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Sting 'poor effort' allows Otters to snap 13 game losing streak
andrew brethauer December 9th, 2011

Sarnia, ON - Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu summed up the Sarnia Sting's 7-3 loss to the Erie Otters in two words, "poor effort".

Erie scored four straight on Sarnia to jump out to a 4-1 lead early in the second, and would snap a 13 game losing skid in the process, while Sarnia is still struggling as of late, while also dealing with a handful of injuries and line up changes. Besides Alex Galchenyuk who has been sidelined all season, and Nail Yakupov who has been out for the last few weeks, Brett Ritchie was also out of the line up with a hip injury, while Alex Basso and Nick Latta were also not able to play.

Sarnia opened the scoring, as Criag Hottot got his 11th of the season, putting a wrist shot on net that Ramis Sadikov could only get a piece of it with his glove before it bounced into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Greg McKegg tied the game with a redirect in front of Brandon Hope, and Jake Evans put the Otters in front after Hope failed to cover up a loose puck in front, and Evans spun and fired the puck into the back of the net.

In the second period, Travis Wood would put a wrist shot on net that went into Hope's glove and came out into the back of the net. That would be all for Hope who was replaced by Brandon Maxwell.

But Maxwell didn't fair much better early, as his first shot faced produced a heavy rebound that Stephen Harper was able to get control of and put over the shoulder of Maxwell for the Otters fourth goal.

Sarnia would finally get a response off the stick of Craig Hottot who picked up his second of the game, getting a pass from Dominic Alberga and wristing a shot by Sadikov. But Sarnia would still trail 4-2 heading into the third.

Connor Brown would restore the three goal lead 24 seconds into the third period, and Travis Wood would pick up his second of the game after Maxwell lost his stick, and Wood made a nice deke alone in front for the 6-2 Otters lead.

The Sting would get one back as Dominic Alberga picked up his 4th of the season after throwing the puck on net from the corner and having it redirect off two skates and into the net. But Jake Evans would add one more for the Otters on a 2 on 1 play to beat Maxwell for the fourth time.

No penalties were called in the 7-3 game for either team, something Beaulieu says he has never experienced in all his years of coaching at the junior A level.

Connor Murphy made his first appearance in a Sting uniform and picked up an assist on the first Hottot goal. But Murphy was not concerned over his performance but rather how poorly the team played as a group.

"It's pretty embarrassing to lose like that to a team we are suppose to come out and get two points from" said Murphy. "I don't even care how I do, the loss hurts."

Murphy has skated in a game situation this year, and felt his conditioning was good, but his timing was a little off.

It doesn't get any easier for Sarnia who will have to put the 7-3 loss behind them as they head to Plymouth to take on the first place Whalers on Saturday night. Sarnia will return home for a Sunday  afternoon game against Peterborough.  Game time 2:00 pm.


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