By DAVE BORODY
SUDBURY – Winning games at the Sudbury Memorial Arena continues to elude the Sarnia Sting.
The Sting has not won a game in Sudbury since Nov. 29th, 2002.
That trend continued on Friday night when the Sting dropped a 3-2 decision in a shootout to the Sudbury Wolves in front of 4,021 fans.
The game was close from start to finish. The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period while Sarnia held a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes. Sudbury tied the game with a power play goal with seven and half minutes left in regulation time.
A five-minute over period settled nothing before Sudbury scored the only goal in the shootout in five attempts.
Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu was not happy with his team’s performance.
“I’m very disappointed. We took some bad penalties while we were cheating all night long. We got a point only because of the play of (goalie) J.P. Anderson. We just didn’t play a structured game.”
It was the second meeting between the two clubs in less than a week as the Sting won 3-2 at the RBC Centre last Sunday.
“Not really,” said Beaulieu, when asked is Sudbury played any different. “They worked harder and we weren’t sharp. Maybe we aren’t as good as we think we are.”
The Sting got off to a quick start taking a 1-0 lead just two and a half minutes into period one. Nick Latta took a pass from Daniel Nikandrov and snapped a quick shot past Wolves goalie Joel Vienneau. Nikolay Goldobin also assisted on Latta’s seventh goal of the year.
Sarnia had a great chance to add to the lead when a Wolves player took a five-minute major for checking from behind. However, the Sting could not capitalize in four minutes of power play time before taking a penalty of their own.
“We actually had seven minutes of power play time in the first period,” said Beaulieu. “We did move the puck around okay, but we weren’t getting the puck to the dirty areas. We weren’t forechecking like we should be.”
Sudbury tied the game with just over a minute remaining in the period when Mathew Campagna wristed a shot over the shoulder of goalie J.P. Anderson from point blank range.
After Charlie Sarault and Craig Hottot of the Sting both shot wide on breakaways, Sarnia scored the only goal of period two at 15:45. Nikolay Goldobin deflected home a point shot from Connor Murphy for his ninth of the season.
Sarnia took three consecutive penalties in the third period and the last one cost them as Sudbury tied the game at 12:23 with the man advantage as Nathan Pancel knocked in a rebound off a point shot.
Sarnia had three shots in overtime while Sudbury had four, but both goalies were sharp.
That set the stage for the shootout. Sudbury’s Dominik Kahun scored the only goal on his team’s first shot making a nice deke on Anderson.
Goldobin, Alex Galchenyuk and Reid Boucher all missed for the Sting.
Sudbury finished with a 38-26 edge in shots on goal. Sudbury was one-for-six on the power play while Sarnia was zero-for-four.
The Sting completes their three-game road trip Sunday night when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie to battle the Greyhounds. Game time is 7 p.m.
Sarnia’s next home game is Thursday when they host the London Knights beginning at 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. The Sting will be in Kitchener next Friday and then host the Peterborough Petes a week from Saturday, also at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets for all 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
-Overage forward Craig Hottot was back in the Sting lineup after missing 10 games due to suspension.
– The Sting currently has 24 players on their roster. Not dressed against Sudbury were Dave Nemecek and Anthony DeAngelo, both out with the flu, Davis Brown, concussion and Alexandre Renaud, numbers.
– Sarnia did pick up a valuable point and overall sports a 12-8-1-1 record.
– Campagna was first star with Pancel second star and Anderson of the Sting third star.