BRAMPTON – A weekend sweep was not in the cards for the Sarnia Sting.
The Sting had the opportunity to win all three games they played this past weekend in the Ontario Hockey League.
Unfortunately Sarnia came up flat Sunday afternoon and lost 7-4 to the Brampton Battalion before just 1,743 fans at the Powerade Centre.
The loss snapped Sarnia’s two game winning streak and leaves them with a 13-12-3-1 record.
Brampton controlled the game from start to finish taking a 2-1 lead after the first period and a commanding 6-1 advantage after two periods.
“We aren’t going to beat this one to death,” said Sting head coach Dave MacQueen. “We’ve played some real good hockey of late, but today we got a dose of reality. We weren’t prepared to play and it was a physical game. Brampton knew it was our third game in three days. Some of our guys took the night off. We have to learn from it and move on.”
As for four points in three games, MacQueen said, “we would take four of six points every weekend. Each week when you look at the weekend, you see where you can get points. We played really well in Erie and well enough to win at home on Friday. Today it didn’t help when Joe (Rogalski) got hurt in the second period. That hurt our power play,”
Sarnia was thoroughly outplayed and outshot (15-6) in the opening 20 minutes and found themselves trailing 2-1.
Dylan Blujus opened the scoring for Brampton three minutes into the game when his low-screened shot from the point eluded Sting goalie Brandon Hope.
Kale Kerbashian tied the game at 17:19 with a shorthanded goal. He fought off a Brampton defender on a partial breakaway and fired a wrist shot into the top corner. It was his 19th goal of the season.
But the Battalion regained the lead on the same penalty when Matt MacLeod knocked in a goalmouth pass.
Brampton put this game out of reach with four goals in the second period, three of coming in a span of just under six minutes early in the period. Ian Watters, ex-Sting Michael Santini, Alex O’Neil and McLeod with his second, accounted for the goals.
Brampton’s fourth goal chased Hope from the net in favour of John Cullen. Sarnia lost defenceman Joe Rogalski in the second period when he was crunched from behind into the end boards. The Brampton player received a boarding major and game misconduct. Rogalski could have a concussion.
J.C. Campagna scored two goals, giving him three on the year, and Brett Ritchie with his eighth, scored third period goals for the Sting.
Stephone Thorne scored an empty net goal for Brampton to complete the scoring.
Brampton held a 38-23 edge in shots on goal. Sarnia was just one-for-eight on the power play.
Sarnia’s next game is Friday when they travel to Guelph to take on the Storm They return home Saturday to face the Windsor Spitfires beginning at 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre.
Over their next 16 games going into late January, the Sting will play 12 of them on home ice.
– For the first time in a game this season the Sting were involved in five fights.
– Forward Grant Hooey missed his third straight game with a concussion while defenceman Anthony Donati has missed nine in a row with a knee injury.
– The Sting will be on the road this week for a practice as they travel to Dresden on Tuesday. It is one of several practices the Sting has done in Sarnia-Lambton throughout the course of the season.
– Sarnia and Brampton split their season series.
– Sarnia’s road record is 5-7-3-0.
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.