The Sarnia Sting hosted the Windsor Spitfires in game five of their best of seven series Friday night, with the series all tied up at two games a piece. The Sting did not want to go back to Windsor trailing the Spitfires. The Hive was buzzing as over 4,300 Sting fans, who took the 50/50 draw prize money to over the $9,500 mark. Once again the two goalies to defend their respective nets were Justin Fazio for the Sting and Michael DiPietro for Windsor.
It did not take long for this crowd to get worked up as Sarnia would get called on the first penalty and then Ryan McGregor would get a break away and beat DiPietro clean with a great wrist shot, short handed. But the referees reviewed the goal and it took some time but it was deemed the play was off side, and the goal was waved off. Windsor would get the first goal of the game as Tyler Angle would score on the powerplay. Sarnia would play short handed on seven occasions in the game. Even when at full strength the Spitfire defense was not giving the Sting an inch until Cam Dineen would blast one from the point at a heavily screened net and it made its way through the traffic to cross the goal line for a tie game.
Sarnia would get their go ahead goal in the second period as Jonathan Ang would go to the corner and then slide the puck out to the front of the net where Sean Josling would put it in and make it a 2-1 game. Both goalies would weather storms as the Spits would put the pressure on Fazio, and the Sting would swarm DiPietro. A huge pile up at the Windsor goal saw DiPietro get up very slowly and it was clear that he was hurt but would stay in the game.
DiPietro would start the third period but get beat as Michael Pezzetta would grab a loose puck out in front and make it a 3-1 Sting lead. Seconds later Jake Smith would beat Justin Fazio and the Spitfires were back within one. DiPietro would be replaced by Brock Baier at 4:48 to finish out the game. It was easy to see that the goaltending coach that worked with DiPietro did not forget Baier as he turned away 11 shots in his portion of the game. Baier would get pulled for the extra attacker but as in so many attempts in this series, it did not go in Windsor’s favour. Hugo Leufvenius would hit the empty net giving him his fourth in the playoffs and the Sting a 4-2 win.
One of the keys to victory for the Sting was their penalty killing. Franco Sproviero who was the third star of the game says the physical game that Sting have been playing is paying off.
The Sting now go into Windsor for game six on Sunday night and if the Easter egg hunt pays off the Sting can wrap up this series and have a bit a breathing room before they go into the second round. If it is needed, game seven would be back at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena on Tuesday, April 3rd.