By DAVE BORODY
Photos by Dave Paul
Finally, the hockey gods were with the Sarnia Sting Friday night.
Anthony DeAngelo scored with 27.7 seconds left in regulation time to give the Sting a hard-earned 3-2 victory over the Windsor Spitfires in front of 2,538 fans at the RBC Centre.
The win snapped a six-game winless skid for the Sting while it was their first home victory of the young season after five consecutive defeats on home ice.
Three of Sarnia’s losses this season have resulted when the opposition scored in the final minute.
“That’s hockey,” said Sting head coach Trevor Letowski, with a hint of a smile. “We’ve talked about these situations at length over the past couple of weeks. It’s real gratifying for our staff to see the players finally get rewarded.
“This was not one of our most prettiest games. At times it was really sloppy. It was hard to get some flow going with the penalties. But a couple of our offensive players in Nikolay (Goldobin) and Anthony (DeAngelo) stepped up in the third period with a couple of big goals.”
Letowski admitted not winning at home was getting on the players nerves.
“You could sense the guys were getting a little frustrated. When you lose a bunch of games and then face some adversity, the guys start to questions things. It’s nice for the fans as I’m sure it’s been frustrating for them. They’ve seen some potential wins go out the window late in the game. There’s no question it’s nice for the players.”
Defensively the Sting got a solid performance from goalie Brodie Barrick. He stopped 42 of 44 shots and was named the game’s first star.
“It was a big game for Brodie,” said Letowski. “He gave us a quality start. Whenever they (Windsor) pushed us, he was able to hold the fort.” Taylor (Dupuis) has been playing well of late so it was important for Brodie to come through like that.”
Barrick said his performance felt great.
“We got the win so that’s the biggest thing. I just gave us a chance to win. It was great to see the winning goal go in like that in the final minute after those losses. It’s tough when you battle hard like we did against London and see no results. It’s good to give the fans something to cheer about.”
Sarnia scored the lone goal of period one at 11:31 when Bryan Moore notched his second of the season. He skated into the Windsor zone on his off wing and snapped a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. Nikita Korostelev and Joshua Chapman assisted.
Windsor tied the game at 10:24 of the second period while enjoying a two-man advantage. Slater Koekkoek scored on a low slapshot from the point.
The Spitfires took their first and only lead at 18:06 when Josh Ho-Sang slipped by a Sting defender and scored from close range.
Sarnia held a two-man advantage for a minute and 35 seconds early in the third period, but managed just one shot on goal.
But the Sting tied the game at 5:26 when Goldobin came from behind to net to slip a backhander past the Windsor goalie. Nick Latta assisted on Goldobin’s fifth goal of the season.
With time running out, DeAngelo became a hero as he drilled a hard shot over the shoulder of Spitfires goalie Jordan DeKort from the slot area. Moore and Alex Carnevale drew assists on DeAngelo’s fourth goal of the year.
Barrick needed to make a tough save on a point shot in the dying seconds of regulation time to preserve the victory.
Windsor finished with a 44-26 edge in shots on goal. Sarnia was one-for-five on the power play and Windsor zero-for-five.
The win improved Sarnia’s record to 2-6-0-1 in the Ontario Hockey League.
The Sting return to action next week with three games in three nights, two of them at home. They host Saginaw on Thursday and Owen Sound Friday. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. They travel to Plymouth a week Saturday to battle the Whalers.
- Barrick was first star with Koekkoek second star and Moore third star.
“I thought Moore was a dangerous player tonight,” said Letowski. “For me it was his best game of the season. He had his legs moving and he created scoring chances.”
- Carnevale’s assist on the winning goal was his first point of the season.
- Scratches for the Sting included Mike DiPaolo, Patrick White, Alex Renaud and Jeff King.
- Both of Sarnia’s victories this season have come against Windsor.
- Tickets for all remaining home games for the Sting are on sale daily at the RBC box office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com