Wearing specially themed sweaters for their third annual Ugly Christmas Sweater night, the Sarnia Sting took to the ice at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena on Saturday, coming off a big win against London on Friday. But the puck stopped there as the Flint Firebirds burned the Sting 5-2 at home.
Connor Roberts would start things off for Flint at 5:08 with a shot from the high slot area, Flint would constantly be going to that spot whenever they could throughout the game. Maurizio Colella would add another goal before the end of the first period.
The Firebirds would again score early in the second period as Ty Dellandrea would get what would become the game-winner just 49 seconds into the period. Sarnia would finally get on the board as Theo Calvas got his second goal of the season at 16:21 and then just 13 seconds later #10 Anthony Salinitri got his 15th goal of the season and the hometown crowd had something to cheer about.
With a minute and 34 left to play Justin Fazio headed to the bench for the extra attacker and that left things open for Ty Dellandrea who scored two empty night goals to secure a hat trick for the player who hails from Port Perry.
The Sting penalty kill was working well but could not capitalise on the power play. Justin Fazio was peppered with 40 shots throughout the night and turned 35 of those pucks away. Assistant Coach Brad Staubitz had nothing but praise for Fazio saying that going into the next portion of the season and the playoffs Fazio will be the main man in the nets.
The Sting were playing without two key members of the team, that being forwards Jordan Kyrou and Adam Ruzicka. Both have been selected to play in the World Juniors which open up on Boxing Day. Kyrou has been selected to Team Canada and Ruzicka to play for Slovakia. Will Staubitz be watching his boys during the World Juniors?
Staubitz called both Kyrou and Ruzicka elite players who will bring their best to their respected teams and do the Sting proud.
The loss now puts Sarnia eight points back of Sault Ste Marie in the standings but there is still a lot of hockey left to play and the team now focuses on family and friends as they take a break for the holidays, and the Progressive Auto Sales Arena does some renovations by putting in a new scoreboard.
The team returns to the ice of the PASA on December 28 when they play southwestern rivals the Windsor Spitfires. Game time will be 7:05 p.m.