(Photo Via: BlackBurn News/ Ryan McGregor)
SARNIA – The Sarnia Sting routed the Flint Firebirds on a Sunday afternoon home game at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. 9-0 was the final score, and Sting captain Jordan Kyrou had 7 points (4 G 3 A)
There was only one goal scored in the opening frame as Adam Ruzicka notched his 33rd goal of the season on the power play as Riley McCourt was serving a two-minute slashing minor. The Bratislava, Svk., native Ruzicka, who was selected in the 4th round (109 overall) by Calgary in the 2017 NHL Draft, scored just his 2nd goal in his last eight games. From January 17th-January 28th Ruzicka had 10 goals in a 6-game scoring streak. Ruzicka also 3 assists in the 9-0 victory over Flint.
In the second period, the goals came early and often. Jordan Kyrou scored his 32nd of the year on the power play just 0:32 into the middle frame. Ryan Littlejohn had taken a tripping minor with 0:03 left in the first to give the Sting a power play.
Cam Dineen would join in on the fun, as he would score just 1:59 after the Kyrou goal. The goal was Dineen’s 17th of the year and the Toms River, NJ., native would add his 18th of the season on the power play, just 1:25 into the 3rd period. Jalen Smereck had received a two-minute minor for hooking, a five-minute major for fighting, and a five-minute match penalty for the fight as well. With his 18th goal of the season, and 7th since joining the Sting back in January when he was traded from North Bay to Sarnia in exchange for Braden Henderson and a handful of picks, Dineen has now scored three goals in as many games.
Jordan Kyrou would add his 33rd of the season at the 9:11 mark of the 2nd period. His 34th, and hat trick goal, came on the power play with just 1:27 remaining in the 2nd period. It was the same power play that Dineen scored his second goal of the game on. Kyrou, a native of Toronto, Ont., would add his 4th goal of the game and 35th of the season 7:43 into the final frame. With his 4 goals and 3 assists, Kyrou now has 99 points on the season, tying him for the league lead with Aaron Luchuk of Barrie, and a single point up on the third-place point leader, Morgan Frost from Sault Ste. Marie. Kyrou also surpassed his season high in points, he had 94 last season in 66 games. He had 92 coming into the game tonight, and now has 99 points in just 49 games played. Kyrou has only been kept off the score sheet in 3 of the last 10 games he has played.
Jonathan Ang scored his 22nd goal of the season with 2:26 remaining in the 2nd period. Ang, originally from Markham, Ont., ended his four-game goalless drought. Ang was a 4th round pick (94th overall) from Florida in the 2016 NHL Draft. He was taken in the 1st round, 9th overall, to Peterborough in the 2014 OHL Draft. He was acquired by the Sting back in January and since joining the team has 7 goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 19 games, averaging more than a point per game while playing for Sarnia.
The final goal scorer on the afternoon was Michael Pezzetta scoring his 22nd goal of the season with a touch more than six minutes left in the game. Pezzetta, hailing from Toronto, Ont., was acquired by Sarnia in January in exchange for Ethan Lavallee and a chunk of picks from Sudbury. Pezzetta was named the captain of the Sudbury Wolves heading into this season. He had 90 points (40 G 50 A) in 210 games played with the Wolves.
Justin Fazio picked up the shutout for the Sting, improving his record to 33-9-3 on the season. Fazio, originally from Sarnia, is in his fifth and final year with the Sting. He has accumulated a 2.81 GAA and a 0.919 SV% on the year. This was his 2nd shutout of the year, the first came in a 7-0 win over Owen Sound back on November 12th where he made a phenomenal 39 saves, compared to his 22 save effort on Sunday afternoon against Flint.
Garrett Forrest was on the hook for all 9 goals on the day. Forrest, who is from Ashburn, VA., made 25 stops on 34 pucks that were directed towards his net. This is the goaltenders 2nd year with Flint. This season his record drops to 11-24-4 with a 4.75 GAA and a 0.864SV%. Forrest hasn’t recorded a win in his last six games. The last win coming back on January 31st when the Firebirds beat the Saginaw Spirit 3-2 in OT.
Flint will have four days to regroup as they will travel to the Sleeman Centre to take on the Guelph Storm on Friday March 2nd. Puck drop for that game is set for 7:30pm.
Sarnia will have a quick turnaround as they will play a makeup game against the Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Sarnia has won 3 of their last 4 games, outscoring their opponents 21-2 in their wins.
First Star: #25 Jordan Kyrou – 4 Goals 3 Assists, +3, 5 Shots on goal, 100% Faceoffs (1/1)
Second Star: #4 Cam Dineen – 2 Goals, +2, 4 shots on goal
Third Star: #32 Justin Fazio – 22 Saves, 22 Shots faced, 1 Win, 1 Shutout