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Sting Lost in Shoot Out
FEBRUARY 14, 2015


BY DAVE BORODY

GUELPH – You almost had to be there to believe it.

Despite outshooting the Guelph Storm by a whopping 61-26 margin, the Sarnia Sting lost 4-3 in a shootout, Friday night in front of 4,811 fans at the Sleeman Centre.

And make no mistake about it; the shots on goal were legit.

The Sting dominated the play from start to finish. The breakdown on the shot totals was 20-7 in period one, 18-8 in the second frame, 18-8 in period three and 5-3 in the overtime period.

Guelph goalie Justin Nichols deserves most of the credit as he made a number of outstanding saves and was easily the game’s first star.

Sting head coach Trevor Letowski said he didn’t say anything to his team after the game.

“I left them alone. The coaches had done a lot of talking prior to the game. They are disappointed, no question about it as they wanted to win this game badly. But I think they realize if they play like that all the time it’s a recipe for success.”

Letowski added, “Our five-on-five play was exceptional. The energy level and pace was probably the best it’s been all season. It really showed the character of our team. We just fell a little short.”

Letowski said the power play let them down, as they were zero-for-eight with the man advantage.

“We just couldn’t score with the man advantage. But you have to give their goalie a lot of credit. He made some incredible saves.”

The first period was scoreless, but there was plenty of action, most of it in the Guelph zone.

The Sting enjoyed nine minutes of power play time, but despite a number of golden scoring opportunities, were unable to beat Nichols.

Guelph forward Tyler Hill was handed a five-minute head checking penalty and game misconduct after he drilled Sting defenceman Kevin Spinozzi along the boards in front of the Sarnia bench. Spinozzi was shaken up, but returned to the lineup.

The period also featured a thunderous check by Sting rookie sensation, Jakob Chychrun as he knocked down veteran Guelph forward Jason Dickinson who was driving to the net. Dickinson left with what appeared to be an upper body injury and did not return.

 The Sting finally solved Nichols at 1:33 of period two on a goal by Nikita Korostelev. The shifty winger snapped a shot over the goalies shoulder while falling down. Alex Renaud and Spinozzi assisted on Korostelev’s 17th goal of the year.

Guelph tied the game at 6:48 when Tyler Bertuzzi’s high shot surprised Sting goalie Taylor Dupuis.

After the Sting couldn’t capitalize on a two-man power play for over a minute, they did regain the lead at 12:22 when Renaud drilled a wrist shot home from point blank range. Zachary Core gained the lone assist on Renaud’s 11th goal.

Sarnia extended their lead to 3-1 at 2:48 of period three when Anthony Salinitri took a cross-ice pass from Jordan Kyrou and fired a high shot into the net. Troy Lajeunesse also assisted on Salinitri’s sixth goal.

But the Storm came roaring back with two quick goals to tie the game at 3-3 as Pius Suter scored on a deflection at 3:21 and Matthew Hotchkiss at 4:40.

Both teams had good scoring chances the rest of the period, however both goalies made a number of solid stops.

Guelph had the best chance to win the game at 18:25 when Bertuzzi was awarded a penalty shot, but Dupuis stopped him.

In the overtime session, Dupuis robbed Suter with a great glove stop on a two-on-one break.

That set the stage for the shootout.

Korostelev gave the Sting the advantage scoring on a backhand. But the Storm scored on their next two attempts by Chris Marchese and Bertuzzi while Kyrou and Stephen Pierog missed for the Sting. Pierog’s shot beat Nichols, but rang off the goal post.

Next action for the Sting is Saturday night when the Niagara IceDogs make their one and only appearance in Sarnia. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. The IceDogs feature ex-Sting netminder Brandon Hope.

The Sting will also be home Monday when they tangle with the first place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The opening face-off is set for 2:05 p.m. for the annual Family Day game.

Fans are reminded they kids 12 and under will be admitted for just $6. There will also be a special Skate with the Sting immediately following the game.

Tickets for the remaining nine home games in the regular schedule are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com

STING NOTES

  • Nichols was first star with Bertuzzi second star and Renaud third star.

  • Not dressed for the Sting were Josh Chapman, Pavel Zacha, Patrick White, Davis Brown, Connor Schlichting, Matteo Ciccarelli and Josh Defarias. Franco Sproviero was a callup from the Lambton Shores junior B team.

  • Sarnia is 1-1 against Guelph this season. They meet two more times, including on the final day of the regular schedule in Guelph.

  • Guelph was zero-for-four on the power play.

  • Sarnia’s record now stands at 24-22-4-3 as they did pick up a valuable point for their effort.


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