The Sarnia Sting proved to be no match for OHL powerhouse -- perhaps the OHL's best team -- Guelph Storm, Sunday afternoon at RBC Centre.
Guelph, which came into the game in a heated battle with Erie for first overall in the league standings, stormed out of the gates, scoring three times in the first 12-and-a-half minutes of the game, and it looked like the rout was on.
However, the Sting did battle back, scoring once late in the period and again early in the second, making it a 3-2 game.
But shortly after that, the Storm got a power play goal to take a 4-2 lead and the Sting never seriously threatened again. Guelph added a pair of goals in the third period.
Brock McGinn and Kerby Rychel each scored twice for Guelph. Sting goalie Brodie Barrick was bombarded with 49 shots while Sarnia fired 21 at Matthew Mancina in the Guelph goal.
Sarnia hosts Kitchener on Thursday in the Sting's final home game of the year.
The Storm dominated all three periods, territorially and on the shot clock. Shots in the first period were 16-7 for Guelph. They wasted no time in the first establishing their dominance, taking a 3-0 lead. But Sting captain Nick Latta scored his 36th goal of the year, late in the period to give the home team hope.
Just over three minutes into the second period, Nikita Korostelev converted a feed from Nikolay Goldobin and, improbably, the Sting were right back in the game, trailing 3-2. However, the Storm scored a few minutes later on a power play and never looked back. The power play came on a holding penalty by Sting defenceman Anthony DeAngelo, who was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of official for comments made to the referee. After the Guelph goal, DeAngelo was given a game misconduct on another abuse of official call.
The Storm proved to be too much for the Sting, scoring two more times while outshooting the Sting 21-8 (for a 49-21 advantage, overall). Sting goalie Barrick made some good saves in both the second and third to keep the game somewhat within reach.
After the game, a subdued Sting coach, Trevor Letowski said:
"(Guelph) was a team that needed points desperately and … they were all over us.
"I thought we came out in the second with the right intention and we played hard," added Letowski. "It was 3-2 and we were playing pretty well and then they scored on the power play … that hurt us.
"We gave up a lot of quality chances and (Barrick) made a lot of quality saves to keep us close."