The Sarnia Sting broke open a close game with the Oshawa Generals on Friday night, scoring three goals in less than two minutes and then riding the strong goaltending from Charlie Graham to beat the defending Memorial Cup Champions 4-1. The win came in front of a huge crowd of 4,229 at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.
Pavel Zacha led the way with a goal and two assists while Travis Konecny added a pair of assists. Four different players scored for Sarnia with Sam Studnicka, Jakob Chychrun and Troy Lajeunesse scoring one goal each. Graham did the rest, stopping all but one of the 31 shots he faced in a second straight impressive outing since joining the Sting in a trade last week from the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Robbie Burt scored the only goal for the Generals in the opening period. Oshawa used two goaltenders. Justin Nichols started and allowed all four Sarnia goals, facing 16 shots. Jeremy Brodeur, came in relief in the second period and was perfect, stopping all 16 shots he faced. Sarnia out shot Oshawa 32-31.
Sarnia wasted no time in scoring as Studnicka scored his first goal as a member of the Sting and 17th of the season for a quick 1-0 lead, a mere 29 seconds into the contest. Travis Konecny and Pavel Zacha were credited with the assists. Oshawa tied the game 1-1 at the midway point of the opening period on a goal from Burt, with Jalen Smereck and Domenic Commisso assisting. The first period ended in a deadlock, with Oshawa out shooting Sarnia by a slim 11-9 margin.
Sarnia broke the game open, scoring three times within a two minute span in the second period. Chychrun scored his 6th of the season on the power play at 6:58, with the lone assist going to Zacha.
Lajeunesse made it 3-1, 42 seconds later on a shot that bounced off a couple of General players before going into the net. The goal was Lajeunesse’s 11th of the year, one short of his rookie season last year when he tallied 12 goals. Alex Black had the lone assist. Zacha then scored from the slot to up the lead to 4-1 at 8:55 with Konecny notching his second assist of the game.
Sarnia Sting Notebook:
- They say that defense wins championships. If so the Sting could be in for an exciting playoff run come spring based on giving up the third least goals in the Western Conference at 109, through 38 games.
- Sarnia swept the three star selection in order with Zacha, Konecny and Graham.
- The Sting will continue their three games in three nights weekend, on Saturday against the Hamilton Bulldogs (7 p.m.) and Sunday night with a rematch of Friday’s game in Oshawa at 6:05 p.m.