WINDSOR, ON- With just eight days until the start of the 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League season, the Sarnia Sting, would head into the WFCU Centre to face the defending Memorial Cup Champion, Windsor Spitfires. This would be the first of a home & home clash to finish the 2017 preseason.
With six veterans including: Anthony Salinitri (PHI) Jordan Kyrou (STL), Adam Ruzicka (CGY), Drake Rymsha (LA), Ryan McGregor (TOR) and Sean Josling (DET) away at NHL camps, this was another great opportunity for the young core of the Sting to get their feet wet. Aidan Hughes would get his second start of the pre-season while Windsor would counter with 99’ born goaltender Brock Baier. Both teams would spend the first half of the opening period testing the waters before the home side would pot three quick goals to grab an early lead. Overage centre Aaron Luchuk would tally the first two goals followed by rookie Mathew McDougall. The Spits would head to the locker room up three after one. Shots-on-goal were 16-11 in favour of Windsor.
The second period would begin in similar fashion to that of the first, as both sides traded chances and trips to the penalty box. The Spitfires would again find the back of the net with two quick tallies. The first from Russian Free Agent Igor Larionov, son of former NHLer’ Igor Larionov. After suiting up for the Jr. B Legionnaires last night, Blair Coffin would take over between the pipes for the Sting just over midway through the second. Coffin would hold the fort for the remainder of the frame as Windsor would head into the third period with a 5-0 lead.
Sarnia would come out buzzing in the third as Overage D-man Connor Schlicting would put the visitors on the board, early in the frame. The Sting would continue to pressure, including hitting the post on the powerplay. Coffin also stood tall making multiple saves when the spitfires would counter back, and would ultimately shut the door on the Windsor for the rest of the game. 2017 Import pick Hugo Leufvenius would add one late in the third for the Sting, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Spitfires take this one by a final of 5-2.
The young core of the Sting will look to get one back from the Spitfires tomorrow night as the pre-season concludes at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, puck drop is set for 7:05. Tickets (available here) for this game are just $10!