Andrew LeBlanc Nets Hat-Trick As Sarnia Beats Flint 5-2
By Carl Chimenti
Off-season acquisition Andrew LeBlanc, who was acquired with brother Jacob from the Niagara IceDogs, scored three goals as part of a four-point night to help power the Sarnia Sting to a 5-2 win over the Flint Firebirds before 2,754 Friday night at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
LeBlanc scored once in the first period and added two more in the third period, including the game winner at 11:10 to break open a tight hockey game that was filled with penalties. The Port Colborne, Ontario native added an assist in the third period and was named first star of the game. LeBlanc has 5 goals this pre-season. Mitch Young and Marko Sikic scored their second of the exhibition season. Cooper Way and Lane Sim added a pair of assists, while James Barr, Tyson Doucette and Nathan Omeri, had one assist each. Goaltender Nicholas Surzycia stopped 29 of 31 shots and was named as the second star. Sim was awarded the third star. Sarnia out-shot Flint 36-31. Despite all the penalties neither team was able to score with the man-advantage. Flint went 0/7 and Sarnia 0/8. Sarnia is now 3-1 in pre-season play with the finale Saturday night in Windsor.
In a wide open first period, the Sting opened the scoring on a tip in, from in front of the net off the stick of Andrew LeBlanc, his third of the pre-season with the assist coming from Lominac and Way at 8:51. Flint wasted no time in tying the game 65 seconds later on a goal from Max Anderson (2nd) with Jeremy Martin drawing the lone assist at 9:56. Sarnia had a great opportunity in the latter stages of the period with a two-man advantage, but failed to score. The sting out-shot the Firebirds 15-13. The second period was penalty filed and the Sting penalty killing units were perfect as they killed off four short-handed chances. Sarnia scored the only goal of the period at 3:08 as Sim set up a Young break away and after some nifty stick work Young deposited the puck into the net from his back-hand. Sarnia received a golden chance with a four-minute power-play and they appeared to score again, but the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that the net had been dislodged. Late in the period Sarnia’s Daylen Moses and Flint’s Blake Smith hooked up in a spirted fight with both players landing punches. Moses and Smith received a misconduct penalty and were ejected from the contest.