It's a rarity for the Sarnia Sting to pick up as much as one point in a hockey game these days.
In fact, Sarnia has earned points in only two out of the 19 games the team has played, since a Jan. 11 win over Owen Sound.
So, on the surface, losing in overtime to Peterborough, in OHL action at RBC Centre, Saturday night might seem like an accomplishment.
But it wasn't being viewed that way by Sting head coach Trevor Letowski, following the contest.
"I didn't like our game tonight," said Letowski, who watched his team open the scoring 12 minutes into the first period, then cling to the 1-0 lead until there was just over two minutes left to play in the third period. That's when Peterborough tied it. Then they scored 46 seconds into overtime to win the contest.
"I thought we'd turned the corner the last five games … the way we've been playing as a group for the last few games, we've been good," added Letowski. "We weren't nearly that good tonight."
The Sting were outshot 40-32 and both goalies -- Sarnia's Taylor Dupuis and Peterborough's Jason Da Silva -- made some good saves to keep it a low-scoring game.
The Sting play a rare morning game Tuesday in Saginaw. Start time is 10:45 a.m.
Neither team started the game with a lot of energy, but the Sting did manage to get on the board first when Sarnia's leading scorers teamed up to score. Nick Latta directed home a great cross-ice feed from Nikolay Goldobin, with Anthony DeAngelo picking up the other assist.
Some very good goaltending contributed to a scoreless second period. After firing 11 shots each in the first period, the Petes outshot Sarnia, 14-10, in the second.
Peterborough pressured the Sting on a few occasions, but couldn't break through until Eric Comel scored at 17:57. Comel then assisted on Nick Ritchie's OT winner.
The coach said:
"It wasn't a real pretty game. They kind of hung around … we had chances to put the game out of reach but their goalie made some big saves."
"We're very fragile when it gets late," continued Letowksi. "A lot of bad things have happened late in games and that wears on guys and I think they start thinking negative things. It just seems we can't close out games, which is obviously frustrating."
"Guys have to hold themselves accountable -- there's mistakes on that goal and guys cheating to offence, and there's no excuse for that."
"We definitely should have won that game tonight but we didn't get it done."
"It was one of those nights where you kind of felt it," Letowski said. "Even at the second intermission I tried to tell the guys, it's one of those nights where you've got to be careful. We need to be better or else we're not going to get this done, if we play like we did in the first 40 (minutes). Sure enough the last period turned into a lot of the same stuff and in the end we just fell short again."
"We can't play like we did tonight (in Saginaw)," said Letowski. "Those good teams from our conference just eat you up when you play like that
"As soon as we start getting cute and turning pucks over it's too much for us. If we get hemmed in our end and there's too much zone time it's too much for us, we break down."