On the eve of St. Valentine’s Day, there was no love lost between the London Knights and the Sarnia Sting, with both teams giving their all. Sarnia came out on top beating their longtime rivals 2-1, in front of a sold out crowd of 4,522 on Saturday night, at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.
The win was a big one for Sarnia as they took over first place in the West Division.
It was DIFD—Do it for Daron—night, presented by Mainstreet Credit union at the SSEC. The Sting donned specialty purple jerseys that are now up for bid online. All proceeds will be donated to DIFD.
It was Sarnia’s first win over London this season, although the Sting did manage to pick up a pair of points in the five games previous, against the Knights.
With the exception of the first period, that was all Sarnia, the final two periods were hotly contested and went down to the final seconds before this tilt was decided.
Travis Konecny led the way for the Sting with a goal and an assist. Matt Mistele scored, what proved to be the game winner, late in the third period. Christian Dvorak scored the lone goal for London.
It was a goaltending dual between Sarnia’s Charlie Graham and London’s Tyler Parsons. Graham stopped all but one of London’s 21 shots while Parsons was busier turning aside 32 of 34 Sarnia shots.
In front of a sold out crowd at the SSEC, Sarnia jumped out with lots of energy, dominating the first period, as they outshot London 15-5 and scored the only goal late in the opening frame at 18:37.
Konecny continued his torrid scoring with his 22nd goal of the year. Jakob Chychrun and Zachary Core set up Konecny with some nice passing.
The second period was a defensive struggle as both teams failed to score and play was more on an even keel between the two teams. Both London and Sarnia registered nine shots on goal. With Sarnia still ahead 1-0, and an interesting third period to be played, these were two important points for both teams. London came in trailing the Erie Otters by four points for the best record in the OHL, while Sarnia was looking to move into sole possession of first place in the West Division, over the idle Windsor Spitfires.
The third period was hard fought, with neither team giving an inch. Sarnia finally put an insurance goal on the board with the Sting on the powerplay. Mistele let a shot go that eluded the London goaltender, Parsons late in the stanza (16:02). Konecny and Pavel Zacha drew the assists. That didn’t last long as Dvorak gave London some hope, scoring less than two minutes later at 18:28 to break Graham’s shut-out bid. The assists went to Aaron Berisha and Evan Bouchard.
That was as close as London would get as Graham and his teammates prevailed in the end.
- Sarnia scored the only man advantage goal – they were 1/5 while London failed in three attempts.
- It was a clean sweep for the three star selection for Sarnia with Konecny getting the first star, Mistele, the second star and goaltender Graham awarded the third star.
- The Sting return on Monday afternoon (Feb. 15), in the annual Family Day Game presented by RBC, (puck drop, 2:05pm), against the Saginaw Spirit, part of a home and home series against the Spirit with the second game in Saginaw, on Wednesday night.