The Sting hosted the Kingston Frontenacs at Progressive Auto Sales Arena on Saturday, and it was a night that exemplified everything Sarnia supporters can look forward to this season.
Jordan Kyrou returned to the Sting this week, having just completed a strong training camp with the St. Louis Blues.
In a busy couple days that saw Kyrou named the Sting’s new captain, he made it known that he’s back in town, and he will be a man on a mission this season.
Though the Frontenacs had the edge early, going up 2-0 just minutes into the contest, the Sting would quickly find some jump on back-to-back powerplay opportunities.
Sean Josling had a very strong first period for Sarnia. Josling narrowly missed a far-side shot on Kingston goaltender Jeremy Helving while the Sting were on a powerplay. As the teams switched roles and the Sting took their turn with a man down, Josling used some strong stickwork on the penalty kill to block lanes, force turnovers, and had a quality shorthanded chance. It was a sign of things to come.
The start of the second period continued a recurring theme for the Sting this season: they came out rolling and ready.
One. Then two. Then three. Then four.
The Sting scored four goals in the second period, dominating play from end-to-end.
Hugo Leufvenius couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first Ontario Hockey League goal. Leufvenius created space for himself in the exact middle of the offensive zone, Kyrou found him with a heads-up pass off the boards, and Leufvenius shot a laser past Helvig.
Less than two minutes later, Adam Ruzicka joined the party. With the Sting on the powerplay, Ruzicka pushed his way to the front of the net, Drake Rymsha tossed out a swift pass, and Ruzicka buried the puck past the Kingston goalie.
Ready to get in on the scoring fun, Rymsha scored an outstanding goal of his own midway through the period. Thanks to a huge penalty killing effort from Franco Sproviero, who dove all-out to to clear the puck from the Sting zone, Rymsha was able to pick the puck off the boards in the neutral zone and fly in on the Fronts’ goal. Rymsha went glove side on Helvig, and all of a sudden, Sarnia was up with a 3-2 lead.
Ruzicka would bury another one shortly before the end of the second period. With the Sting again on the powerplay, Kyrou would once more play setup man, threading a soft pass that Ruzicka would wire on a one-timer past Helvig. Kyrou would finish with three assists in the game.
Sting defenceman Kelton Hatcher would put an exclamation point on the end of the second frame, laying a bomb of a blueline hit on Frontenacs’ forward Nathan Dunkley.
Through two periods, it was 4-2 for the home side.
The third period was relatively quiet compared to the first two, but the Sting would continue to find the back of the net.
Leufvenius scored his second of the game on an empty-net goal with two minutes left, capping off a huge game for the Sting rookie.
Sting veteran Jordan Ernst would round out the night’s scoring. Ernst produced a strong effort driving right through the Frontenacs’ crease, sliding the puck beneath the pads of Kingston’s netminder.
The final score was 6-2 for Sarnia. Justin Fazio picked up another win between the pipes. It was a victory that gave Sting fans some very exciting signs moving forward.
Tonight’s official box score can be viewed here.
The Sting are back in action tomorrow, October 1, with an afternoon game against the Ottawa 67’s. Puck drop is 2:05 PM at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Tickets for all Sting home games can be purchased at the box office or by clicking here.