By DAVE BORODY
SUDBURY – It was a wild night in Sudbury on Friday.The Sudbury Wolves defeated the Sarnia Sting 7-6 in overtime in front of 3,773 fans at the Sudbury Arena. Nathan Pancel’s second goal of the game just over a minute into the five-minute overtime period gave the Wolves the two points.
The Sting had to settle for a point giving them three out of a possible four points on this mini two game road trip.
However Sarnia felt they deserved two points. They led 2-1 after the first period and 4-3 after the second. In fact they took a 5-3 lead a minute into period three.
But the Wolves roared back with three straight goals to go ahead 6-5 at 12:47. It was their first lead of the game. And the goal was a bit of a fluke as an attempted centering pass from Matthew Campagna went off a Sting defenceman’s skate and past goalie Taylor Dupuis.
Despite allowing seven goals, Dupuis had another solid performance in goal for the Sting. He was peppered with 63 shots. Over his past three games Dupuis has faced a total of 155 shots.
“Yeah, that was a wild one obviously,” said Sting head coach Trevor Letowski. “But we again showed we can be resilient. The third period was tough to take. We tried to close out the game, but couldn’t do it. But we were still able to get a point out of it. We executed on a late power play.”
He added, “I thought we had some quality chances to put the game away, but just couldn’t finish. Sudbury is a good team and they always play hard in this building.”
Letowski said he felt bad for Dupuis on the winning goal.
“He’s such a competitor. He wanted to come back here and get two points. It’s unfortunate the way the game ended, but Taylor should hold his head high. That’s hockey and we move on.”
Sarnia again played their third consecutive game without three of their top players. Forward Nick Latta and defenceman Josh Chapman served the final games of their suspensions while forward Bryan Moore has three more games to go on his eight-game suspension.
The Sting got off to a quick start when defenceman Tyler Hore opened the scoring at 3:20 on the power play. Anthony DeAngelo and Davis Brown drew assists on Hore’s third goal of the season.
Sarnia took a 2-0 lead at 10:08 on Nick Sproviero’s first Ontario Hockey League goal. He followed up on a Jeff King rush and drilled home a low slapshot from the slot. Alex Carnevale also assisted.
Nikolay Goldobin almost had the Sting up 3-0 two minutes later, but his close in drive rattled off the goal post.
Sudbury cut the lead to 2-1 at 13:38 when Connor Crisp scored on the Wolves only power play of the period.
Dupuis made several outstanding saves for the Sting as Sudbury held a 21-11 edge in shots on goal.
Sarnia was outshot 22-8 in period two, but the teams split four goals.
Crisp tied the game at 2-2 at 12:19 on his team’s 36th shot of the game.
The Sting regained the lead at 15:34 when Nikandrov tapped in a goalmouth pass from Nikita Korosetelev for his fourth goal of the year.
The Wolves squared matters at 16:46 when Campagna scored on a power play, but the Sting too a 4-3 lead at 18:09 with a power plat goal of their own.
Goldobin banged home a rebound into an open net for his team-high 21st goal of the season. Nikandrov and Jimmy McDowell picked up the assists.
The third period was just as wild as the previous two periods.
Sarnia took a 5-3 lead just over a minute into the period when Korostelev scored his eighth of the year on the power play.
But the Wolves exploded for three straight as Nathan Pancel scored at 3:47, Jacob Harris on a power play at 6:56 and Campagna at 12:47. His centering pass went off a Sting defenceman’s skate and into the net.
Just when the Sting looked as though they were in for a loss, Nikandrov tied the game with 10.2 seconds left when he knocked in a rebound off a Jimmy McDowell point drive.
But the game ended quickly in overtime as Dupuis attempted to make a pass from behind his own net, but unfortunately put it on the stick of the Wolves player who had an open net.
Sudbury held a 63-30 edge in shots on goal with Franky Palazzese getting the win.
The Sting return home Sunday to host the Guelph Storm, Game time is 4:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. Children 12 and under will be admitted for just $5.
It also marks the 16th annual Teddy Bear Toss Game. Fans are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal and toss it on the ice after the Sting scores their first goal. The animals will be collected and given out to local charities.
So far over 42,000 stuffed animals have been collected in the past 15 years.
Last year Daniel Nikandrov scored the goal that sent the bears in orbit in a 4-1 win over Sault Ste. Marie. In fact Sarnia has won their past four Teddy Bear Toss games and overall sport an impressive 10-4-0-1.
Other players who have scored the goal in these games include Reid Boucher (2011), Nick Latta (2010), Joe Rogalski (2009), Justin DiBenedetto (2008), Steven Stamkos (2007), Harrison Reed (2006), Jared Gomes (2005), Chad Painchaud (2004), Daniel Sisca (2003), John Hecimovic (2002), Juris Stals (2001), Chris Berti (2000), Dusty Jamieson (1999) and Andrew Proskurnicki (1998).
Tickets for Sunday’s game and all remaining home games of the Sting are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
Power play goals played a big role in the game as Sarnia was four-for-eight and Sudbury three-for-six.
Crisp was the first star with Campagna second star and Goldobin third star.
Nikandrov finished with two goals and one assist while Goldobin and Korostelev each had a goal and one assist.
The game was the first since the Sting traded Craig Duininck for Jimmy McDowell. Both players had two assists each.
Anthony DeAngelo also had a pair of assists for Sarnia and continues to lead all OHL defencemen in scoring with nine goals and 34 assists for 43 points. DeAngelo is 12th overall in league scoring.
Sarnia’s record is now 10-17-1-2.
Sudbury won both games between the two teams this season