Pavel Zacha scored 20 seconds into overtime and the Sarnia Sting defeated the Kitchener Rangers 3-2 before 2,697 at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre Wednesday night. It was the only time in the hard fought game that Sarnia was able to take the lead. The game was close and tight from start to finish.
The win was the fourth in a row for Sarnia, who are now just three points behind the first place Windsor Spitfires in the West Division, with a game in hand.
Zacha finished with a goal and an assist and Travis Konecny had a pair of assists, including setting up Zacha’s game winner. Ryan McGregor scored the first Sting goal and Jordan Kyrou’s goal tied the game 2-2, late in the second period. Charlie Graham made his second straight start for the Sting in net, following his 5-0 blanking last Sunday against the Windsor Spitfires. Graham had another great outing as he stopped 31 of 33 shots in the win.
Ryan MacInnis and Miles Liberati scored for Kitchener. Luke Opilka had 22 saves as Kitchener out shot Sarnia 33-25.
It didn’t take long for Kitchener to score as Ryan MacInnis found the back of the net just 48 seconds into the game. Sarnia got it back near the mid-way point of the opening period on a goal from McGregor, with Sam Studnicka and Travis Konecny getting the assists. The second half of the period was scoreless and the two teams went into the first intermission deadlocked at 1-1. Sarnia out shot Kitchener 9-6.
Kitchener went back on top at 4:21 of the second period as Liberati scored a power play goal. The assists went to Gustaf Franzen and Jeremy Bracco. The two teams went into a defensive shell following the Rangers go ahead goal, but Sarnia finally managed to get the equalizer late, at 17:21, as Kyrou scored from Pavel Zacha and Jeff King. Kyrou’s goal matched his career best at 13 from his rookie season last year. For the second straight period the game was tied. Kitchener out shot Sarnia 12-5.
The third period was scoreless, setting up Zacha’s heroics in overtime.
- The month of January was the best month of the season for the Sting as they went 8-4-1.
- Sarnia dominated the three star selection with Zacha the number one star, Graham, number two and Konecny the third star.
- Kitchener was 1/6 on the power play and Sarnia 0/6.
- Sarnia will host the Erie Otters on Friday night (7:05 puck drop) and will finish off the week in London for an afternoon game on Sunday (2:00 puck drop).