The Sarnia Sting were one of the hottest teams in the OHL’s second half, and clinched their first division title since 2004. The second place finished set up a first round match up against the seventh seed Greyhounds.
From the start of the series it was evident that Sault Ste. Marie were no ordinary seventh seed. A young team that drastically improved throughout the regular season and strong play from New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson the Greyhounds were poised for a first round upset.
Sault Ste. Marie took the first two games of the series in Sarnia to put the Sting in an immediate 2-0 hole. Making matters worse for the Sting, star forward Travis Konecny would miss the rest of the series with a grade two tear in his shoulder. The Sting were able to win game three setting up a pivotal game four before the series shifted back to Sarnia. Game four was the only game in the series that needed over and it took two extra periods before Gabe Guertler scored a goal to give the Greyhounds a 3-1 series lead.
With their backs against the wall the Sting skated to impressive 5-1 wins on back to back nights in game five and six. The two teams played in Sarnia Saturday April 2, and had to turnaround and play game six one day later in Sault Ste. Marie.
It was just Sarnia’s third game seven in franchise history and they saw the same result as the previous two. The Sting once again heavily out shot Sault Ste. Marie but Brandon Halverson, as he’s been all series, was Sault Ste. Marie’s best player. The Greyhounds edged the Sting 4-3 in the seventh and deciding game
Pavel Zacha – 7GP, 6G 7A 13Pts, +6
Matt Mistele – 7GP, 6G 3A 9Pts, +1
Jakob Chychrun – 7GP, 2G 6A 8Pts, +4
Sault Ste. Marie
Blake Speers – 7GP, 4G 4A 8Pts, -3
Zachary Senyshyn – 7GP, 2G 6A 8Pts, +5
Gustav Bouramman – 7GP, 1G 6A 7Pts, -1
Charlie Graham (3-3-1) 2.97 GAA, 0.886 sv%
Sault Ste. Marie
Brandon Halverson (4-3-0) 3.36 GAA, 0.904 sv%
Series at a Glance
Game 1: Sault Ste. Marie 6 @ Sarnia 3
Game 2: Sault Ste. Marie 5 @ Sarnia 2
Game 3: Sarnia 5 @ Sault Ste. Marie 2
Game 4: Sarnia 2 @ Sault Ste. Marie 3 (2OT)
Game 5: Sault Ste. Marie 1 @ Sarnia 5
Game 6: Sarnia 5 @ Sault Ste. Marie 1
Game 7: Sault Ste. Marie 4 @ Sarnia 3