Earlier this season the Sarnia Sting were finding ways to lose games late. Now they have turned that around. Case in point was Friday night’s game against the Owen Sound Attack.
Sarnia rallied from a 1-0 deficit to score the winning goal in the third period and post a 2-1 victory in front of 2,693 fans at the RBC Centre.
The win improved Sarnia’s record to 11-11-1-1 in the Ontario Hockey League. The last time Sarnia was at .500 was Oct. 31st when they were 6-6-1-1.
The Sting have now won three straight and five of their last six.
“Tonight’s a perfect example,” said Sting head coach, when asked about third period turnarounds. “We got down by a goal, but kept chipping away. We got the tying goal in the second period and then scored the game-winner in the third. I’m not concerned about matchups. We roll four lines and it’s a credit to the players.”
Letowski said it was a tight game from start to finish.
“We knew coming in that Owen Sound plays hard. There weren’t many chances even though there was a good pace. It was tight checking. But the important thing is we found a way to win. It wasn’t the prettiest and you we to fight for space all night. We got some secondary scoring again and that’s big.”
After a scoreless first period, Owen Sound opened the scoring at 9:06 of period two on a power play. Jeffrey Gilligan fired a low shot from the slot past goalie Taylor Dupuis.
Sarnia tied the game at 16:24 as some persistent forechecking paid off. Brandon Lindberg took a centering pass from Jordan Kyrou and fired a backhander past the Attack goalie. Alex Black also assisted on Lindberg’s seventh goal of the year and second in as many games.
What turned out to be the winning goal came at 7:44 of period three. Patrick White used his speed to cut around the defence and slip the puck past the goalie for his fifth of the year. Noah Busnhell and Kevin Spinozzi picked up the assists.
“Patrick can be a dynamic player when he scores goals like that,” said Letowski. “He has great speed and not a lot of players can score goals like he did. He drove to the net and got rewarded. You want to have game-breakers like that on your team.”
Letowski added, “Patrick has been a low maintenance player. He’s been on the third and fourth lines, but keeps his mouth shut and does his work. We’ve been giving him more ice time of late and he’s been rewarded.”
Dupuis was again a standout in goal for the Sting as he made 28 saves, including stopping a breakaway in the first period. Jack Flinn also played well for the Attack, making 28 stops.
“You can see Dupuis is rolling along,” said Letowski. “He’s very confident and is a big difference maker for us. We limited the amount of shots tonight, but he made some key saves on quality chances.”
The game was the start of three games in as many days for the Sting.
“It’s always nice to start with a win on the weekend. We’ve been playing a lot of hockey of late and want to build on the past couple of weeks,” Letowski said.
Sarnia plays in Plymouth tomorrow night before returning home Sunday to host the Kingston Frontenacs beginning at 4:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. There will be a special autograph session in the Hive after the game with the players.
Tickets for all Sting home games are on sale daily at the RBC Centre Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
– White was first star with Dupuis second star and Flinn third star.
– Sarnia is now 5-4-0-1 at home, the first time this year they have been over the .500 mark on home ice.
– Sarnia and Owen Sound play three more times this season.
– The Sting have 24 points on the season and are tied with Saginaw for seventh place in the Western Conference. Sarnia does have a game in hand.
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.