Surzycia Stops 42 To Halt Erie Come Back Bid As Sarnia Wins 6-4
By Carl Chimenti
Nick Surzycia stopped 42 of 46 and the Sting offense came alive on Friday night beating the Erie Otters 6-4, in front of another huge crowd of 4337, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
The Sting scored three times in the opening period and with Surzycia coming up big, time and time again, Sarnia was able to hold off the come-back. For his effort Surzycia was named first star of the game. Sean Doherty and Tyson Doucette led the Sarnia fire power with two goals each and they were the second and third stars respectively. Easton Wainwright had a three-point night that included his 8th goal of the season, extending his point streak to five games (2-7-9).
Captain Cooper Way scored into an empty net to seal the win with two seconds left in the game, running his point streak to five games (2-3-5) as well. Kai Schwindt (Florida Panthers) point streak stretched to 7 games (5-7-12) with a pair of assists. Mitch Young, Lukas Fischer and Carter Kostuch added single helpers.
Before the game the Sarnia Sting organization presented long time and now former Sting goaltender Ben Gaudreau with a beautiful tribute that included a video review of his many highlights with the team and a framed team jersey. The win was Sarnia third straight on home ice. Sam Alfano had a goal and an assist for Erie as they out-shot Sarnia 46-30. On the power-play the Sting went one for two while the Otters, one for four. The Sarnia Sting scored three times in the first 11:08 of the game, including two goals that came within 20 seconds. Wainwright and Doucette combined on a give and go, for the first goal with Doucette finishing the scoring play at 7:11 on the power-play. Fischer drew the second assist.
The second goal was a result of an Erie turnover. Wainwright pounced on the give-away and proceeded to pass the puck to Doherty and he scored the first of his two goals at 10:48. A three way passing play led to the third Sting goal as Young sent a pass to Kostuch and he feed Doherty, who scored at 11:08. Later in the period Erie appeared to score but the goal was disallowed for goaltending interference. Sarnia out-shot Erie 11-10 and went 1/1 on the power-play. Erie out-shot Sarnia 20-9 in the second period but Surzycia was sharp making numerous stops.
The Sting scored their only goal 55 seconds in on a 2 on 1 break. The play began with Erie on another give-away. Schwindt came up with the puck and sent a pass to Doucette, who was breaking in towards the goal and he lit the lamp. The Otters decided to pull starting goaltender Jacob Gibbons for Charlie Burns. Gibbons lasted 21:08 and made 8 saves on 12 shots. Erie did score twice near the end, in less than two minutes, as Wesley Royston at 18:31 and Sam Alfano at 19:40, scored for the Otters.