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Alberga with hat-trick leads Sting to victory over Majors
andrew brethauer January 13th, 2012

Sarnia, ON -  Brandon Maxwell's return to Sarnia lasted all of 25 minutes after the Sarnia Sting score five goals on 11 shots on their former netminder, chasing him from the net at the start of the second period on route to a 7-1 victory over the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors Friday night at the RBC Centre.

And it was Dominic Alberga doing the damage for the Sting. Known more for his physicality, Alberga score his first hat-trick including a goal short handed.

"It felt really good especially playing in Sarnia," Alberga said. "Hopefully it got the guys going. Now we are on a roll and we got to keep it going."

Coming in to Friday's game, the Sting had lost seven of their last eight, and marks the first time Sarnia has score more than five goals since December 16th against Owen Sound.

"I thought the kids were moving the puck real well. Our defence were very active today. That's something we changed in practice. We didn't want anyone stationary," said Sting Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu. "We got to get that second wave of attack from our defence. We got more shots on net and we didn't allow more shots on net which is nice."

Sarnia scored 58 seconds into the opening period as Alex Basso got his first of the game putting a low shot on net that snuck under the pads of Maxwell. The Majors would tie it up as Eric Diodati got a shot on net that took a bounce off the ice and past JP Anderson to tie the game. 

Sarnia would retake the lead under a minute later as Alberga would pick up his first of the night, picking a shot off the end boards and banking it into the net. Basso would add his second goal of the period on a slap shot from the slot for a 3-1 first period lead.

In the second, Brett Thompson would get his 22nd of the season, as the winger was left with all kinds of time in the slot for a wrist shot goal. Thompson would get in on the next goal two minutes later, finding Alberga in front for the one timer goal. That would end Maxwell's night as Spencer Martin came in.

With Sarnia up 5-1 in the third, Alberga would finish the hat-trick scoring short handed after working in front and getting a pass from Craig Hottot. Sarnia would add one more as Connor Murphy would pick up a loose puck in a scramble in front and score his second of the season on the power play, as Sarnia finished with a 7-1 victory.

JP Anderson stopped 18 shots from his former team in the victory, earning his second win as a member of the Sting.

After a hectic week that saw many new faces coming into the locker room, the victory is a sigh of relief to a team that is battling injuries and chemistry issues midway through the season. Beaulieu put the team through a training camp like practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Sting's victory comes off the work of secondary scoring, as Basso and Alberga chipped in five of the seven goals. Beaulieu comments that players like Alberga who have scored 15 goals in prior seasons need to work to be effective.

"When he doesn't work he is not effective," said Beaulieu. "When he doesn't go to the net he is not effective and that is his game."

"We had a good week of practice this week, Jacques was really hard on us," said Alberga. "We have to stay up on the top of the rankings and we can't keep falling and losing to teams that are below us."

Sarnia takes on Kingston on Saturday night as the reunion weekend continues with Ryan Spooner and Tyler Brown take on their former team.


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