It was not the game anyone expected, especially the Sarnia Sting.
The Kitchener Rangers scored six goals in the second period on their way to a lopsided 11-2 victory over the Sting, Thursday night before 2,617 fans at the RBC Centre.
The loss was Sarnia’s fourth in a row as they watched their overall record dip to 13-15-3-1 in the Ontario Hockey League.
Earlier this season the two teams met in Kitchener with the Rangers posting a 1-0 victory. But this time around the goals came fast and furious with the majority of them being scored by the Rangers.
Four of the 11 goals came on the power play. The 11 goals were the most Sarnia has allowed in a game this season, the previous high being nine.
Sting head coach Dave MacQueen didn’t offer any excuses.
“When you have three of your top four players out of the lineup you need everyone else to be on their game, not only to win, but just to be competitive. We needed our goalies to steal a game for us and that obviously didn’t happen.
“The shots on goal in the second period were 17-14 in their favour and we are down 7-2. When we got down four or five goals we started to do crazy things. We were giving the puck away and making poor decisions. The end result was what it was.”
MacQueen added, “You can’t base the season on our last four games. Heck, we had a five-game losing streak earlier in the season. We were the worst team in the CHL last year. We just aren’t deep enough yet to be able to compensate for the loss of players like that.”
Sarnia played without their top scorer in Nail Yakupov, (one-game suspension), first-round draft pick Brett Ritchie (hand injury), and defenceman Joe Rogalski, (concussion).
John Cullen started in goal for Sarnia, but was pulled at 6:55 of the second period after allowing five goals on 16 shots. Brandon Hope came in and gave up six goals on 22 shots.
Brandon Maxwell was the winning goalie as he made 28 saves.
Nick Latta with his seventh and Anthony Donati, with his fourth, scored the Sting goals.
Jason Akeson took over the OHL scoring lead as he had a goal and five assists. He was just two points shy of the Rangers record for most points in a game. Michael Catenacci had two goals while Zachary Lorentz, Ben Thomson, Ryan MacLean, Ryan Murphy, Jamie Doornbosch, Matthew Tipoff, Matia Marcantuoni and Gabriel Landeskog had one apiece.
Kitchener finished four for five on the power play and Sarnia one for five.
Sarnia will play their final game before the Christmas Break on Saturday when they host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds beginning at 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre.
Sarnia fell to 8-7-0-1 on home ice while Kitchener is 6-6-1-0 on the road and 20-7-2-1 overall as they sit third in the Western Conference standings, one point back of Owen Sound and three back of Saginaw. Kitchener has two games in hand on both of those teams.
The Sting has given up 30 goals in their last four games.
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.