Sting blown out by 67’s
OHL-leading Ottawa scores eight straight to beat Sarnia 10-2
Down by four goals to the OHL’s best team, the Sarnia Sting were challenged by their coaches to fight until the end.
They didn’t come close to meeting the challenge.
The Sting allowed four goals in the third period while being outshot 13-2 by the Ottawa 67’s in a 10-2 loss before 3,663 fans at Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
“I’d like to say, ‘Just put it right behind us,’ but I think there’s a lot to learn there,” Sting assistant coach Brad Staubitz said. “The message from the coaches after the game was we challenged ourselves to win the third period, and that wasn’t the case. I don’t think the work ethic was there.”
The teams were tied 2-2 after one period, but the 67’s pulled away in the second with four goals.
“You’ve got to push yourself to continue to fight to the end,” Staubitz said. “It’s a 60-minute game and we came out flat in the third. We had two shots. That wasn’t good enough.”
Tye Felhaber scored the winner 38 seconds into the second period, but the Sting responded well. They forechecked hard and kept the puck in the 67’s end for a few minutes early in the frame.
Things began falling apart when the 67’s scored twice in a 12-second span midway through the period for a 5-2 lead.
“We started off the game pretty good (in) the first period, periodand-a-half,” Sting defenceman Kelton Hatcher said. “But we just need to put more effort into the D zone.
“We all want to score goals, and it all starts in the D zone. We all need to bear down, defencemen included, offencemen, everybody.”
Jamieson Rees and Hugo Leufvenius scored power-play goals in the first period for the Sting (1818-5-2), who have lost six in a row.
Sting goalie Cameron Lamour was pulled after allowing five goals on 10 shots. He was replaced after misplaying the puck on a dump in and leaving Graeme Clarke an open net for the 67’s fifth goal.
“There’s some bad goals, things like that, but that’s hockey,” Staubitz said. “You see that happen at all levels. But the compete and (inability) to finish out the game was where we lost it.”
Lamour is 0-4-1-0 since being acquired from the Saginaw Spirit, but he played well in Wednesday’s loss in Sault Ste. Marie.
“He hasn’t got a win with us yet, but he’s competed in every game,” Staubitz said. “We thought his last game was his strongest and he deserved the start.”
Ethan Langevin allowed five more goals on 16 shots.
The Sting had only 17 shots on 67’s backup netminder Cedrick Andree.
The OHL-leading 67’s (30-7-31) beat the Sting 8-4 in their first meeting Nov. 24 in Ottawa. That was the most goals allowed by the Sting until Friday.
“We want to remember the good things we did and learn from the bad things,” Hatcher said. “Just forget about the score and come in tomorrow and hope to be better.”
The Sting will visit the Flint Fire birds on Saturday. The Fire birds (7-33-0-3) have the league’s worst record.
“They’ve been playing hard lately,” Staubitz said. “They beat the Soo last week. It’s not going to be an easy game and that’s already been talked about.”
Two players made their Sting debuts in Friday’s loss. Six-footfive forward Anthony Tabak, 17, was acquired Thursday from the Sudbury Wolves at the trade deadline and defenceman Nolan Dillingham, 16, was called up from the junior A Georgetown Raiders for his first OHL game.
“Anthony’s a big body, he moves well,” Staubitz said. “He looks like a smart player, so we were impressed with him on that end.
“On the back end, Dilling ham Mo rel li, I though the stepped right in and played a confident game. He made some nice plays. It’s a tough one to come into, but he fit right into the mould.
“I like his style of play. You saw him get some hits in the game. He plays physical, but he also made a few nice first passes to break us out.”
Felhaber finished with two goals for the 67’s. He has a league-leading 46.
Sam Bitten, Marco Rossi, Lucas Chiodo, Noel Hoefenmayer, Austen Keating, Quinn Yule and Mitchell Hoelscher also scored.
Sarnia Sting’s Justin McCombs (72) battles Lucas Chiodo (20) of the Ottawa 67’s in the second period Friday at Progressive Auto Sales Arena.