Sting Shut Out Despite Strong Effort friday march 7, 2014
The Sarnia Sting lost big, in OHL action, Friday night at RBC Centre. But it was a bit of a misleading decision, that wasn't really as one-sided a game as the score would indicate.
On the surface, a 7-0 loss would seem like a decisive and crushing defeat. But this particular 7-0 game was actually fairly evenly played. Shots were even at 35-35, and scoring chances were probably close to even as well.
The Sting were simply thwarted, time and again, by near misses or some outstanding goaltending by Sault Ste. Marie's Brandon Halverson -- or a combination of the two.
Meanwhile, the counter-punching Soo Greyhounds seem to capitalize on every Sting mistake in putting seven shots past Sarnia goalie Taylor Dupuis.
"The score definitely doesn't do the game justice -- it's not a 7-0 game," said Sting coach Trevor Letowski, following the contest. "Were we good enough to win? Probably not. But, if you're sitting at home reading the box score, it's not 7-0."
The Sting have four games remaining on the 2013-14 schedule. Sarnia will host Guelph on Sunday afternoon starting at 4:05 pm.
Sarnia got off to a bit of a sluggish start and Sault Ste. Marie held a territorial edge in the first period. The Greyhounds also scored the only goal in the first.
Not a bad period for the Sting -- everywhere, except on the scoreboard. Sault Ste. Marie increased its lead to 3-0. The highlight of the period (and one of the highlights of the year) was a breakaway goal by Soo's Sergey Tolchinsky. The Russian sniper scored by shooting with his stick between his legs while coasting backwards past the Sting net. It was one of two goals in the period for Tolchinsky.
The Sting continued to press for a goal to break the shutout. Nikolay Goldobin probably came closest to getting Sarnia on the board on a wrap-around attempt that bounced off Halverson's skate blade. Territorially, Sarnia held a decided edge over Sault Set. Marie, but could not catch a break, and started giving up odd-man rushes the opposite direction. That led to the Greyhounds scoring three more times in the final 20 minutes. Former Sarnia players Bryan Moore and Tyler Hore scored for the Hounds.
Coach Trevor Letowski said:
"We had a lot of chances. Their goaltender played great. He made some huge saves. It seemed like … we got a little momentum, we were pushing them, (then) they'd come back down (the ice) and score.
"But there were some good things," added Letowski. "We battled, guys were fighting … they showed that they care.
"The frustrating thing," Letowski continued, "is I really believe that we're playing some of the best hockey that we have all year … and it's just not coming up in the win column. We don't have a lot to show for it but we are doing things better than what we were. … I think, for the most part, I don't think our team has shown that we're just mailing it in … the score looks like it, but if you were in the building, hopefully you thought otherwise.
"Our guys have a lot to play for … to a man, you go down our roster and every individual has a lot to play for," said the coach. "When you lose this much, there's going to be change. … You can't have everybody back (next year) … and that's what our young guys are playing for."