Barrie Win Sunday’s Showdown 3-2 in Overtime
By Carl Chimenti
The short-handed Sarnia Sting put a valent effort in the Sunday afternoon Teddy-Bear toss game, but in the end a goal from Connor Punnett with 25 seconds left in overtime on a power-play was the difference as the Barrie Colts (11-9-2-1) beat the Sarnia Sting (13-8-4-2) 3-2, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
It was a successful weekend for the Sting in their three games in three days, with the team picking up 4 of a possible 6 points despite still missing some key players from their line-up due to injuries.
The overtime this afternoon was the Sting’s OHL leading tenth extra session game this season. Sarnia is 3-4 in overtime and 1-2 in the shoot-out.
Ty Voit’s (Toronto Maple Leafs) ninth of the year tied the game at 9:03 of the third period with Lukas Fischer and Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks) being credited with the assist. The puck took a Sting bounce off the back boards and came directly to Voit, who was stationed at the side of the net and he put it past former Sting goalie Anson Thornton (Arizona Coyotes). Voit had a goal and an assist in the game.
Nicholas Surzycia making his second straight start in net for Sarnia was sensational, especially in the third period giving his team a chance to tie the game and pick up a valuable point in the standings. In total he stopped 39 of 42 shots directed at him.
The Teddy Bear goal was scored at 17:33 of the second period and over 4200 of the stuffed toy bears were collected at the annual event. A very popular tradition which is held league wise through out the Canadian Hockey League during the Christmas season. (Details on the teddy bear goal further down).
The first period did not produce any goals and certainly no teddy bears, but it did not lack drama, that’s for sure. Things started with a questionable slew-foot penalty on Sting forward Marcus Limpar-Lantz and he was assessed a five-minute match penalty to go along with a game ejection.
Sarnia proceded to kill off the penalty but the Sting were forced to play with just 10 forwards with Nolan Burke still out of the line-up due to an injury he suffered from a dirty hit from Connor Punnett, in the first meeting between the two teams in Barrie two weeks ago.
Punnett was at it again as he hit Pastujov from behind with another questionable hit at 14:24 that sent the Anaheim Ducks prospect to the dressing room favoring his left shoulder. That was immediately followed by a fight from Owen MacDonald, who came to the rescue of his fallen teammate against Punnett. Both teams had nine shots apiece after the scoreless twenty minutes.
SWARM WARNING – At 17:33 of the second period Pastujov scored a sweet retribution goal, coming back from his first period injury and the teddy bears came raining down from everywhere, as the sold-out crowd of 4,228, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena let loose with the flying loveable critters.
With the Sting on a 5-on-3 power-play, Pastujov took a pass from Voit and from the slot, his wrist shot found pay-dirt and Sarnia was on the board, Vilmanis drew the second assist.
The Colts had scored two early goals, 34 seconds apart, off the sticks of Chris Grisolia and Cole Beaudoin at 3:04 and 3:38 respectively.
The three stars – Cole Beaudoin (Barrie) third star with a goal, second star was Pastujov, one goal and one assist, and Thornton, the first star with 38 saves on 40 shots.