Sting Almost Rally Back, Battle Of The 402 Continues
By Carl Chimenti
The Sarnia Sting (16-11-4-2) got stronger as the game wore on but fell short as they dropped the first installment of the Finch Ford-Lincoln battle of the 402 to the London Knights (22-8-1-0) 7-5 before a sold-out crowd of 4,435 Friday night at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
Nolan Burke (Nashville Predators) netted a hat-trick as part of a four-point night for the Sting as he ran his season goal total to 22. Christian Kyrou (Dallas Stars) had a goal and an assist and captain Nolan Dillingham scored once. Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs) had three assists and Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks) added two more helpers. Angus MacDonell also contributed one assist.
The two teams will play game two on Saturday night in London.
The third period saw the Sting score three times and they out-shot the Knights 27-26.
The long Christmas break showed rust as the Sting were not their usual crisp self to start. The Knights scored three times in the opening period in the first eleven minutes. Mathieu Paris scored the opening goal and his first OHL career goal from Jacob Julian and Logan Mailloux (Montreal Canadiens) at 3:45. Sam Dickinson made it 2-0 at 6:11 from Denver Barkey and Easton Cowan followed that up at 10:44 with Brody Crane drawing the only assist. The shots were 12-4 in favor of the Knights.
The second period featured five goals as play opened up. The Knights scored the first two from Isaiah George at 5:10 from Jackson Edward (Boston Bruins) at 5:10. Mailloux scored from Landon Sim (St. Louis Blues) at 5:30. The Sting got on the board at 8:44 on a power-play goal from Marcus Limpar-Lantz from Voit and Burke.
Sarnia pulled to with-in three at 5-2 on another man-advantage goal as Voit scored at 15:51 from Pastujov and Kyrou. Sean McGurn put the Knights up at 6-2 from George Diaco at 16:43.
The Sting appeared to score in the final minute but the goal was disallowed after further review because of a high-sticking call.
Nicholas Surzycia stopped 10 of 15 shots and Dylan Grover came in relief at 5:30 of the second period turned away 9 of 11 shots on net.