A pretty good effort by the Sarnia Sting went for naught, Friday night at RBC Centre.
The Sting dropped a 3-2 decision to the Plymouth Whalers. It was the 11th consecutive loss for Sarnia, with the last 10 of those defeats all being in regulation. The last time Sarnia collected a point in a game was Jan. 26 when the Sting dropped an 8-7 decision to Windsor, in an OT shootout.
Sarnia outshot Plymouth 33-31 in the game and coach Trevor Letowski said he was pleased with the effort and plans on changing little when the Sting host Ottawa on Saturday night.
Sarnia welcomed back Alex Renaud (concussion) on Friday night and will get a boost on Saturday as Anthony DeAngelo is eligible to come back from his suspension.
While he picked up just one assist and was -1 in the game, Vladislav Kodola played one of his most impressive games as a member of the Sting thus far, showing off his stellar stick handling skills and slippery skating style.
One of the better periods of play for the Sting in recent memory, Sarnia was full marks for its 1-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes. The Sting outshot Plymouth 16-9 and took a 1-0 lead when Connor Schlichting scored his first career OHL goal on a slap shot from the point at 13:46.
The game slowly slipped away from the Sting, who gave up goals near the five minutes mark and nine minute mark to fall behind 2-1. Sarnia's Davis Brown scored to even the score at 2-2, with just under five minutes left to play. But the Whalers got the game's only power play goal at 17:53 to regain a one-goal lead, 3-2. Plymouth reversed the shots on goal advantage, firing 16 shots at Taylor Dupuis in the period, while Sarnia took nine on Whalers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.
While the Sting outshot Plymouth, 8-6, in the final period, Sarnia never really mounted a serious challenge to tie the game. The Sting got a pair of power play chances in the third, but failed to muster a sustained threat.
Said Coach Trevor LetowskI:
"We played hard, it was a good effort. We're having a tough time finding ways to win … That game could have went either way.
"Outside of those London games, we've strung some good efforts together," added Letowski. "If we keep grinding away we're going to get rewarded one of these nights."
On the pending return of Anthony DeAngelo: "Obviously we've missed him. … He's a very dynamic player, he makes our power play go and he plays a lot of minutes. … We definitely welcome him back and hopefully he can spark us a bit."
Captain Nick Latta said:
"It's really frustrating. Nobody's happy with the way things are going right now. … We can only keep battling and work hard.
"We're starting to outwork teams again, which we haven't done in this last stretch," added Latta.