almost before the crowd could return to their seats.
With the second chance, the Battalion would tie things 4-4 at 17:10 of the second with a power play goal.
The Gens outshout North Bay 16 to 10 in the second.
Whatever new head coach Greg Walters told the team during the break worked as Brassard hit the back of the twine for the first time in the 2018-19 season only 38 seconds into the third period to put the Gens up 5-4.
Nick Wong and Studnicka would add goals as well as Oshawa wrapped up the win.
Cole Ceci picked up the victory in net, stopping 30 of 35 shots. Ceci has stepped into the starting role in place of the injured Kyle Keyser, who was returned to Oshawa after spending some time in Boston Bruins’ preseason camp.
The Generals kicked off the weekend with a 5-2 loss to the Sudbury Wolves on the road.
At 12:08 of the first period, Studnicka put the Generals on the board with his first of the season, followed by Kyle MacLean only 1:46 later. Both goals came with the man advantage.
Oshawa held the Wolves scoreless to take a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The tide quickly turned in the second as the Wolves scored three times, including with five seconds left to take the lead heading into the final period.
Sudbury added two more, including an empty netter, to pick up the 5-2 win.
Four games into the 2018-19 season, the Generals sit with a 2-2 record, fourth in the Ontario Hockey League’s East Division.
Sunday’s seven goal performance places Oshawa fourth in scoring, but the team has also surrendered the fifth most goals in the league.
Noel is off to a great start with six goals in four games, placing the Florida Panthers second-round draft pick tied for first in the league.
The Generals will continue with their rather odd early season schedule with road games in Hamilton and Owen Sound this weekend. They won’t return to the Tribute Communities Centre until Friday, Oct. 12 against the hated Peterborough Petes at 7:35 p.m.