ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Ryan Strome scored three goals in his OHL return as the Niagara IceDogs defeated the Belleville Bulls 5-0 Thursday night in Ontario Hockey League action.
Strome, a 2011 fifth overall pick, was returned by the New York Islanders earlier in the day and flew home just in time to make the game.
The 18-year old scored two of his goals in the first period, including a stellar one-timer on a pass from Mitchell Theoret, then completed the hat-trick in the third on a snapshot from the slot.
Theoret, and Dougie Hamilton had the other IceDog goals as Niagara outshot Belleville 53-25 overall, including 19-5 in the first period.
Mark Visentin, also making his return to the IceDogs lineup after suffering a groin injury earlier in the season, picked up his first win, and first shutout of the 2011 campaign.
Former IceDog John Chartrand made 48 stops for the Bulls who went 0-for-2 on the power play.
Niagara was 3-for-4 with the man advantage and improved to 3-4-1 with the win, while Belleville falls to 4-4-0.
The IceDogs began the pre-season ranked second in the CHL with nine players away at NHL Training Camps. The only regular yet to return to their line-up is Tampa Bay draftee Brock Beukeboom who is out with a back injury.
The game was Belleville Head Coach George Burnett's 1000th of his OHL career.