Sting Storm Back Against Guelph, Take Overtime Thriller 3-2
By Carl Chimenti
It was the Hall of Fame game Saturday night at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena and Easton Wainwright scored a goal for the ages, scoring the game winner 22 seconds into overtime, delighting the huge crowd of 4,320, as the Sarnia Sting stunned the Guelph Storm 3-2.
Before the overtime winner Sarnia snatched a victory from Guelph as Ryan Brown from Lukas Fischer and Tyson Doucette scored the equalizer with just 45.6 seconds remaining in regulation. The puck dropped in overtime with the Storm in possession but Wainwright pick-pocket a Storm defender and went in alone, but goaltender Damian Slavik made the save. The puck went behind the net and Wainwright was not to be denied as he once again stole the puck from former Sting Max Namestnikov, he wheeled and went back in front and then stuffed the puck to the short side sending the crowd, the Sting players, coaches and staff into a wild celebration.
The win keeps Sarnia one point in front of Flint for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Wainwright nabbed the first star with the winning overtime goal. Marko Sikic also scored one goal and was selected as the third star. Lukas Fischer had a pair of assists and Tyson Doucette had one helper.
Nick Surzycia was not as busy as last night, but was just as strong stopping 20 of 22 shots. Sarnia out-shot Guelph 23-22. Neither team scored on the power-play.
Before the start of the game the Sarnia Sting inducted their 2024 honorary team Hall of Fame class, proudly presented by All-Seasons Trophies. Aaron Brand, Andy Delmore, Bill Abercrombie (Builders Category) and Dr. Duncan MacKinlay (Builders Category) joined last year’s (2023) inaugural class that included Robert Ciccarelli, Jon Sim and Trevor Letowski. The honorary class of 2024 were recognized with their families for their contributions in building the success of the Sting in Sarnia-Lambton. After the ceremony the crowd at the Hive gave them a standing ovation.
In a fast first period the Guelph Storm scored the only goal. Ryan McGuire scored early in the game at 3:57. Charlie Paquette drew the lone assist. The Storm had a couple of opportunities on the power-play but the Sting penalty kill unit did a good job. The second penalty was a four minute minor and extended into the start of the second period. Guelph out-shot Sarnia 9-5. Sarnia controlled the second period out-shooting Guelph 11-6 and tying the game with the only goal of the period.
The play started with the Storm coming out of the corner following a scrum but they turned the puck over and Fischer jumped on the loose puck and immediately sent a quick pass to Sikic and he scored from his back hand. Earlier in the period Wainwright was awarded a penalty shot and he tried to go five hole, but Slavik was able to make a pad save. Surzycia made the save of the period late, as he came up with the puck stopping Namestnikov from scoring.