Erie, Pa. - Dane Fox scored a hat trick goal late in the third period to force overtime for the Erie Otters, but they couldn't earn a second point in the shootout as the Sarnia Sting won 5-4 in front of a sellout crowd of 4,439 at Erie Insurance Arena Saturday night.
Reid Boucher scored 48 seconds into the game to give the Sting an early 1-0 lead. Fox tied the game with his third goal of the season at 5:39. Connor Brown chased down a loose puck behind the Sarnia net and found Fox in the slot. Fox blasted the puck through the glove side of Knick Dawe for the goal.
Nikolai Goldobin put the Sting back in front with a power play goal at 13:19. Fox again tied the game for the Otters at 17:05 after Luke Cairns intercepted a clearing attempt at the left wing boards and centered the puck to Fox in the slot. Fox fired the puck in nearly the same spot as his first goal to tie the game at two.
Boucher scored the only goal of the second period on the power play, allowing the Sting to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. The Sting doubled their lead 43 seconds into the third on a tally by Charlie Sarault.
Luke Cairns scored at the 6:35 mark of the third to trim the Sarnia lead to one. Cairns shot the puck from the slot and it dribbled in though Dawe for Cairns' sixth goal of the season, his first since Thanksgiving Night.
Fox sent the sellout crowd into pandemonium with 4:36 to go in regulation. After two Sarnia players collided in the neutral zone, Fox took the loose puck into the Sarnia zone for a two-on-one and fired a shot from the left circle through the blocker side of Dawe to tie the game at four.
The Sting would end up prevailing in the the shootout, as Sarault scored in the fifth round to seal the win for the visitors.
Next up for the Otters is a home contest against the Owen Sound Attack on a Wendy's Big Assist Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Donate glue, glitter, magic markers, ribbon or yarn for the ExpERIEnce Children's Museum and buy a $2 ticket to the game for each item donated thanks to Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services. For tickets, call 814-452-4857 or go online to OttersHockey.com.
Locastro-Bonini Insurance Three Stars of the Game
No. 1 Star - Dane Fox, Erie - three goals
No. 2 Star - Charlie Sarault, Sarina - one goal, one assist, shootout winner
No. 3 Star - Luke Cairns, Erie - one goal, two assists