In the first of a home/home series the Sarnia Sting dropped a 3 - 2 decision to the Plymouth Whalers Friday night at the RBC Centre before 3,038 fans in attendance in Ontario Hockey League action.
"It was a pretty good hockey game, the kids played hard" said Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu "They did turn the puck over a few times, but we don't want to knock the creativity out of these guys either. There was not much special teams with just two power plays."
The Whalers took a 2 - 0 lead in the first period with Alex Aleardi and Ryan Hartman scoring.
Justice Dundas rifled a shot into the net to give the Sting their first goal in the second period at 2:14. Brett Hargrave and Alex Carnevale assisted on the goal. This was Carnevale second game as a Sting and his first point of the season in his debut before the home crowd. Carnevale was recently acquired from the Belleville Bulls in exchange the Sting sent a 5th round pick (originally Niagara's) in 2013 to the Bulls.
Nickolas Latta scored the second goal to tie the game at 2 each when he found himself opened in the middle and took a pass from Nikolay Goldobin and fired a wrist shot past Plymouth Goalie Matt Mahalak. Bryan Moore was also credited with an assist on the goal.
"I thought we played pretty decent, but we had too many turnovers" said Latta "If we would have come out stronger in the first period it would have made a big difference but when we come out flat footed like that it's hard to come back."
Midway in the third Garrett Meurs scored the game winner scoring for the Whalers.
JP Anderson was in net for the Sting making a total of 22 saves. Mahalak turned away 32 shots.
Both sides went 0 for 2 in powerplay opportunities.
The two teams meet again tonight in Plymouth for the second game of the home/home series.
"We got to clean up our neutral zone and do a better job there especially in the first period" said Beaulieu "I like the way this team plays, they execute, they play hard, they are a resilient bunch."
On Sunday the Sting will compete in their third game in as many games in Saginaw.