For the Journal
The Sarnia Sting were in Erie Saturday night facing-off against their former teammate Ben Gaudreau, for the first time since the netminder was traded earlier this month. But the meeting lasted just two periods for Gaudreau, after giving up six goals on 26 shots as the Sting extended their win streak to three games with a 6-4 win over the Otters. Sting goalie Nick Surzycia picked up another win, making 29 saves on the night.
The LeBlanc brothers combined for seven points Saturday night in Erie — Andrew scored a hat trick and added an assist, while brother Jacob finished the game assisting all three of his brother’s goals, all at the expense of former Sting goalie, Gaudreau.
Sarnia scored two goals within a minute of each other in the first period, and never looked back. Roman Kukumberg opened the scoring, his fourth of the season, midway through the first, followed by Zach Filak’s fourth just under a minute later to give Sarnia a 2-0 lead.
The Otters would respond a few minutes later; Pano Fimis cut the Sting lead to 2-1 with his third of the season. But the Otters would not be able to keep pace with the Sting offense. Andrew LeBlanc would score his first of three just before the end of the first, and Sarnia would take a 3-1 lead to the dressing room after the opening frame.
Erie would once again cut the Sting lead to one goal, as Sam Alfano got one past Surzycia — his fifth of the season — to keep the Otters close. It would be all Sting from there, as Sarnia would score three more to take a 6-2 lead into the third period and end Gaudreau’s night early.
Ryan Brown had his fourth of the season from Tyler Doucette and Lukas Fischer, while Andrew Leblanc finished off the hat trick, scoring his third and fourth goals of the season. Brother Jacob assisted on each, while Mitch Young and Roman Kukumberg added assists as well.
Erie would dominate the third period, outshooting Sarnia 15-5 in an effort to get back into the game, however Nick Surzycia would stand tall and keep the Sting in front. Otters would score twice, Alfano scored his second of the game with just under four minutes left for his sixth of the season, while Ondrej Molnar picked up his second goal this season with 26 seconds remaining, the late push was too little too late as Sarnia held on to the 6-4 win.
With the win, Sarnia is now 6-3-0 on the season, and just two points back of first in the West Division leading Soo Greyhounds.
Sarnia still has one game left on the road, in Kitchener Tuesday night to take on the Rangers at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, puck drops at 7 p.m.