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Sting Stunned CHL's Fourth Ranked Team

january 8, 2015


By DAVE PAUL

This one was special.

The Sarnia Sting stunned the Canadian Hockey League's fourth-ranked team, the Erie Otters, Thursday night at RBC Centre, scoring three times in the final 3:20 of the third period -- including the game-winner with just 2.7 seconds left on the clock -- to overcome a 3-1 deficit and win, 4-3.



The supremely talented Otters appeared to be in control of the game, heading into the final minutes, having outshot the Sting 33-20 to that point and outplayed the home team for long stretches in the second and third period. But they weren't able to generate a lot of great scoring chances, despite controlling much of the play and the two-goal lead proved vulnerable.

The Sting almost made it 3-2 about halfway through the third period when Jakob Chychrun hit the crossbar. Then, with about five minutes to play, fellow freshman Jordan Kyrou had the puck bounce off the glass right onto his stick at the side of the net, but he could not find the handle and fire it into the gaping net.
 


Both rookies would get their chances to redeem themselves and take full advantage.

Kyrou continued to buzz the net and was rewarded at 16:40 when he banged home a rebound to make it 3-2. Then, with just 47 seconds left to play, it was Kyrou again, picking up a loose puck at the side of the net and flipping it home to tie the game at 3-3.

Overtime appeared a strong possibility, until Chychrun snuck in from the point and snapped a shot past Erie goalie Devin Williams with under three seconds left in regulation, setting off a wild celebration, both on the ice and in the stands.

After the game, Sting coach Trevor Letowski said his team deserved a lot of credit.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win. We executed our game plan really well," said Letowski. "As a group, we have a lot to be proud of."

Otters superstar Connor McDavid saw things a bit differently.

"They (the Sting) shouldn't have been that close," in the final minutes, said McDavid, who scored a spectacular breakaway goal in the second period to make it 2-0. He added his team didn't put the game away when they had the chance.

"We just didn't do enough. ... I don't think we played a good game at all," he added.

The game began with the Sting taking it to the powerful Otters. In fact, Erie didn't get its first shot on goal until the game was nearly 10 minutes old.
Erie took over in the second period, outshooting Sarnia 17-7 and scoring three times to take a 3-0 lead.

Alexandre Renaud's late second period goal -- a "longish" range wrist shot over Williams' shoulder -- set the stage for the third period comeback.

Taylor Dupuis made 30 saves to pick up the win for Sarnia.

Sarnia is scheduled to face Owen Sound on Saturday, though weather might force that game to be postponed.
Sarnia will host Guelph on Saturday at 7 p.m.


The Sting traded star defenceman Anthony DeAngelo to Sault Ste. Marie earlier in the day and that, along with injuries left them with only four healthy defencemen. As a result, forward Brandon Lindberg played much of the game as a blueliner and Letowski lauded his efforts, saying he "handled himself great back there."

 


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