Rupert, Knights light up Sting
thursday january 2, 2014
By DAVE PAUL
The Sarnia Sting and London Knights opened the new year by lighting up the scoreboard, Wednesday at RBC Centre.
Grand Bend's Matt Rupert scored four goals, Max Domi had four assists while Michael McCarron had a goal and three assists as the Knights skated to an 8-6 win in the second half of the annual home-and-home New Year's series between the two clubs. Davis Brown led the Sting attack with three goals.
On Tuesday night, the Knights defeated Sarnia 6-3 in London.
In Wednesday night's contest, the Sting fell behind 1-0, then stunned London by scoring four straight times to go ahead 4-1 by the late stages of the first period. But the relentlessly-talented Knights scored four straight times themselves over a 19 minute stretch to regain a one-goal lead.
Davis Brown's second of three, late in the second, made it a 5-5 game after two periods. But the Knights got a couple of early goals in the third, then survived a late Sting rally attempt and iced the game with an empty netter.
Following the game, Sting coach Trevor Letowski called Wednesday's result "a frustrating loss."
"We were in both games," said Letowski. "You hate to lose a game when you have a three-goal lead. They really came at us hard in the second -- the same as they did last night."
Letowski joked the Sting's 4-1 first period lead was "a new experience" for his club.
"It was definitely a unique situation," he said. "That hasn't happened very often for us."
Though the Sting have now lost four consecutive games, Letowski tried to remain upbeat.
"We're not thrilled," about it, said Letowski. "Of course, we want to get wins. ... We're a young team (and) we just have to keep battling."
On a positive note, Letowski said it was good to see the offensive outburst from Davis Brown -- a player who may be required to carry more of the scoring load shortly, depending on what moves the Sting make at the looming trade deadline.
"We've been really happy with his play," said the coach. "He hasn't provided as much offence as we would like, but maybe this gets him going.
"Those goals he scored were high-quality goals," said Letowski, adding the 18-year-old Brown could become an important contributor for the Sting this season, and beyond.
Other goal scorers for Sarnia were Jimmy McDowell, Jeff King and Nikolay Goldobin.
Jake Patterson (London) and Brodie Barrick (Sarnia) were the starting goalies, but both were replaced. Patterson in the first and Barrick early in the second. Liam Herbst ended up getting the win for London while Taylor Dupuis took the loss for Sarnia.
London outshot the Sting, 36-22.
Sarnia visits Kitchener on Friday.
Attendance was 3,794
Max Domi's father, former NHLer Tie Domi drew a large crowd of autograph seekers on the concourse level, after the game
Former NHL goalie (and current Phoenix Coyotes scout) Tim Bernhardt, of Sarnia, liked what he saw the other night from Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in Sweden. "They're coming on. They're getting stronger, at the right time", said Bernhardt, who tended goal for Canada at the 1978 World Juniors. Bernhardt said the performance by goalie Zach Fucale in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the U.S. was crucial. "They needed a big performance and he came through. They're in a position to succeed now."