Sting pick up a point in OT loss to Firebirds
By Carl Chimenti
Firebird forward Tyler Deline had a three-point night, but saved the best for last as he scored the overtime winner at the 2:00 minute mark to help the Firebirds beat the Sting 4-3, in front of 2,539 at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, Friday night.
The winning goal came after the Sting had rallied to tie the game in dramatic fashion with a goal from Sandis Vilmanis (Florida Panthers) with 57 seconds left in the game. It was Vilmanis’ second of the year and helped Sarnia salvage a valuable point, in a hard-fought game, that saw a bit of everything including opposing coaches yelling at one another from their respected benches.
The bad blood spilt over from the previous game on Wednesday night in Flint, saw three fighting majors and lots of physical play from both teams.
Nolan Burke put Sarnia ahead quickly with a goal at the 19 second mark as he ran his goal streak to five in a row and point streak to six games. The goal was scored in front of wild scramble and after a lengthy review it was allowed to stand. Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs), who had a three-point night extended his point streak to nine games and leads the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 17 points.
After Simon Slavicek tied the game at 5:59, Voit put the Sting back in front after tucking in a pass from Burke at the side of the net in the final minute of the opening period.
Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers), scored the only goal of the second period at 16:34 and the two teams retreated to the dressing room with the score tied 2-2.
With less than four minutes left in the third period Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored the only power-play goal of the game and set up the final minute heroics for Vilmanis at 19:03 to send the game to overtime.
Ben Gaudreau stopped 28 of 32 shots for the Sting and Will Cranley (St. Louis Blues) turned away 33 of 36 shots for the Firebirds. Sarnia out shot Flint 36-32 overall.
The three stars were Kressler (3rd), Vilmanis (2nd) and Deline the first star.