Road Wins Continues for Sarnia Sting
By DAVE BORODY
GUELPH – The magic on the road continues for the Sarnia Sting.
The Sting skated to a 4-2 victory over the Guelph Storm, Friday night in front of 4,048 fans at the Sleeman Centre.
Sarnia has now won three in a row and six of their last seven to improve to 11-7-0-1 in the Ontario Hockey League.
The Sting also improved their road record to 8-1-0-0, tops in the league. (Their only loss was to Guelph two weeks ago).
The teams were tied 2-2 after one period. The score remained that way until the 17:24 mark of period three when captain Alex Galchenyuk scored the winning goal. The Sting added an empty net goal in the last minute.
Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu was more than pleased with his team’s performance.
“I thought we really competed and battled hard. This is always a tough building to play in, but we got two points. Alex did what he had to with the game on the line.”
Beaulieu liked the way his team played in the second and third periods.
“After the first period we knew we had to tighten up the defensive zone coverage. We weren’t giving up a lot of chances, but we did give up a lot of puck possession. But in the second and third periods we started to win those one-on-one battles and competed much harder.”
Galchenyuk also had an assist giving him nine points over the past three games. He leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points.
“He’s been shooting more of late,” said Beaulieu, when asked about his talented captain. “We talked to him about 10 days ago that those sexy passes don’t always work. He has a great shot, in fact a pro shot and he surprises a lot of goalies.”
Sarnia held a 34-32 edge in shots on goal. J.P. Anderson was solid in goal to get the win for the Sting while Garrett Sparkes took the loss.
The teams traded four goals in a wide open first period.
Zack Mitchell opened the scoring for Guelph at 2:46 finishing off a two-on-one break before Nikolay Goldobin tied the game for Sarnia at 12:26. Goldobin stole the puck along the sideboards, skated in and sent home a low shot between the goalies legs. It was his eighth of the year.
The Storm took a 2-1 advantage at 14:43 when Ryan Horvat scored, but the Sting responded at 15:18 when Alex Basso broke through the defence and wristed a shot into the top corner. Basso’s goal was his third this season.
The two teams settled down in the second period with neither side having good scoring opportunities.
The Sting had a great chance midway through period three when Reid Boucher was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed on a breakaway. Boucher tried to go low to the stick side on the penalty shot, but was thwarted by Sparkes.
Sarnia was given a minor penalty at 16:21, only their second of the game. However, a minute later Brock McGinn of the Storm was handed a five-minute major for boarding and automatic game misconduct.
With the ensuing face-off in the Guelph zone, Beaulieu called a timeout.
“It might have been a little early for a timeout, but the guys were tired and you want your best players out there rested.”
The move paid off as just four seconds after the face-off, Galchenyuk banged home the puck from close range to put the Sting ahead 3-2.
Boucher iced the game with an open goal with 57 seconds remaining, his ninth of the year. Charlie Sarault notched his second assist of the game.
Next action for the Sting is Sunday when they host the Sudbury Wolves beginning at 2:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre.
“They are a good team. They work hard and they have a good goalie. They will be well rested, as they don’t play Saturday. It should be a good game,” said Beaulieu.
Prior to the drop of the puck the Sarnia Sting Hockey Club will have an Act of Remembrance in honour of all of those who have served and who are currently serving our country.
The official colour guard will be the Petrolia Army Cadets under the direction of Kerry Horan. The piper for the ceremony will be Eric Brown from Forest and the trumpeter Dan Gimpel of Petrolia.
Harry Edwards and Sgt. Gary Vaillancourt taking part in representing our military. Mr. Edwards is a World War Two veteran while Vaillancourt has been a member of the Canadian Forces since 1986.
The Sting is offering free admission for all service men and women to Sunday’s game. (Please arrive in uniform or be prepared to show identification of your service organization).
Children 12 and under will be admitted to Sunday’s game for just $5.
Tickets for Sunday’s game and all remaining home games are on sale at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
- Galchenyuk was the first star with Sparkes second star and Storm defenceman Zac Leslie third star. The line of Sarault, Galchenyuk and Boucher combined for six points.
- Rookie forward Davis Brown was back in the Sting lineup after missing nine games with a concussion. But Brown took a hard check in the opening period and did not return.
- Not dressed for the Sting were Craig Hottot (suspension), Daniel Nikandrov (injury) and David Nemecek and Mike DiPaolo (numbers).
- Sarnia was one-for-three on the power play.
- There are still tickets for Monday’s Subway Super Series game at the RBC Centre between Team OHL and Team Russia. Team Russia, who features ex-Sting star, Nail Yakupov, leads the six-game series 2-1. Sting defenceman Alex Basso will play for Team OHL while Beaulieu will be an assistant coach.