Surging Sting top Attack

Sarnia Sting goaltender Ethan Langevin and captain Ryan McGregor try to knock down a loft shot by Attack captain Aidan Dudas who looks on from behind the net as Owen Sound and Sarnia meet inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre Saturday night. Greg Cowan/The Sun Times

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A buzzsaw calling themselves the Sarnia Sting came into Owen Sound Saturday night and left town after toppling the Attack’s near-perfect record at home.

The Sting handed Owen Sound their first regulation loss 4-2 at the Bayshore in front of 3,167 fans, and are now winners of seven of their last eight games.

Ethan Langevin made 40 saves in the contest including 19 in the first period. That’s going to improve his .852 save percentage on the year as the Brooklin native backstopped the Sting during their entire 0-7 run to start the season.

“My first save I think was a two-on-one. I felt from there I was going to have a good game,” he said. “When you’re facing a good team like that and you make a few saves your confidence is way high.”

“He stepped up in a tough situation I’m sure, for him. He came into a building where we like to pepper goalies and get high-quality scoring chances,” Attack assistant coach Jordan Hill said. “Give credit where credit is due.”

During their current run, the Sting have beat Oshawa, Flint, Barrie and Owen Sound. That’s four teams NHL scouts have put on the CHL’s Top-10 list.

They’re the Arya Stark of junior hockey. Who’s next to cross off the list?

“We’ve shown that we can play with anyone. It feels great,” Langevin said.

Despite outshooting the Sting 19-11 in the opening 20 minutes, Sarnia hit the dressing room with a 2-0 lead.

Ryan McGregor opened the scoring with a short handed-breakaway tuck five-hole on the Attack’s rookie goaltender Nick Chenard.

Chenard suffered his first loss of the season while stopping 23 of 27 shots.

Jamieson Rees scored just over a minute later with a bullet from the right face-off dot off the rush.

“They showed up and were ready to make our lives miserable,” Hill said. “They outworked us at times tonight, obviously they capitalized on their chances, and that’s the story of the game.”

Owen Sound showed some push-back in the second period.

Carter Robertson dropped the gloves with Owen Saye after Saye decked Joshua Samanski in the neutral zone. Robertson picked up two extra minutes and a 10-minute misconduct for instigating.

“That’s a penalty I have no problem killing,” Hill said.

The Attack did better than just kill the penalty. Matt Philip got Owen Sound on the board with a short-handed marker – his second short-handed goal in as many games.

Owen Sound’s penalty-killing unit now has a league-leading three short-handed tallies on the season.

“Teams know we’re coming at them quick and they still can’t stop us,” Philip said of the Attack’s speed early in the 2019-20 campaign.

The teams headed into the second intermission with the Attack stuck one, and Langevin having already made 30 stops.

“It’s obviously discouraging when the goalie is playing hot . . . but any shot can go in from anywhere . . . the whole time we were saying we were going to get a greasy one . . . I guess it didn’t happen,” Philip said.

Langevin is now part of a four-goalie circuit in Sarnia with rookie Benajmin Gaudreau (at the under-17 World Hockey Challenge), Cameron Lamour, and recently acquired Jordan Kooy all on the roster.

“It just shows you that you have to bring your game every night, there’s competition looming,” he said.

In the third period, Andrew Perrott took a penalty for hauling down Rees behind the Attack net.

The Sting went up 3-1 on the ensuing power play when Sean Josling popped in his 14th of the season.

“It’s not the time for that penalty . . . he’s been really good for us this year . . . he’ll be better for it going forward,” Hill said.

Sam Bitten padded the Sting’s lead moments later when Jacob Perreault knocked down a clearing pass and slid the disk over to the former Ottawa 67’s winger. Bitten went upstairs for his sixth of the campaign.

The Sting’s top line of Rees, Josling and newcomer Ryan Roth have been on an absolute tear for the last eight games. Over that stretch, Josling has 12 goals and 24 points, Rees has 22 points, and Roth has recorded 15 points.

Philip added his second of the game, and eighth goal of the season, with under a minute to go in the game.

Owen Sound’s power play went 0-5 Saturday night and is going through a dry spell.

“We have to bear down . . . it’s a hard league and the PKers are out there ready to jump face-first in front of shots. It’s about urgency at times,” Hill said. “It’s a little chess game, and for coaching, that’s the best part of it to be honest with you.”

Owen Sound gets a week off before hosting the London Knights for the first time this season at the Bayshore Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“Forget about the bad games, keep the positives, and keep the momentum going. We’ll forget about this game and go into next week with all new minds and fresh starts,” Philip said. “Keep the train rolling.”

NOTES: 

Igor Chibrikov was a late scratch in Saturday’s game. Hill says the defenceman is day-to-day.

Ethan Burroughs was forced to leave Hockey Canada and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and is headed back to Owen Sound. He was injured in a game against Barrie Oct. 24 after taking a stick to the head. He’s day-to-day as well.

Philip said the Attack break down their schedule into five-game segments. In that case, Owen Sound went 2-2-0-1 in the first segment, 5-0-0-0 in the second, and the loss to Sarnia concludes the third segment at 2-2-1-0. The Attack’s overall record falls to 9-4-1-1.

The Attack wore special lavender-and-white jerseys Saturday night as part of a fundraiser for Hockey Fights Cancer. The jerseys will be auctioned off online.

 

 

 

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