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Sarnia Major Bantams done playing second fiddle
 February 19th, 2012


Sarnia and Hamilton took to the ice Friday night at the Brock Street Barn for game one of the quarter final playdowns. With the Hamilton Reps being in the Championships the past two seasons and having eliminated the Sting the past two seasons from the playdowns as well, Sarnia was definitely done playing second fiddle to the Reps.

First period action started off a little stronger for the Reps as they pressured the Sting early until the nerves settled down in Sarnia as they started to gain some momentum each shift. At the 11:00 minute mark of the first period and some smart puck movement out of their own zone Sean Ginnell would put the Sting up 1-0 on a low glove shot that beat the Reps goaltender. Aiden Chapdelaine and Kyle Adams would pickup the assists on the play. Shortly after the Sting would be called for a head check and the Reps would go on the power play. After keeping the Reps out of the Sting zone on some solid penalty killing the Sting would then be fingered for another penalty sending the Reps on a 5on3 power play situation. Sarnia would then setup there solid 5on3 penalty killing unit and with some shot blocking and some solid goaltending by Riley Collins the Sting were able to kill off almost all of the the entire penalties but with just seconds left in the last penalty a Reps player was able to beat the Sting defenceman wide and pull the puck across the net and slide it under a sprawling Collins, however the net was dislodged before the puck had a chance to go in the net but the goal was still awarded to the Reps on the play tying the game up at 1-1. Late in the first period Sarnia would increase their lead with some strong forechecking from the line of Chapdelaine, Adams and Ginnell who consistently created scoring chances all night on the Reps, Ginnell would move the puck to Adams who would then hit a wide open Gage Riddoch on the point who would let one of his patented cannon's go and beat the Reps goaltender again low to the glove side giving the Sting a 2-1 lead as the first period came to a close.

Second period action the Sting would really start to put the pressure on the Reps as the line of Riley, Bourque and McPhail would continue to keep the Reps pinned in their own zone, finally the hard work would pay off as Nolan Riley would give the Sting a two goal lead on a nice pass from behind the net by Ricky McPhail. Sarnia then had a chance to really put the Sting up as they would go on a 4 minute powerplay but were unable to capitalize. With around 5min left in the second period Devin Butler would win the draw deep in the Reps zone and get a shot on net, Jeffrey Williams would then beat the Reps defencemen to the loose puck and while falling to the ice Williams was able to slam home the puck giving the Sting a 4-1 lead as the teams headed to the dressing room for the intermission.

Third period action the Reps came out hard but thanks to a Sting give away in their own zone Hamilton was on the receiving end of a gift and closed the gap 4-2. Both teams had some scoring opportunities during the third period but were unable to put the puck past either netminder and with just over 4 minutes remaining in the game Sarnia would be called on a kneeing penalty giving the Reps a chance to close in on the Sting lead. Again the Sting penalty kill was firing on all cylinders as they were able to block some shots and keep the Reps to the outside giving the Reps no chance of making this game closer. With just over two minutes left in the game and a Reps players on the ice hurt after losing an edge and crashing into the boards, Hamilton would show some frustration leading to a huge outbreak on the ice between the teams with a result of a couple players being ejected for the remaining two minutes but with no suspensions. After all the penalties were figured out Sarnia would get the extra penalty giving the Reps a late powerplay in the game.

Sarnia would then once again have to bring on their penalty kill unit for the remainder of the game and with the Reps goaltender on the bench would give Hamilton a 6on4 powerplay. Once again the Sting netminder Riley Collins would stand tall in net and the penalty killers again would do whatever it takes to keep the puck out of the Sting net as Sarnia would go on to take game one with a final score of 4-2.

The two teams will be back in action again Sunday for the third time in three days back in Sarnia.
Thanks to all the fans that came out to cheer the Sting on....hopefully we will get to see you all again Sunday Feb 19th 3pm @ Clearwater Arena.