Sting End Knights 9 Game Winning Streak In Front Of London Crowd
By Carl Chimenti
The Sarnia Sting (28-17-4-2) scored two second period goals and made it stand up, snapping the London Knights (37-14-1-0) nine game winning streak, in front of a large crowd of 9,036, Friday night at the Budweiser Gardens.
It was Sarnia’s first win in the 402 Show-down series after London had won the first two games during the New Year holidays. The two teams will play the second of their home and home series Saturday night, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia.
Nolan Burke (Nashville Predators) and Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks) each had a goal and an assist. Both Burke (8-4-12) and Pastujov (6-14-20) have points in seven of their last eight games.
Luca DelBelBelluz (Columbus Blue Jackets) also scored once for the Sting and has points in eight of his last nine games (10-4-14). Ethan Del Mastro (Chicago Black Hawks) had two helpers and was voted as the second star of the game. The two assists extended his point streak to three games (0-6-6). Ethan Ritchie also had an assist.
Sting goaltender Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks), turned in one of his finest efforts of the season with 35 saves on 37 shots. He was extremely sharp when it counted in the third period with nine saves, many of the tough variety. Ruslan Gazizov was the only Knight to beat him in the third period.
Sarnia overall out-shot London 38-37.
Sarnia’s special teams had another great night with two power-play goals and held London off the score sheet with the man-advantage five times.
Sarnia got off to a slow start in the first period but they managed to score on their first shot on net. DelBelBelluz scored his 30th goal of the season at 5:43. After receiving a pass from Ritchie DelBelBelluz raced down the left wing and let go a blast that beat goaltender Brett Brochu, far post, on the glove side. London tied the game at 10:10 on a goal from Sam Dickinson with the assists going to Easton Cowan and Denver Barkey. London out-shot Sarnia 20-8.
Sarnia scored the only two goals in the second period and both goals came on the power-play. Burke scored on a rebound after Del Mastro went coast to coast and managed to put a shot on goal. Burke netted his 36th of the year at 1:43. Pastujov put the Sting up by a pair when he scored his 30th of the season. Once again, Del Mastro set up the goal with a drop pass to Pastujov and his blast shot from the high slot found the back of the net at 12:26. Gaudreau was solid in net with several outstanding saves. Sarnia had the better of London on the shot clock 15-7.