By DAVE BORODY
KINGSTON – A week ago defenceman Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting sat out a game as a healthy scratch.
It was a coach’s decision.
DeAngelo admitted he didn’t like sitting out, so he did something about it.
The second-year rearguard notched four assists in leading the Sting to a much-needed 5-2 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs, Sunday afternoon in front of 2,806 fans at the K-Rock Centre.
The loss snapped a three-game losing streak and salvaged two points on their eastern Ontario road trip in the Ontario Hockey League.
“I did some stupid things and paid the price for it,” said DeAngelo. “Coming back this weekend I wanted to a better person, a better player and help the team win.”
DeAngelo tied a career high for points in a game. He previously had a goal and three assists. But he also had a pair of assists against Belleville and a goal vs Ottawa for an impressive seven-point weekend.
Three unanswered goals in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and powered the Sting to victory over the Frontenacs, who have now gone 11 games without a win.
“This was a huge game for us,” said DeAngelo. “We needed this game badly after losing to Belleville and Ottawa. We executed much better today even though we still gave up too many chances. But we were able to capitalize on our chances in the third period and get the two points”
DeAngelo’s four assists overshadowed a hat trick performance by sniper Reid Boucher. The three goals gives him 45 on the season, tops in the league. He also has 15 power play goals, also first in the OHL.
Boucher is now just 13 goals short of the team record for most goals, 58, currently held by Steven Stamkos. Boucher has 17 games remaining.
Nick Latta scored Sarnia’s other two goals, including the winner in the third period. He now has 11 on the season. Alex Basso chipped in with a pair of assists.
Things didn’t start out well for the Sting as Kingston took a 1-0 lead two minutes into the first period when Henri Ikonen scored on a shorthanded breakaway.
But the Sting responded a minute later when Boucher got his first of the game on the power play tipping home a point shot from DeAngelo.
Boucher scored his second power play goal with 13.8 seconds left in the period scoring from close range after another pass from DeAngelo.
The score remained that way until late in the second period when Kingston tied the game. Spencer Watson banged home a rebound with the Sting short two players.
Latta scored what turned out to be the winning goal at 2:40 of period three when he converted a pass from Daniel Nikandrov.
Latta described the goal.
“We were working the puck around on the power play in their end. DeAngelo put the puck down low to Nikandrov, who made a perfect cross-ice pass to me and I just put the puck into the open corner.”
The goal came seconds after the power play had expired. It was the first game-winner for Latta this year.
Sarnia increased their lead to 4-2 at 5:23 with their third power play goal of the game as Boucher completed his hat trick slipping in a backhand from close range.
Latta added an insurance marker at 7:46 when Latta snapped home a quick wrist shot after some good work along the boards by Bryan Moore.
J.P. Anderson was solid in goal for the Sting as he turned aside 37 of 39 shots he faced. Sarnia fired 31 shots at Colin Furlong.
“It was a good effort,” said Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu. “We showed a lot of energy for our third game in two and a half days. We played our game today. J.P. made some timely saves and we got some timely scoring. Our special teams were really good.”
He added, “Scoring early in the third period got the momentum on our side. After that we played a much safer game.”
The Sting concludes their five-game road trip Thursday night when they travel to London to battle the Knights. Sarnia then returns home for a pair of home games at the RBC Centre.
Sarnia takes on the Saginaw Spirit Friday at 7:05 p.m. and the Barrie Colts for their one and only visit on Sunday beginning at 2:05 p.m.
Tickets for all remaining Sting home games are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com The Sting has just 10 home games remaining in the regular schedule.
- Boucher was first star with DeAngelo second star and Latta third star.
- Sarnia finished three for eight on the power play and Kingston one for four.
- Sting defenceman Alex Basso played in his 200th career OHL game. He had two assists. Basso is eligible to return next season as an over-ager.
- The win snapped a six-game losing streak on the road for the Sting.
- Sarnia’s overall record improved to 28-20-0-3. They sit in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point back of Sault Ste. Marie and five ahead of eighth place Saginaw.
- Sarnia’s road record is now 15-11-0-1. Sarnia is one of nine teams with winning records on the road.