photos by Pat Brethauer
By DAVE PAUL
The last time the Sarnia Sting faced the Soo Greyhounds -- last Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie -- the Sting held a 3-2 lead halfway through the game.
Then the roof caved in.
The Greyhounds scored six straight goals en route to an 8-3 decision over the Sting.
Friday night, at the RBC Centre, it looked like it might be deja vu all over again.
Sarnia had a 3-2 lead as the midway point of the second period passed. But this time, they were able to stand their ground, for the most part -- despite weathering a Soo attack that saw the Greyhounds outshoot Sarnia 11-0 from the midway part of the second period to the early stages of the third.
While the Hounds did ultimately score to tie the game at 3-3, Sarnia's Bryan Moore stepped up with just under six minutes left to play and potted the winner as the Sting handed the Greyhounds just their second regulation loss this season.
"That was a really big win for us," said Sting coach Trevor Letowski, following the game. "It was tough in the third. You almost had that feeling of 'oh no, here we go again', when they scored their third goal. But we showed some real resiliency."
Nikolay Goldobin penalty shot goal
It was another huge game for the Sting's number one line with Moore adding two assists to his game winning goal while Nikolay Goldobin added a penalty shot goal and two assists and Nick Latta scored two more goals. Anthony DeAngelo chipped in with two assists.
Sting goalie Brodie Barrick outplayed his more high profile counterpart, Matt Murray (Sarnia was outshot 29-25) to record the win.
Sarnia`s penalty killing was excellent while its power play scuffled again. Although one of Latta`s goals came in the dying seconds of a power play, the Sting had given up a shorthanded goal a minute earlier -- when they were on a 5-on-3 power play.
The Greyhounds continued to pour on the pressure after Moore`s go-ahead goal in the third, even employing the unconventional strategy of pulling their goalie with almost two-and-a-half minutes left to play in the third, while trailing by just one goal.
"We just felt like we needed to push the envelope a little bit there. We were hoping to buy a little extra time," to try to tie the score, said Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe, after the game.
While his team was missing a couple of key players, Keefe gave Sarnia full marks for the win.
"They played well. They earned what they got tonight," said Keefe, adding Sarnia`s key players came through with big games, while his top players, "maybe weren't quite as good tonight."
The win gave Sarnia a record of 5-10-0-1 on the season. With 11 points, Sarnia is still second last in the Western Conference. However, the team has been competitive, even in its recent losses.
Still, Letowski said it's too early to set goals for the club, i.e. a playoff berth.
"Right now I think it's still too early to tell what this team is capable of achieving. Maybe ask me that again in a month or so," he said.
Sarnia hosts Sudbury on Saturday night. Game time is 7:05.