By DAVE BORODY
If head coach Trevor Letowski of the Sarnia Sting is looking for chemistry on his forward lines, he may have found one Saturday night.
The threesome of Nikita Korostelev, Nikolay Goldobin and Brett Hargrave combined for 12 points in leading the Sting to a lopsided 6-2 victory over the Windsor Spitfires at the RBC Centre.
The win evened Sarnia’s pre-season record in the Ontario Hockey League at 2-2.
Korostelev, Sarnia’s first round pick in the 2013 draft, fired three goals and one assist, Hargrave, the team’s top pick in 2012, notched a goal and three assists, while Goldobin, who played at center for the first time, chipped in with four assists.
“All the lines are still a work in progress,” said Letowski. “Tonight those three were solid. Nikolay took a step forward. I wasn’t too happy with his play. He was skating better tonight and more of a presence.
“As I said last night, Brett has been good from day one. He’s starting to show what he can do. He came on stronger as the game went on. Nikita is going to be a strong offensive player in this league. He brings he puck hard to the net and you can’t teach that. He easily could have scored two or three more goals. He still has a long way to go defensively, but there were a lot of positives tonight.”
The Sting took control of this game early as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the game was 12 minutes old. They led 4-1 after the first period and 5-2 after 40 minutes.
“It was not a perfect night, but it was a solid effort,” said Letowski. “We wanted to get a win at home after the home loss a week ago. Even though we scored four times in the first period, it wasn’t a great period. We picked it up after that.”
He added, “The guys competed hard. I liked the way they stood up for one awhile at the end. That’s important as it shows the team is started to come together.”
Three fights broke out on the same shift in the final minute of the game.
Nick Latta scored the other two goals for the Sting while Steven Janes scored both Windsor goals.
Each team finished with 24 shots on goal. Brodie Barrick and Knick Dawe split the goaltending duties for the Sting and each allowed a goal. Both teams scored a pair of power play goals.
Earlier in the day the Sting announced that defenceman Craig Duininck will be captain of the team.
“It was a pretty easy choice,” said Letowski. “We trust Craig. He has high character and his work ethic is off the charts. Being a fifth year player in the league, we are going to lean on him a lot. He also comments respect in the room.”
Not dressed for the Sting were Anthony DeAngelo, Alex Renaud, Connor Schlichting, Daniel Nikandrov, Alex Basso and Jordan Addesi.
The Sting now prepare for their final two exhibition games. The team travels to Saginaw Friday night to take on the Spirit while the clubs have a return engagement Saturday night at the RBC Centre beginning at 7 p.m.