The Sarnia Sting played their last game of the regular season on Saturday night against the Owen Sound Attack. The Sting have been struggling on the road but are coming off a good win against the London Knights on Friday. Coach Derian Hatcher would rest many of his main players like Cam Dineen, Jordan Kyrou, Adam Ruzicka, Connor Schlichting, and Franco Sproviero, and goalie Justin Fazio. That would mean that Aidan Hughes would get the goaltending duties and the back up duties would go to Blair Coffin of the Sarnia Legionnaires.
Owen Sound would live up to their name in this one going on the Attack right out of the gate. Theo Calvas would get a cross-checking penalty and the Owen Sound powerplay would go to work with Brady Lyle scoring with the slap shot. Owen Sound would continue the onslaught as Brent McKenzie would score the first of his two on the night. At the 12:33 mark, Jonah Gadjovich would get called for tripping and that sparked him and Kelton Hatcher to drop the gloves and square off. Nick Suzuki would score shorthanded and the first period would end with the Attack leading 3-0.
Michael Pezzetta would put the Sting on the board as Attack netminder Olivier Lafreniere would come out to challenge Pezzetta and get beat on the long shot. Owen Sound would answer that with three more goals from Daylon Groulx and two from Jackson Doherty which would be counted as the game-winner and the insurance goal.
Sarnia would fight back in the third period as Brayden Guy would score. Jamieson Rees would fight off two defenders and slide the puck over to Guy and he would beat Lafreniere low on the glove side. Ryan McGregor would block a shot and then pick up the loose puck and get a breakaway. McGregor would take the shot but would follow in, pick up his own rebound and find the back of the net. Brent McKenzie would get his second of the night for the Attack on the powerplay. Sarnia would again put one in the net as Brayden Guy would get his second of the night. Nick Suzuki would get his second of the night and Aidan Dudas would score for Owen Sound and the Attack would skate away with a 9-4 win.
Tough night for Sting goalie Aidan Hughes as he faced 56 shots on the night turning away 47 of them. Sarnia would only muster 24 shots in the contest.
The first round playoff matchups have now been set. The Sting will face the Windsor Spitfires in round one. Game one and two are set for Friday then Saturday night at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Game time for both games is 7:05. Games three and four will be at the WFCU Centre in Windsor on Tuesday March 27 and Thursday March 29.
The Sting are giving fans an opportunity to be in the stands for every playoff home game with their Catch The Buzz contest. The Sting are asking local businesses and fans to post pictures of their creative signs supporting the Sting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WeBelieve & #BelieveTheBuzz. Winners will be announced the evening of Thursday, March 22.