By DAVE BORODY
The London Knights skated to a 5-2 victory over the Sarnia Sting in Ontario Hockey League pre-season action, Saturday night in front of 1,851 fans at the RBC Centre.
It was the second straight win for the Knights over the Sting as London posted a 5-1 victory on home-ice Friday night.
A poor start hurt the Sting.
The Knights scored just 24 seconds into the game and 11 seconds after that enjoyed a 2—0 advantage. Before the game was 11 minutes old, London held a commanding 5-0 advantage.
The Sting scored single goals in the second and third periods to complete the scoring.
“With a young group you give up goals like that early, it’s tough,” said Sting head coach Trevor Letowski. “But it’s still unacceptable the way we played. There’s a lot of stuff going on with our team and there’s still a number roster spots up in the air.”
But the head coach was happy with the way his team responded over the final 40 minutes of the game.
“The one positive is we got the right response in the second period and showed a little push back. Like I say, with a young group there’s lots of learning going on.”
Another positive sign was the play of second-year forward Bryan Moore who scored both Sting goals. And both were highlight-reel goals.
Moore’s first came in the second period when he used a teammate as a decoy on a two-on-one break to snap a quick shot over the shoulder of Knights goalie Jake Patterson.
In the third period, Moore completely undressed a Knights defenceman before slipping the puck between the legs of the goalie from close range.
“Bryan’s had a great camp,” said Letowski. “He’s shown a lot of pop so far. He put up decent numbers a year ago despite being a little snake-bit at times. Hopefully this year he’s taking another step forward. We will need him to score goals.”
Tristan Elie, Owen MacDonald, Remi Eli, Kyle Platzer and Jacob Jammes scored for London. One of the goals came with the man advantage.
Both teams dressed only a handful of veterans. Not dressed for the Sting were Josh Chapman, Craig Duininck, Anthony DeAngelo, Brett Hargrave, Nick Sproviero, Daniel Nikandrov, Nathan Mater and Alex Carnevale.
Sarnia finished with a 33-31 edge in shots on goals as overager Knick Dawe went the distance between the pipes for the Sting.
The Sting continues exhibition play next weekend with a pair of games. They travel to Windsor on Friday to clash with the Spitfires while the two teams have a return engagement Saturday at the RBC Centre beginning at 7:05 p.m.
Sarnia plays a total of six pre-season games before opening the 68-game regular season Sept. 20th at home against the Oshawa Generals.
Letowski says the club has lots of work to do over the next couple of weeks.
“We need to get our systems down pat. We’ve really only had a couple of true practices. Our conditioning needs to get better. We need to put the work in and need to respond. Right now it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride. I thought the first 40 minutes in London we played hard against a very good London team.”
London Kyle Platzer (goal and two assists) was first star with Moore second star and Miles Liberti of the Knights (two assists) third star.
Only a handful of penalties were called. There was one spirited fight involving Sting rookie Noah Bushnell.
Season tickets are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office or by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
The Sting has 29 players left in camp, three goals, nine defencemen and 17 forwards.