The Sarnia Sting visited the Canadian Hockey League-leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Friday night.
With the Ontario Hockey League’s top two teams going at it, fans at the Essar Centre expected a narrow battle all evening long. They expected correctly.
In the first period, it was the Hounds who came out with the extra spark. The Soo scored two quick goals to begin the game. Greyhounds leading scoring Morgan Frost gave the home side an early 1-0 lead, firing a shot from the slot past Sting goalie Aidan Hughes.
Soo forward Jack Kopacka scored another one moments later. The Hounds led 2-0.
With seventeen seconds to go in the opening frame, Sting defenceman Cam Dineen gave us some energy to end the period. Dineen shot high through a screen in front of Soo goaltender Matthew Villalta. It was 2-1 for the Hounds through one.
In the second period, the Sting picked things up a notch. And for both sides, the puck started flying.
Sarnia forward Franco Sproviero hit double digits, scoring his tenth goal of the season. Following some hard hustle by linemate Jordan Ernst, Sproviero jammed in the puck during a goalmouth scramble.
Four minutes later, Drake Rymsha gave the Sting a 3-2 lead. Rymsha accepted a beautifully timed drop pass from captain Jordan Kyrou inside the offensive blueline. Rymsha leaned into a hard wrister, going top shelf on the Soo netminder.
The Sting had themselves a 3-2 lead, but the Hounds were quick to respond. Kopacka and Tim Gettinger scored a quick pair for the Greyhounds.
With a little over a minute remaining in the second, Sting defenceman Mitch Eliot unleashed a wild slapshot from inside the blueline. It caught Villalta by surprise and went straight in. Jamieson Rees recorded the assist on Eliot’s second OHL goal.
Hounds defenceman Mac Hollowell scored with seventeen seconds left in the middle frame. Going into the third, the Soo led 5-4.
In the final frame, Drake Rymsha tied the game at 5-5 with just a minute to go in regulation time. Ernst fired off a trademark rocket shot, and Rymsha got a piece of a deflection while attempting to screen Villalta. We were off to extras.
Overtime solved nothing on the scoresheet. Villalta made some excellent saves for the Soo. We were going to the shootout.
Kopacka scored the game’s winning shootout goal for the Soo. All three Sting shooters were stymied. Tonight’s final score was 6-5.
Hughes made thirty-two saves in goal for the Sting and was stellar throughout the evening.
Tonight’s official box score can be viewed here.
The Sting are back in action on Sunday afternoon at The Hive. We’ll see you for 2:05 PM puck drop against the Owen Sound Attack!
NEXT HOME GAME: STING vs. ATTACK
Sunday, March 4 | 2:05 PM
Progressive Auto Sales Arena
#SwarmWithUs | Secure your seats here.