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Strong third period lead Sting to home opener win over Otters
andrew brethauer September 23rd, 2011

Sarnia, ON  Three Sarnia Sting players had three points in Sarnia's home opener Friday night against the Erie Otters, where the Sting scored three in the third period to win 5-2.

Sarnia got the scoring started on the powerplay, as Alex Basso put a one timer shot from the blue line passed Christopher Festarini to put the Sting up 1-0.

But the lead didn't last long, as just over a minute later Sondre Olden tied it back up at 1-1. But Sarnia in less time then it took Erie, restored their lead, as Brett Ritchie received a cross crease pass from Nail Yakupov and scored his first of the season to put the Sting back in front 2-1.

Sarnia would look to take advantage of the first period on another powerplay opportunity, but it would be the Otters capitalizing, as Taylor Carnevale was knocked off the puck, sending Chris Marchese and Connor Brown on a 2-on-0, with Marchese finishing to tie the game back up at 2-2 at the end of the first.

The game went silent in the second period with neither teaming finding the score sheet

In the third, Sarnia came out with the fire power their talented roster suggests they have. Nail Yakupov got it started for the Sting, picking up his first goal of the season and third point of the night, as a Basso shot off the end boards was passed out from to Yakupov by Carnevale to give Sarnia the 3-2 lead.

Just under two minutes later, Ritchie would out forecheck the Otters and cause a turnover, finding Craig Hottot for a wrist shot over the shoulder of Festarini for the 4-2 lead. Ritchie would also get his third point of the night on a helper to Charles Sarault, his third of the night as well, as the Sting end with three goals in a third on route to a 5-2 victory.

Brendon Maxwell got the start for the Sting, and despite looking shaky in the first, made 28 saves in his first victory of the season.

"First period I thought we played well," said Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu. "We executed, I thought we were really hard on the puck. The second period I thought we didn't play well at all. I thought we were selfish, we turned the puck over nine to ten times."

Beaulieu was more impressed with a third where the Sting took pucks to the net and played a more structured game, resulting in three goals.

"The guys that are suppose to score goals, scored goals in the third."

Sarnia got goal production from players typically in the lower half of the forward lines. But Craig Hottot and Charles Sarault both proved throughout the preseason that they could put the puck in the net and be big contributors to the Sarnia Sting offence.

"I think I can contribute to this teams offence," sad Sarault. "I still want to stay one of those guys that you can depend on defensively. The defensive role is really important. If you want to go far in this league you got to be a defensive team first."

Sarnia takes a day off before traveling to Windsor for an afternoon game against the Spitfires at 2:00pm.


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