By DAVE BORODY
ST. CATHARINES – Six regulars out of the lineup. Their third game in two and a half days. Two of those three games away from home. No problems.
The Sarnia Sting is still winning hockey games.
The Sting racked up their fourth consecutive victory with a 2-1 shoot out triumph over the Niagara IceDogs, Sunday afternoon at the Gatorade Garden City Complex.
Reid Boucher and Charlie Sarault both scored in the shootout while rookie goalie Knick Dawe stopped both Niagara shooters.
Dawe, who arrived in Sarnia Friday morning and filling in for the injured J.P. Anderson is now 3-0, including winning back-to-back shootouts.
“I consider myself a decent goalie in the shootouts so I don’t mind them,” said Dawe, who signed with the Sting from Georgetown, “I felt good today and was more comfortable than the previous two games.”
Dawe came within two minutes and 28 seconds from his first Ontario Hockey League shutout. The Sting had nursed a 1-0 lead from the six-minute mark of period two when rookie Jordan Addesi recorded his first career OHL goal.
“There’s definitely a big difference playing in the OHL compared with Tier two hockey,” said Dawe. “The speed, quickness and quality of the shots. I thought the team played great in front of me, especially the defence.”
Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu was proud of his team’s performance.
“The kids were really tired today, I noticed it about midway through the second period. But they dug down deep. We were hanging on a bit in the third period, but Dawe stood tall and made some big stops. He looked very comfortable.”
Beaulieu added, “The six points this weekend is great, especially with all the guys out of the lineup. It’s a credit to the kids and it shows we have a good future ahead of us.”
After a scoreless first period, Sarnia opened the scoring at 6:11 of period two when Addesi scored on a low shot off a face-off.
“Matt (Ciccarelli) won the draw and I just shot the puck at the net. I didn’t realize the puck went in until the guys started coming around to congratulate me. It felt good and a monkey off my back for sure,” said Addesi, the team’s fourth round pick in 2012,
The score remained that way until the 17:32 mark of period three when Niagara’s Trevor Petersen drilled home a low slapshot from the top of the face-off circle.
Each team had three shots in the five-minute overtime while Anthony DeAngelo had a great chance to win it for the Sting, but his wrist shot rang off the cross bar.
Sarnia finished with a 35-24 edge in shots on goal. Each team was zero-for-five on the power play.
The OHL trade deadline is set for Thursday, (Wednesday at noon for overager players), but those dates could change. With the end of the National Hockey League lockout, the OHL competitions committee is to meet Monday to decide if the date will be extended.
“I would like to see the trade deadline extended,” said Beaulieu. “There’s a lot of uncertainty with young players whether or not they will go to the NHL or stay in junior.”
As for what the Sting might do this week, Beaulieu had this to say.
“It’s going to be tough. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to talk to some NHL teams over the next few days and see what they are going to do with their young guys. I’m going to do what is best for the organization.”
Sting super star forward Alex Galchenyuk will be attending the Montreal Canadiens mini training camp whenever that is. Galchenyuk has returned to Canada after helping Team USA win a gold medal at the world junior tournament.
Next up for the Sting is Wednesday when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie to take on the Greyhounds. Sarnia will play their fourth straight road game Friday night in Kitchener before returning home Saturday to host the Ottawa 67s beginning at 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre.
- With Sunday’s win, Sarnia moved 11 games over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 24-13-0-3. They also have the league’s second-best road record at 14-4-0-1.
- Boucher was named the game’s first star with Dawe second star and IceDogs goalie Christopher Festarini third star.
- Not dressed for the Sting were Galchenyuk, Connor Murphy, Nick Latta, Mike DePaolo, David Nemecek and goalie J.P. Anderson (injured). Rookie goalie Brodie Barrick is out indefinitely with a broken ankle.
- Niagara was also missing a number of players including three members of Team Canada, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome and Brett Ritchie.