The Sarnia Sting had a slow start but were able to turn things around for a hometown win over the Erie Otters Friday night.
The Sting had received word earlier in the day that defenseman Ashton Reesor, who was drafted in the fifth round from the Vaughn Kings, has committed to being a member of the Sarnia team. Plus the fact that Captain Jordan Kyrou has been selected to try for a spot on Team Canada at the World Juniors later this month, a win made for a pretty good day for the club.
Erie got off to an early jump on the Sting with a goal from Alex Gritz at 1:19 but it only took the Sting 14 seconds to answer back as #17 Drake Rymsha marked his 16th goal of the season and tie the score. But Gritz was not done as he put another one behind netminder Aiden Hughes. Adam Ruzicka would tie things up again with an assist from Jordan Kyrou, but the Otters were not done as Taylor Raddysh put the Otters out in front once again before the first frame finished.
The Sting definitely needed to make a change if they were going to get back into this game and pick up a much needed two points to try to close the gap with the league-leading Soo Greyhounds. So the coach goes to his Number 1. Justin Fazio came out to take over the goaltending and the crowd certainly approved as #32 came onto the ice to replace Hughes.
The Sting looked like a brand new team with Fazio between the pipes as Drake Rymsha would put his second of the night into the net and Jordan Kyrou pick up his second assist of the night and would set a new Sting record for assists beating the old record held by Kris Newbury. Brayden Guy would add another Sting marker before the end of the 2nd period
With the Sting now up 4-3 going into the third, the sparse crowd at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena started buzzing as Brady Hinz started the scoring in what would be a runaway third period for Sarnia. It was a strange bounce off the back wall that some how got behind the Otter net minder but it still turned on the red light. The Otters still had some fight in them as Patrick Fellows got one by Fazio, but that is the only goal Justin would give up as Jordon Kyrou and Hugo Leufvenius each found the back of the Otter net to wrap up a great night for Sarnia with a 7-4 win. Assistant Coach Jeff Barratt quite pleased with the way the team turned things around. He says they switched up a few lines and says the penalty kill has really been a key to victory.
Jordan Kyrou grabbed a goal and two assists to become the new team record holder for assists and has been invited to try out for Team Canada for the World Jr Hockey Championships which start on Boxing day when Canada will play Finland. Kyrou says he is not letting that opportunity overtake him or his game, he says he has to stay focused.
The Sting did not gain any ground on the Soo Greyhounds as that team picked up a win over the North Bay Battalion Friday night but there is a chance on Saturday. The Hounds are idle while the Sting face the Peterborough Petes. This one should be a barn burner at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.