By DAVE BORODY
LONDON – Anytime you can score six goals at the Budweiser Gardens,
the chances of getting at least one point are pretty good.
But that wasn’t the case Friday
night as the Sarnia Sting dropped an 8-6 decision to the London Knights in front
of 9.046 fans.
The Sting held a 2-1 lead after
one period before London bounced back to hold a 4-2 advantage after 40 minutes.
Sarnia fought back in period
three with three goals in four minutes to tie the game at 5-5. But the Knights
scored a pair of goals a minute apart midway through the period and that was the
“It was a funny game,” admitted
Sting head coach Trevor Letowski. “We had a great first period, but we couldn’t
spread the lead. We backed off a bit in the second period and allowed London to
take that period.
“But I thought we were the
better team in the third period. I was really happy the way we pushed back
coming from a three-goal deficit to tie the game. We kept fighting, but
unfortunately couldn’t get any points out of it.”
He added, “it’s not often you
can generate 48 shots in this building. But our problem was we couldn’t contain
their top line. We didn’t have an answer for them. Mitch Marner is on top of his
game right now and we couldn’t stop him.”
The line of Marner, Matt Rupert
and Christian Dvorak combined for 17 points.
Sarnia outshot the Knights
The Sting outshot London 20-7
in the opening period and it resulted in a 2-1 lead for the visitors.
Sarnia opened the scoring at
1:16 when Hayden Hodgson deflected home a point drive form Alex Black. Stephen
Pierog also assisted on Hodgson’s 12th goal of the year.
After London tied the game at
4:44 with Josh Sterk’s power play marker, the Sting regained the lead at 7:46
when Jakob Chychrun drilled home a slapshot from the left point. Troy Lajeunesse
drew the lone assist on Chychrun’s sixth goal of the season.
The Sting had a couple of
glorious scoring chances early in the second period, but was unable to finish.
It would come back to haunt
London tied the game at 12:44
when Zack Grzelewski scored from the slot and less than a minute later took
their first lead at 3-2 when Rupert scored from close range. On both goals,
Sarnia had the puck, but turned it over.
The Knights went up 4-2 at
18:11 when Rupert scored his second of the game on the power play.
London appeared to take an
insurmountable lead when they went up 5-2 two minutes into period three on a
goal by Dvorak.
However the Sting stormed back
with three goals in just over four minutes.
Alex Renaud banged home pass
out from Brenden Trottier at 4:01; Davis Brown poked home a loose puck at 5:48
while Stephen Pierog scored a power play goal at 8:07.
London restored their lead at
10:12 when Rupert scored this third of the game while a minute later Marner made
Sarnia kept fighting and
trimmed the margin to 7-6 when Brown scored his second of the game with 20.6
seconds remaining in regulation time.
But Marner iced the game
scoring into an open net with 4.9 seconds left.
The Sting again played with 19
players, one under the limit.
Not dressed were Josh Chapman,
Jeff King, Connor Schlichting, Pavel Zacha, Patrick White, Matt Ciccarelli and
There were three junior B
call-ups, Jake O’Donnell (Sarnia Legionnaires), Brenden Trottier (Lambton
Shores) and Franco Sproviero (Lambton Shores).
For Sproviero it was his first
OHL game. The defenceman was the team’s seventh round draft pick, (141st
overall) in the 2014 draft.
Michael Giugovaz was the
winning goalie while Taylor Dupuis took the loss.
Next action for the Sting is
Saturday night when they travel to Saginaw to battle the Spirit.
Sarnia’s next home game is
Thursday night when they host Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters. Game time is
7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. It is the second and final visit of the season for
Tickets for all remaining Sting
home games are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or
going online at Sarniasting.com
London was two-for-two on
the power play. They finished six-for-six over the past two games against
the Sting. Sarnia was one-for-four with the man advantage.
The overall record for the
Sting is 18-15-1-2.
Sarnia is now 8-9-1-0 on
The Sting and Knights play
three more times this season.