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Sting drop fifth straight in first game of new year
andrew brethauer January 1st, 2012

Sarnia, ON - The Sarnia Sting will have to wait till Friday to score their first goal of the the new year, as the Sting were shut out by the London Knights 3-0 Sunday afternoon in return game of the annual New Year's home-and-home with London.

It is the fifth straight loss by Sarnia, who continue to play short with players injured, while players such as Nail Yakupov and Ludvig Rensfeldt continue in the World Junior Hockey Tournament.

"We're bleeding right now, we just got to stop it," said Sting Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu. "The effort was there again tonight but we are just not generating any offence. Scoring chances after two periods were 9-9 and in junior hockey they should be 14-14. With two chances in one period you're not going to score many goals.

London lead 2-0 after the first period of play. Ryan Rupert scored after a puck redirected off a skate into the slot for the first goal.

Brett Welychika would score short handed at the end of the first period for his first of the game, and would add his second 42 seconds into the third after a turnover by Brett Ritchie in the London end of the ice.

Rupert finished the game with two assists to go with his goal, while Welychika also had a three point game with an assist on the first goal.

Michael Houser made 36 saves for he shutout victory, while Brandon Maxwell made 16 saves in the loss.

Sarnia's best chance to score came in the third period where Brett Thompson had Houser down and out on a deke in front of the goal, but his shot would go wide of the net. Houser would then come up big twice on the Sting to keep the scoreboard at zero.

"For the most part in that game I thought we competed," said Sting captain Nathan Chiarlitti. "When you play a team like London they capitalize on every mistake you make."

Losers of their last five, Chiarlitti believes the team needs to better stick to their game plan and put forth a winning effort every night, but also it will help when players are healthy and back in Sarnia Sting black and gold. Chiarlitti quoted Washington Capitals forward as a source of encouragement that if the team keeps working, they can turn the ship around.

Sarnia will head to Erie on Friday, January 6th to take on the Otters. Erie started the Sting's losing streak back on December 17th with a 5-3 victory over the Sting. Erie has won the last two meetings against Sarnia, both in the month of December.


 

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