Sarnia Sting post impressive first half to the OHL season

The rock solid play of Sarnia-born netminder Justin Fazio is one reason the Sting were an elite team over the first half of the OHL season. Darren Metcalfe Metcalfe Photography

Troy Shantz

A new year, a new team and a new scoreboard.

A flashy state-of-the-art score clock and 400-foot LED ribbon have been installed at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, turning a brighter light on what has been a great season so far for the Sarnia Sting.

“This demonstrates a very significant investment that Sarnia Sting ownership is committed to keeping OHL Hockey in the City of Sarnia,” club president Bill Abercrombie said the scoreboard and ad banner.

The Sting were the talk of the town and the OHL for most of the fall, after a 14-game win streak gave them the best record of any major Junior A hockey team in Canada.

The streak ended Nov. 3 when the Sting fell 7-1 to the Kingston Frontenacs and they have since cooled off a bit.

At the break, Sarnia sits 5th in the OHL and 2nd in the West division, eight points behind the Sault Saint Marie Greyhounds.

Nevertheless, they are still ranked among the top 10 teams in the Canadian Hockey League, an honour the team has held 11 straight weeks.

Sting forward Jordan Kyrou, who was selected for Canada’s roster at the IIHF World Junior Championships, leads the league in points (58), assists (39), and assists on a powerplay (15).

Netminder Justin Fazio has been solid the first half of the season, with a 2.76 goals against average and a 0.923 saves percentage.

The Sarnia-born goalie also has 21 wins, second best in the league.

Sting superfan Cam Ross said Sarnia’s record has been aided by an early season schedule loaded with home games against teams with losing records.

“Who knows, we’ve been waiting a long time for the Sarnia Sting to get into the second round (of the playoffs),” he said.

“This just might be the year.”

The Sting are back in action tonight, hosting the Windsor Spitfires with the new score clock up and running.

Sting by the numbers

Games played: 35    

Points: 52

Wins: 25   

Losses: 8

Overtime wins: 0

Overtime losses: 2

2016/17 record: 31-30-6

(eliminated first round)

2015/16 record: 42-19-5

(eliminated first round)

 

Sting players and the OHL

Points:

(1st) Jordan Kyrou: 58 (5th in franchise history with 239)

Goals:

(7th) Adam Ruzicka: 20

(9th) Jordan Kyrou: 19

 

Assists:

(1st) Jordan Kyrou: 39

(14th) Drake Rymsha: 27

 

Power play goals:

(5th) Adam Ruzicka: 10

(10th) Jordan Kyrou: 8

 

Goals against average:

(5th) Justin Fazio: 2.76

 

Save percentage:

(2nd) Justin Fazio: 0.923

 

Wins:

(2nd) Justin Fazio: 21