By DAVE BORODY
LONDON – The Sarnia Sting has won some important games so far this season in the Ontario Hockey League.
And then there’s what they did Thursday night at the Budweiser Gardens.
The Sting came from an early 2-0 deficit to knock off the London Knights 4-3 in overtime in front of 8,924 stunned fans.
Defenceman Angelo DeAngelo became the hero for the Sting when he scored just 33 seconds into the five-minute overtime period, his seventh goal of the year and ninth point over his last four games.
DeAngelo described the big goal.
“Daniel Nikandrov carried the puck into the London zone and fed a pass to Nikolay (Goldobin). Nikolay drew two guys to him and gave me a pass in the slot. I just moved in and shot the puck past the goalie.”
When asked if the puck went into the top corner, DeAngelo smiled and said, “I’m not sure. As soon as I saw the red light come on, I turned and headed for the bench.”
DeAngelo has been on fire of late with his two goals and seven assists.
“When I play good defence I’m going to get my chances offensively. I like coming up and joining the rush.”
As for the victory, DeAngelo added, “It’s awesome. We struggled last weekend. We wanted to have a good effort in front of 9,000 fans in this building. It’s nice to get the two points.”
DeAngelo’s heroics was overshadowed by another brilliant performance from Sting rookie Nikolay Goldobin. He had a three-point game with a goal and two assists and has scored seven goals in his last three games against London.”
“He’s magic in this building,” said Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu. “Some players feel comfortable in certain buildings. Nikolay rises to the occasion in big games.”
Sarnia’s victory was the second in as many games against the Knights. Back on Jan. 1 Goldobin scored four goals, including the winner in overtime as the Sting won 6-4 to snap the Knights 24-game winning streak.
Beaulieu was pleased with his team’s performance last night.
“It was good. It was nice to see the kids come back and play the way we used to play. It was the way we played earlier in the season. The kids battled hard and were patient. Our defensive-zone coverage was the best it’s been in a couple of months. We kept their shots down and their scoring chances. J.P. Anderson made some big stops. I was happy with the way we played.”
London, ranked third in the Canadian Hockey League, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in period one as Max Domi scored on a power play at 12:34 while Seth Griffith scored from close range at 16:38.
The Sting cut the lead in half with 16.7 seconds left on a power play when Goldobin knocked in his own rebound after a nice goalmouth pass from Alex Basso. It was Goldobin’s 24th goal of the season.
After a scoreless second period, Sarnia tied the game at 6:45 of period three with a highlight-reel goal.
Goldobin skated in front of the Knights with the puck drawing three defenders with him before feathering a back-pass to Charlie Sarault, who had an open net to fire home his 19th goal of the season.
Sarnia took their first lead of the game at 11:40 when Basso skated over the blue line and let go with a slapshot that Knights goalie Anthony Stolarz wiffed on.
But London tied the game at 15:49 when Olli Matta intercepted a Sting clearing pass at the blue line and fired a slapshot past Anderson.
London finished with a 29-21 edge in shots on goal. Sarnia was one-for-three on the power play while London scored on their only power play.
The Sting finished five straight games away from home with a 2-3 record. They return home for a pair of games at the RBC Centre.
They host the Saginaw Spirit Friday at 7:05 p.m. and the Barrie Colts Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Sarnia leads Saginaw by seven points for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Tickets for the weekend games and all remaining home games for the Sting are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
- Griffith was first star with Goldobin second star and Matta third star.
- Nikandrov had two assists.
- Sarnia was missing defenceman Taki Pantziris who is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a lower body injury. Rookie David Nemecek took his spot on the blue line.
- Sarnia improved to 16-11-0-1 on the road while London is now 20-4-2-2 on home ice. The Knights have an amazing 26-0-2-0 record when leading after two periods. Both of the overtime losses have come against the Sting.
- Sarnia and London have now split four games this season. They play two more times.
- Overall the Sting has a 29-20-0-3 record.