OSHAWA, Ont.— Serron Noel had a goal and two assists and Anthony Cirelli added two markers as the Oshawa Generals knocked off the OHL leading Sarnia Sting 6-2 in Friday night OHL action.
Noel assisted on Henderson’s game winning goal with less than four minutes left in the second period while Cirelli’s two added insurance for the Generals (6-5-0). Mitchell Vande Sompel and Renars Krastenbergs also scored for Oshawa.
Sarnia (8-3-1) came into the game with the top record in the league but never really took control as the Generals pushed the pace the entire way. The Sting’s two goals came from Jordan Kyrou.
Jeremy Brodeur stopped 28 of 30 shots for the victory, while little used Sting goalie Aidan Hughes stopped 29 of 35 shots in his third game of the season, dropping his personal record to 0-2-0.
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Despite the fact that it was the Generals controlling the play for the first five minutes, Sarnia opened the scoring when Kyrou skated down the right wing and beat Brodeur short side for his third of the season.
Danil Antropov tried to answer right back for the Generals when he received a pass from Jack Studnicka and was in alone but the Sting goalie, Hughes, stood tall to keep the game 1-0. The rookie Antropov was promoted to the third line after spending most of the season centering the fourth.
With less than two minutes left in the first period, Noel stripped the puck off the Sting defenceman at his own blue line to walk in on a breakaway, beating Hughes on his backhand to tie the game at one. Noel, playing in his 12th career OHL contest, earned his chance to impress the Generals brass as he was put on the top line with Henderson and Cirelli.
Five minutes into the second period, Henderson corralled the puck that ricocheted around the Generals net and he hit Cirelli with a nice backhand pass alone in slot. Cirelli was able to out-wait Hughes to put it in the back of the net, giving the Generals a 2-1 lead.
Immediately after, Henderson himself went in on a breakaway on Hughes but the goaltender was able to stymie him to keep it a one goal game.
A couple of minutes after the breakaway chance, both Sullivan Sparks and Alex Di Carlo were sent to penalty box for slashing and tripping respectively, to give the Sting almost two minutes of a two man advantage. Despite taking another penalty as the first expired, the Generals were able to kill it off to keep their momentum.
The Generals continued their strong play after the penalty kill did their jobs, where they hit a post and had two other scoring chances, including a breakaway and a two-on-one, where Hughes had to come up big for the Sting to keep his team in the game.
Late in the second period, the Generals added to their lead when Henderson used Studnicka as a decoy on a two-on-one and he fired the puck past Hughes to make the score 3-1. Two minutes later, Riley Stillman almost made it 4-1 when he danced around a diving Sting defenseman and received a back door pass beside the net, but he was unable to hit the open cage.
Within the first minute of the third period, Vande Sompel’s point shot went through a crowd and slowly trickled through the legs of Hughes to make the score 4-1 for the Generals.
After the Generals killed off another penalty, Krastenbergs swallowed the puck in the Sting zone and wristed it past Hughes to add to the Generals cushion, making it 5-1. The Latvian almost got a second goal in the game when he found himself alone in front of Hughes with the puck but was denied.
Halfway through the third period, Kyrou inched the Sting closer to tying the game when he scored to make cut the Generals’ lead to 5-2. It was the St. Louis Blues prospect’s second goal of the game and his fourth of the season.
With less than two minutes left in the third, Cirelli threw the puck on net from the left wing, beating Hughes to put the final nail in the Sting’s coffin, making the score 6-2.
The Generals remain hot winning three of their last four games, propelling them into second in the Eastern Division. Oshawa’s next game is on Sunday against the Guelph Storm.
Sarnia’s loss snapped a three game winning streak and they look to bounce back against Mississauga on Oct. 28th.
Your three stars from tonight's game presented by @UnderArmour pic.twitter.com/tLhUkQcmVz
— Oshawa Generals (@Oshawa_Generals) October 22, 2016