Sting lose one of their worst home contests of the season, 8-5 to Windsor Spitfires

That was ugly.
The Sarnia Sting suffered one of their most humiliating home-ice losses of the season, falling 8-5 to the Windsor Spitfires Saturday night before 3,236 fans at the RBC Centre.
The loss was the third in a row for the Sting as they fell a game under the .500 mark in the Ontario Hockey League at 13-14-3-1.
But it was the way the Sting lost the game that had coach Dave MacQueen at a loss for words.
“You will have to go around the room and ask the players what went wrong,” said MacQueen, when asked about the game. “That’s what I’m going to do when you guys are finished.”
He added, “It’s like we went through the motions. I do know what has happened the past three games, but it’s unacceptable.”  (Sarnia has allowed 19 goals in their last three games).
The Sting not only allowed eight goals on home ice, but it was the way they did it, allowing Windsor three shorthanded goals and two power play markers, that had MacQueen talking. The Spitfires played without their two best players in Ryan Ellis and Zac Kassian, who are attending the Canadian junior camp in Toronto.
“There was no energy, no passion, no compete level, no drive, everyone blames everybody else and there was no accountable. Do I need to go on?” asked MacQueen.
Sting captain Nathan Chiarlitti spoke on behalf of the players.
“That’s an unacceptable loss. We didn’t work hard enough. Our power play was bad and so was our penalty-kill. No one played well. We left our goalies out to dry. We are making so many mental mistakes. We are getting selfish and blowing the zone. We aren’t making easy plays and it is costing us.”
And to make matters worse, Sarnia lost two key players.
Starting goalie John Cullen left the game at 6:24 of the second period with an undisclosed injury. He made a save, but couldn’t continue and had to be helped off the ice.
In the final minute of the game, Nail Yakupov of the Sting was given a match penalty for slew-footing. There was no injury on the play, but the penalty will draw an automatic review from the league office.
The opening period was rather tame compared to what was to come. Sarnia scored first before Windsor scored two shorthanded goals just over a minute apart on the same Sting power play to go ahead 2-1 after 20 minutes.
But the floodgates opened in period two as seven goals were scored, four by the Spitfires and three by the Sting. Windsor snapped a 4-4 tie with two goals a minute apart late in the stanza to take the lead for good.
Sarnia cut the lead to 6-5 just over a minute into period three on a shorthanded goal, but Windsor restored their two-goal lead 18 seconds later on the same power play and scored their third shorthanded goal of the game at the seven-minute mark to put the game out of reach.
Eric Locke led Windsor with four goals while Saveiro Posa, Kenny Ryan, Tom Kuhnhacki and Kyle Tarini counted singes. Nick Ebert had three assists.
Tyler Peters was tops for Sarnia with a goal and two assists. Craig Hottot and Brett Ritchie each had a goal and an assist, Brandon Alderson had one goal while Neil Yakupov scored his team high 21st of the year. Alex Galchenyuk added two assists.
Sarnia finished with a 36-33 edge in shots on goal. Jack Campbell was the winning goalie. Brandon Hope took over from Cullen and allowed six of Windsor’s eight goals.
Windsor finished two-for-seven on the power play and Sarnia one-for-seven.
The Sting has two more games remaining before the Christmas break, both at home. They host the Kitchener Rangers for the first time this season on Thursday and meet the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Saturday night. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m.
STING NOTES
– Locke was first star with Ebert second star and Hottot third star.
– Sarnia went with the same lineup as in Guelph with four regulars out of the lineup due to injury and suspension. MacQueen continually juggled his lines throughout the game.
– Fans are reminded for Thursday’s game with Kitchener all children 12 and under will pay only $5.
– The eight goals were the most Sarnia has allowed on home ice this season. The previous high was seven. The Sting has allowed nine in a road game.
– Sarnia is now 8-6-0-1 on home ice.
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.

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