By DAVE BORODY
BELLEVILLE – A poor first period proved to be the downfall for the Sarnia Sting on Saturday night.
The Belleville Bulls scored four times before the game was 15 minutes old and went on to defeat the Sting 8-3 before 2,684 fans at the Yardman Arena.
The loss was the third straight for the Sting and fifth over their past six games in the Ontario Hockey League.
“It was not a good start for us,” conceded Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu. “We got it going a bit in the second period, but it wasn’t enough. The kids are fragile right now. It’s been a tough weekend so far. We’ve faced some adversity.”
Beaulieu was asked what his team needs to do to snap out of this current slide.
“We just have to execute our systems and keep our work ethic up. That’s all we can do. We need to simplify our game and keep a positive atmosphere. We need somebody to steal a game for us.”
The Bulls scored 43 seconds after the puck was dropped to begin the game. Three goals in a span of just over three minutes vaulted Belleville to a commanding 4-0 advantage by the 14:34 mark.
Sarnia got one goal back before the period ended. Each team scored twice in period two to give the Bulls a 6-3 lead before Belleville scored the only two goals of period three.
Ex-Sting Garrett Hooey led the Bulls with two goals and one assist and was named the game’s first star. Michael Cramarossa, Alan Quine, Brendan Gaunce, Daniil Zharkov, Joseph Cramarossa and Carter Sandlak added singles.
Captain Charlie Sarault was tops for the Sting with a pair of goals, giving him 18 on the season. Alex Carnevale scored the other Sarnia goal, his second of the year. Anthony DeAngelo chipped in with a pair of assists.
Belleville held a 39-33 edge in shots on goal. Charlie Graham was the winning goalie while Knick Dawe suffered the loss. Dawe was left hung out to dry on several of the Bulls goals.
Veteran netminder J.P. Anderson was given the night off by the Sting. Rookie Ryan Hergott dressed as the backup to Dawe.
Sarnia finished one-for-four with the man advantage while Belleville was zero-for-one. The only penalty Sarnia took was for too many men on the ice.
The Sting will play their fourth consecutive road game Sunday afternoon when they conclude their eastern Ontario road trip against the Kingston Frontenacs. Game time is 2:05 p.m.
Next weekend Sarnia plays three games again. They travel to London on Thursday to battle the Knights before a pair of home games at the RBC Centre, Friday night against the Saginaw Spirit at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday afternoon against the Barrie Colts at 2:05 p.m.
Tickets for all remaining Sting home games are one sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com.
- All three stars were from Belleville.
- Sarnia’s third goal was first credited to Boucher, but after video review was given to Sarault. Boucher has 42 goals, 18 behind the Sting team record of 58 set by Steven Stamkos. Boucher has 18 games remaining.
- Sarnia’s overall record fell to 27-20-0-3 and their road record to 14-11-0-1. The Sting has now dropped six straight games on the road.
- Defenceman David Nemecek was again the lone scratch for the Sting.