Sting Battle Back to Beat Spirit
friday october 18, 2013
BY DAVE PAUL
The Sarnia Sting fought back from a 3-1 deficit, early in the second period, to score five straight goals, en route to a 6-3 win over the Saginaw Spirit, Thursday night at RBC Centre.
The game was scoreless after one period despite numerous great chances by both teams -- most notably Davis Brown and Nick Latta for Sarnia and Andrey Alexeev and Terry Trafford for Saginaw.
In the second period, however, both teams started capitalizing on their chances, scoring early and often.
Nikita Korostelev set the tone for the offensive outburst (the two teams combined for seven goals in the period) scoring on a pretty solo effort, 58 seconds into the middle stanza. It was Korostelev's first career OHL goal and first of two on the night.
But, aided by a couple of power plays, the Spirit responded with three goals in just over four minutes (Kristoff Kontos, Zach Bratina and Mitch Stephens) to take a 3-1 lead.
However, despite what could have been a crushing setback, the young Sting squad fought back, scoring three goals of their own against Saginaw's star goalie Jake Paterson before the period was out to lead 4-3 after 40 minutes.
Anthony DeAngelo's rebound goal to make it 3-2 might have been the key to the win, as it came on a three-on-one, just seconds after the Sting had killed off another Spirit power play.
"That was a huge turning point," said Sting coach Trevor Letowski, following the game. "To get down by two goals, then scratch and claw our way back into it ... it was a big character win for us."
Nikolay Goldobin scored his first of two to tie the game and Korostelev added his second before the period was over to give the Sting a lead they would not surrender.
Patrick White (with his first career goal) and Goldobin had the third period goals for the Sting.
Sting goalie Taylor Dupuis stopped 26 of 29 Saginaw shots for the win. The Sting also fired 29 shots at Paterson. DeAngelo finished the game with a goal and three assists.
The win, which gave the Sting a modest two-game winning streak, improved the Sting record to 3-6-0-1 on the season.
Sarnia hosts Owen Sound on Friday at RBC Centre.
BY DAVE PAUL
Veteran OHL broadcaster Leigh Cunningham says the 2013-14 OHL season is going, "more or less, according to form, so far."
Cunningham, the Sarnia native who is in his sixth season as radio play-by-play man with the Saginaw Spirit, said (prior to Thursday's Sting/Spirit contest at RBC Centre) the Western Conference standings after the first month of the year are shaping up approximately how he expected them to.
"Kitchener and Plymouth," contenders last season, are vulnerable this year after both teams "lost a lot of artillery," says Cunningham, who had previously done play-by-play for Sarnia, London, Windsor and North Bay (Centennials) in 17 years of broadcasting.
Cunningham adds the Spirit got off to a slow start this year but have rebounded behind the strong goaltending of Jake Paterson and Nikita Serebryakov.
Still, he adds, it will be tough to crack the top-four, with London and Sault Ste. Marie playing well atop the standings and Guelph and Erie also looking like possible contenders.
"Watch for the Otters," he says.
"Obviously, they have Connor McDavid, but they have a lot more going for them ... it's a deep and impressive roster."
As for the Sting, Cunningham says it's tough to lose the league's top goalscorer (Reid Boucher) and best overager (Charlie Sarault) and not feel the loss.
"But Trevor (Letowski) and Andy (Delmore) have them working really hard every night," says Cunningham. "They might not have the deepest roster, talent-wise this season, but they won't get outworked very often."