It was an exciting finish as Charlie Sarault scored the only goal in shootout to give the Sting a 5 - 4 win over the Plymouth Whalers in front of 3,184 fans at the RBC Centre.
"I wasn't really sure I had never watched this goalie." Sarault said "Someone on the bench, I think it was Latta told me just do your five-hole move and it worked, I did that same move in Niagara so I think I'm going to have to change it up."
The win moved the Sting into a first place tie with the Whalers for the top spot in the West Division of the Ontario Hockey League. Each team now has 57 points.
"I thought we played well, I thought the ref's weren't' really on our side tonight" Sarault said "I thought they missed a couple calls that were pretty crucial with Moore's knee and a couple slew foots but the boys played good and hard it was a big game for us.
In the third period Bryan Moore was taken down after being hit just inside the Whalers Blue line. He was assisted off the ice but did return to action.
"I think it's not good, he's hurting, we'll have to wait and see after a nights rest." said Coach Jacques Beaulieu "I'll have to check the tape and send the clips in, I thought they missed a lot tonight."
Sarnia took a 2 - 1 lead after the first period with the first goal scored early at 2:07 by Reid Boucher assisted by Sarault and Craig Duininck. Nikolay Goldobin scored the second Sting goal at 15:10 with Nick Latta and Daniel Nikandrov assisting. And at 17:44 Plymouth scored their first by Garrett Meurs.
At the end of the second both sides were even with four goals each. Alex Bass scored for the Sting at 1:29 in the period with Anthony DeAngelo and Goldobin earning the assists. At 2:43 Cody Payne scored for the Whalers and power play goal by Plymouth's Sebastian Uvira tied the game at 3 apiece. Sarnia regained the lead after Reid Boucher scored his second and 40th goal of the season assisted by Craig Duininck and Bryan Moore. Another power play goal by the Whalers at 15:03 tied the game up with Meurs scoring his second of the game.
The score remained the same after the third period that sent the game into five minute overtime then to shootout.
Knick Dawe stopped all three Plymouth shooters starting with Vincent Trochek followed by Zach Lrentz and final shooter Stefan Noesen. Reid Boucher shot first for Sarnia and missed. Scoring second was Sarault for the game winner. Dawe has been in net for three shootouts situations and won all three.
"I thought the kids were solid and we played well and didn't allow many scoring chances." said Beaulieu "I thought it was exciting for the fans it was a good hockey game."
The place to be on Saturday will be in Plymouth as the two teams meet again for the second game of the home/home series. Game time 7:05.
"We want to go into with the same game plan" said Charlie Sarault "It's going to be different playing in front of their fans but hopefully we can get a couple of quick ones and settle the crowd down a bit.
Whalers outshot the Sting 40 - 29.
The Sting went zero for two on power plays, Whalers went two for three.
Reid Boucher was first star with Garrett Meurs second star and Craig Duininck third star.
Ryan Hergott from
Sting Draft pick Ryan Hergott was the backup to Dawe. Hergott is currently with the Guelph Jr Storm AAA Major Midget team. J.P. Anderson and Brodie Barrick are both out of action due to injuries.
Others not in the lineup were Taki Pantziris (healthy), Connor Murphy (knee) and Alex Galchenyuk (NHL).