By DAVE BORODY
The Plymouth Whalers scored seven goals in the second period and coasted to a 10-2 win over the Sarnia Sting, Monday afternoon in front of 4,119 fans at the RBC Centre.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Sting in the Ontario Hockey League.
Plymouth won their sixth game in a row as they now lead Sarnia by six points in the battle for top spot in the West Division.
“It’s a humbling game boys,” said Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu after the game. “When you don’t show up, things like this are going to happen. Things went really bad for us in the second period.”
He added, “They (Plymouth) are a good team. On paper they are one of the best teams in the league. They showed it today. They come right at you. They skate well and are aggressive. We just didn’t play well.”
The game was close for one period as the Whalers scored with 25,8 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
But the roof caved in for the Sting in the second period. Plymouth scored three goals in a 58 second span and four goals in a minute and 35 seconds. Those goals chased starting netminder J.P. Anderson and certainly took the wind out of the Sting sails.
By the second period finally ended, the Whalers enjoyed a 9-2 advantage.
Alex Basso scored both Sting goals, giving him 11 on the season. One came shorthanded and the other on a power play.
“It was a bad effort on our part, but they are a great hockey team. They have three great lines that work hard and they seem to shoot from everywhere. What else can you say,” said Basso.
Stefan Noesen led the Whalers offence with the hat trick while single goals went to Austin Levi, Cody Payne, Tom Wilson, Ryan Hartman, Matt Mistele, Rickard Rakell and Connor Carrick.
Captain Charlie Sarault assisted on both Sting goals to give him 89 points on the season, two more than he had all of last season. Sarnia has 10 games remaining. Sarault is four points back of the OHL scoring lead, currently held by Nick Cousins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Plymouth held a 51-15 edge in shots on goal. Anderson started in goal for Sarnia and lifted after allowed five shots 21 shots. Rookie Knick Dawe finished. The Sting had just one shot in the third period, that coming in the final minute of the game.
The Whalers finished three-for-six on the power play while Sarnia was one-for-five.
The Sting now prepare for three games in three nights. They host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Thursday night and the Erie Otters Friday night. Saturday night Sarnia travels to Plymouth for a return engagement with the Whalers.
Fans are reminded kids under-12 will be admitted for just $5 against the Greyhounds.
Tickets for any of the remaining six home games of the Sting are on sale daily at the RBC Box Office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
– All three stars were from Plymouth while Basso was the Dickies hardest-working player of the game.
– Sarnia’s overall record is 32-23-0-3 while their home record is 15-11-0-2.
– Plymouth leads the season series 3-2 with one game remaining.
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.