Sarnia Scores Five Power Play Goals As They Roll Past North Bay 8-2
By Carl Chimenti
The Sarnia Sting (31-17-5-3) scored a season high four power-play goals and beat the North Bay Battalion (37-17-2-1) 8-2, before a large crowd of 3,988, Sunday afternoon, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
After opening up a 3-1 second period lead, the Sting added five goals in the third period including two more on the power-play, to sweep the season series over North Bay.
The win gives Sarnia 70 points on the season and coupled with a Saginaw loss Sunday afternoon to Flint, the Sting now hold a seven-point lead for third best in the Western Conference.
For the second straight game Sarnia swept the three star selection. Nolan Burke (Nashville Predators) was the third star after a three point game that included his 40th goal of the season. Both his goals were on the power-play, putting him on top in the OHL with a league leading 19 power-play goals, one better than Avery Hayes of the Peterborough Petes.
Luca DelBelBelluz (Columbus Blue Jackets) was voted as the second star as he also netted two goals and one assist to match Burke’s totals. He has points in three of the last four games (4-2-6). Overall DelBelBelluz has 34 goals.
The first star with two goals and four points was Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks). All of Pastujov’s points came on the power-play which included his 33rd goal of the season. Pastujov has a current three-game point streak (3-4-7).
Cooper Way (12th) with his second goal in two games and Easton Wainwright (10th) potted his second goal and third point in the last three games, also scored for the Sting.
Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs) had three assists. He has two goals and eleven points in his last four games. Christian Kyrou (Dallas Stars) added a pair of assists and now has points in four of his last five games (2-4-6). Ethan Del Mastro (Chicago Black Hawks) contributed two assists as well and now has 40 helpers this season.
Sandis Vilmanis (Florida Panthers), Marko Sikic and Lucas Fischer all added an assist. It was Fischer second assist in his last two games.
Another solid effort from Sting goaltender Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks), as he turned away 33 of 35 shots, including 20 of 21 in the second period alone to register his 20th win of the year for the Sting.
A fast moving first period saw both teams with scoring chances but Sarnia managed to break through with the only goal. It came late at 17:10 on a three way passing play from Voit to Kyrou and Kyrou found DelBelBelluz alone in front and he lit the lamp with his 33rd goal of the year. Battalion goaltender Dom DiVincentiis (Winnipeg Jets) made a series of good saves during the period including stopping Way with a great stick save mid-way through. Gaudreau was busy stopping all eight shots including two excellent saves on Ty Nelson (Seattle Kraken) during the lone power-play for the Battalion. Sarnia failed to score on their only chance with the man-advantage. Both teams had eight shots on net.
Penalties and power-play goals were the top stories in the second period. Sarnia scored twice in three chances while the Battalion scored a goal in three opportunities with the man-advantage. Burke put the Sting up 2-0 with the first power-play goal at 6:45. Voit’s wrist shot from just inside the blue-line was tipped in front from Burke. The goal went under a long review, but in the end, it was determined a good goal. It was Burke’s 39th goal. Del Mastro was also credited with an assist. The Battalion pulled to within one with a power-play goal at 11:54. Kyle Jackson (Seattle Kraken) scored from Nelson and Matvey Petrov (Edmonton Oilers). DelBelBelluz scored the second Sting power-play goal late at 18:53 as he picked the loose puck out of the corner and walked in and roofed the puck on the short side of DiVincentiis. Immediately after the goal a scrum broke-out with various players and resulted in more minor penalties and the period ended with the Sting having a carry-over, five on three man-advantage, heading into the third period. North Bay dominated the shot clock 21-7.