It was a battle of the top two teams in the Ontario Hockey League’s West Division and, despite the result, the Soo Greyhounds feel they can look to some positives going forward.
The Sarnia Sting scored three times in the second period and tacked on two more goals in the third to beat the Greyhounds 6-3 in Ontario Hockey League action at Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia.
Despite the result, the Greyhounds outshot the West Division leaders 49-31 in the contest and a trio of power play goals by the Sting were the eventual difference.
“We carried the play, but they had eight power plays to our four and they had two five-on-three’s and were able to score on both of them,” Bannister said. “We had the five-on-three in the third period when it was still a one-goal game, but we weren’t able to convert. If we score on that power play, it’s possibly a different game and a different outcome.”
“They’re the best team in the (Canadian Hockey League) and I thought we were a much better team five-on-five than they were tonight,” Bannister added.
Jordan Kyrou paced the Sting with three goals while Adam Ruzicka added a goal and an assist in the victory/ Drake Rymsha assisted on a pair of Sarnia goals. Connor Schlichting and Sean Josling also scored for the Sting.
Morgan Frost, Conor Timmins, and Tim Gettinger scored for the Greyhounds. Rookie forward Brett Jacklin assisted on a pair of goals.
European defenceman Rasmus Sandin got into his first game action with the Greyhounds in the contest and Bannister would say that the 17-year-old will take some time to adjust to his new surroundings.
“We’re going to expect to see a lot more here as we move on,” Bannister said. “There’s going to be an adjustment period getting into games here and feeling more comfortable, but he does a lot of good things.”
Matthew Villalta got the start for the Greyhounds, stopping 25 shots while Justin Fazio made 46 saves for the Sting.
Bannister would say the plan is for Tyler Johnson to start on Saturday night in Flint against the Firebirds.
Barrett Hayton sat out the game due to injury after taking a hit from Guelph Storm forward Zach Poirier last Sunday at the Essar Centre. The hit left Hayton with a bad cut on his face while Poirier was suspended 10 games for the hit. Hayton did take the warmup on Friday night but did not get into the lineup.
Bannister said Hayton will again take the warmup in Flint on Saturday before a decision is made on whether he will play against the Firebirds.
The win moves Sarnia to 13-1-0-0 and six points ahead of the Greyhounds, who drop to 9-3-2-0 with the loss.
In other action around the OHL on Friday night, Trent Fox scored at 2:53 of overtime to lift the Mississauga Steelheads to a 2-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs in Kingston. Fox had a goal and an assist while defenceman Jacob Moverare assisted on both goals for the Steelheads. Kingston goaltender Jeremy Helvig made 33 saves.
In Sudbury, Aaron Luchuk had three goals and two assists as the Windsor Spitfires beat the Sudbury Wolves 7-2. Logan Brown had two goals and two assists for Windsor.
In Kitchener, Sean Durzi had two goals and an assist as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Kitchener Rangers 5-2. Aidan Dudas also had a pair of goals for Owen Sound. Kitchener goaltender Luke Richardson made 38 saves.
In London, Robert Thomas had four goals and two assists as the London Knights beat the Flint Firebirds 8-2. Cliff Pu added a goal and two assists for the Knights.
In Guelph, Nate Schnarr had the shootout winner as the Guelph Storm beat the Erie Otters 4-3. Goaltender Anthony Popovich made 33 saves and stopped all three Otters shooters in the shootout.
In Oshawa, Serron Noel had a pair of goals as the Oshawa Generals beat the Peterborough Petes 4-1. Allan McShane assisted on three goals for the Generals.