Newly acquired Travis Konecny was dynamite in his Sarnia debut, scoring three goals. Pavel Zacha, back from the World Juniors, added two assists on the same line, but it was not enough as the Owen Sound Attack beat Sarnia 5-4 in overtime before a large Friday night crowd of 3,388, at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre. Together the pair were named first and third star respectively.
Bryson Cianfrone, scored at 1:11 in the extra period with the Attack on the power play to spoil the night for the Sting and their faithful.
Brandon Lindberg also scored for Sarnia, who battled back three times to tie the score before ultimately fallin 5-4. Justin Fazio was solid in net, stopping 27 of 32 shots for the Sting.
Ethan Szypula, had two goals for Owen Sound and was selected as the second star of the game. Jacob Friend and Kevin Hancock (who had a three point game) rounded out the scoring for the Attack. Goaltender Michael McNiven turned aside 27 of 31 shots.
Sarnia got on the scoreboard first, following an interference penalty to Pave Zacha when Lindberg caught Owen Sound sleeping as he picked up the puck and broke in alone to beat McNiven on the short side at 9:47 of the opening period. The shorthanded goal, was unassisted. It was Lindberg’s fifth goal of the season. Owen Sound tied the game less than four minutes later on a goal from Szypula, with Kevin Hancock drawing the assist. Sarnia out-shot Owen Sound 13-8 in the opening frame.
In the second period, both teams failed to score a goal until the final two minutes of the frame. Owen Sound scored consecutibe goals with Sarnia replying with a goal of their own in the dying seconds.
Szypula, scored his second of the game on a break away with Kevin Hancock picking up the assist at the 18:41 mark. Thirty seconds later, Friend put the Attack up 3-1 with Szypula and Trenton Bourque adding the helpers.
Konecny paid quick dividends following his acquisition from Ottawa, scoring his first goal as a member of the Sting with just four ticks left on the clock. It was a blast from the slot that eluded McNiven. Jeff King was credited with the assist. Owen Sound out shot Sarnia 12-9 in the 2nd.
The third period was a goal scoring fest as both teams put the puck in the net with regularity. Konecny added his second from Zacha and Anthony Salinitri, which tied the game at 3-3 at 8:51. Hancock restored the one goal lead for Owen Sound at 10:34. A minute later Konecny made it a hat trick in his Sting debut, with the equalizer.
Sting Notebook: The Sting featured a different look, with three new players in the line-up tonight. General Manager Nick Sinclair was busy making two significant trades to bolster the second half stretch drive and what hopes to be a long playoff run this spring. Sinclair sent promising rookie Sasha Chmelevski, forward Chase Campbell and a number of draft picks to Ottawa for a pair of forwards—Travis Konecny and overage Sam Studnicka. In addition to their skill set, both players will also add veteran leadership to the Sting dressing room. In a separate trade, later in the week, Sarnia acquired an experienced goaltender in Charlie Graham from the Hamilton Bulldogs, which gives the Sting a strong one-two punch in net for the remainder of this season.
Overage winger Matt Mistele, who was acquired a few weeks back from the Oshawa Generals, has been an important contributor to the Sarnia Sting since his arrival. The Whitby, Ontario, native has appeared in 11 games and is scoring at more than a point a game clip, with 9 goals, 7 assists and 16 points. Despite the loss, Sarnia managed to run their point streak to seven games. It was the first loss for the Sting in three meetings against Owen Sound. Earlier this year Sarnia beat Owen Sound 4-3 on the road and 1-0 at the SSEC.
Sarnia is back on the ice for two road games to finish off this weekend. Saturday night will see the Sting in Saginaw and then from there a Sunday afternoon game in the Soo, against the Greyhounds.