By Carl Chimenti
The Sarnia Sting (40-17-5-4) scored two third period goals and received some terrific goaltending to extend their unbeaten streak to an OHL high of 17 games, as they beat the Owen Sound Attack (31-28-6-1) before a sell-out crowd of 4,641, in the home finale, Friday night, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
Marcus Limpar-Lantz scored his 16th of the year at 8:32 and Luca Del Bel Belluz (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored number 40, into an empty net, at 17:35, to break open a close game and the Sting notched their 40th win of the season. Del Bel Belluz ran his current point streak to nine games (6-13-19).
Goaltender Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks) turned in a superlative effort, stopping 25 of 26 shots, in what was one of his finest outings of the season. For his effort he was named third star.
Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Easton Wainwright both had a goal and an assist. Voit, stretched his point streak to nine games (6-10-16) and was selected as the first star tonight.
Ethan Ritchie and Christian Kyrou (Dallas Stars) both had two helpers. Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks), and Sandis Vilmanis (Florida Panthers) contributed one assist each.
The first period saw both teams trading goals. Sarnia got on the board first as Voit notched his 23rd of the year at 8:41. Voit, picked up the puck inside the blue-line and made a nice move around an Owen Sound defender and he was able to put a shot on net, Voit then picked up his own rebound and scored from his back-hand. Both Ritchie and Wainwright assisted on the goal.
Owen Sound tied the game at 12:18 as James Petrovski’s shot from the point had eyes and found it’s way to the back of the net. The assists were awarded to Ben Cormier and Cedrick Guindon (Montreal Canadiens). The Attack had 11 shots on net to The Sting’s 8.
Sarnia scored the lone goal of the second period as Wainwright banged home his 11th of the season, finishing off a three-way passing play from Voit and Kyrou at 6:24. The two teams had numerous scoring chances but goal posts, cross bars and good goaltending sent the Sting to the dressing room with a one goal lead. Sarnia out-shot Owen Sound 13-8.
Before the game, the Sarnia Sting presented their three overage players Captain Nolan Dillingham, Nolan Burke (Nashville Predators) and Ethan Ritchie with a nice ceremony in their final Sarnia Sting home game of their OHL careers.
Just before the second period the Sting honored Burke with the All Seasons 3 Stars Cup.
Sarnia out-shot Owen Sound 32-26 and they dominated the face-off circle 31-15, as they swept Owen Sound in the home and home series and winning the season series with three wins in four games.