It was nip and tuck all the way, but like good teams do, they find a way to win. The Sarnia Sting did just that as they prevailed 4-3 over their divisional rivals, the Flint Firebirds, before 2,953 at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre on Friday night.
Sting Goaltender Charlie Graham was busy, stopping 34 of 37 shots, including 15 in the third period, backstopping Sarnia to an important win.
Josh Jacobs and Matt Mistele each had a goal and assist, while Travis Konecny added a pair of assists. Pavel Zacha, scored the eventual game winner in the final minute of the second period. Patrick White opened the scoring for Sarnia.
Villi Saarijarvi scored two goals and added an assist for the Firebirds. Nicholas Caamano had a goal and an assist for the Firebirds. Flint goaltender Brent Moran was good in a losing effort with 26 saves. The Firebirds outshot the Sting 37-30.
Sarnia jumped on the board first on a goal from White, his 12th on the season, with Konecny and Lindberg getting the assists at 7:55. Flint came right back 18 seconds later to get the equalizer. Caamano scored to tie the game at 1-1. Villi Saarijarvi and Ryan Moore drew the assists. Mistele scored his 19th goal to put the Sting back in front 2-1. Josh Jacobs and Zachary Core drew the assists. Sarnia out shot Flint 11-10 in the opening frame.
In the second period, Flint tied the game at 2-2 on a goal from Saarijarvi at 3:05. Cullen Mercer and Luke Kirwan gathered up the assists for the Firebirds. Jacobs let go a blast that beat Flint goaltender Moran over the shoulder for a 3-2 lead from Konecny and Franco Sproviero with less than five minutes to go in the middle frame. Zacha gave the Sting their biggest lead (4-2), scoring his 20th goal on the season, on the power play from Konecny and Jeff King.
In the third period, Flint pulled to within one goal at 4-3, on a power play marker from Saarijarvi at 4:56. The assists went to Caamano and Dane Johnstone. From there, the Sting tightened up defensively and Graham did the rest to secure the win.
- Both Jakob Chychrun and Jordan Kyrou had good showings at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects game that was played on Thursday night at the Pacific Coliseum, in Vancouver, BC. Kyrou had a pair of assists for Team Cherry. They also scored quite high in the off, ice fitness testing.
- Each team had a power play goal, Sarnia went 1/3 and Flint was 1 for 2.
- Sarnia will try to sweep the home and home series as they travel to Flint Michigan, Saturday night (puck drop 7:30pm). Sarnia leads the overall regular season match-up with a record of 3-1-2, with two games remaining this season. The Sting will then finish off their weekend play with an afternoon tilt on the road (1pm puck drop) against the West Division leaders, Windsor Spitfires.