67's feel Sting of Iafrate

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

SARNIA -- It was right there, the impending goal so evident even the goal judge was fooled, turning on the red light.

But Sting goalie Mike Iafrate's desperate lunge across the net allowed him to turn back a point-blank shot by 67's forward Bryan Bickell early in the third period yesterday.

That stunning stop wound up being the difference in the Sting's 1-0 win at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre, leaving the 67's with a 1-2-0-1 record in their hectic ride through the OHL's West Division.

"I was shocked that he stopped it," said Bickell. "He got his stick on it and it went over the net. It was a lucky save, but that's the way the whole game went."

Not that 67's goaltender Anthony Guadagnolo was far behind his opposite number.

He was beaten only by Sarnia's Micheal Haley on the power play early in the second period on a shot that looked like it changed direction.

In the third, Guadagnolo stopped Haley on a penalty shot, refusing to go for the Sarnia centre's fake and getting his left pad down. Guadagnolo played without a backup yesterday as Danny Battachio is out with a shoulder injury he sustained in Saturday's 5-0 win in Saginaw.

The 67's were furious with the work of referee Ryan Carroll, who handed 67's centre Brad Bonello a questionable highsticking penalty with 44 seconds left and Ottawa pressing for the tying goal.

He then slapped on an unsportsmanlike call on Bonello and kicked 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea out of the game with 39 seconds left in the game. Kilrea sarcastically told Carroll he was the coach's selection as the game's first star.

COULDN'T SCORE

"Their goalie played well and we had some good chances, but guys who you think are dangerous around the net couldn't put the puck in it," said Kilrea.

"We got three points (out of eight on the road trip) and you always like to get half. At least we got something and we stayed in the pack. But when you lose 1-0 and 2-1, those are tough ones to lose."

For the first time on this road trip, the 67's didn't score the first goal of the game as Haley put the Sting in front at 6:14 of the second period with Ottawa captain Will Colbert off for interference.

With the 67's playing their fourth game in less than four days, Kilrea went with a longer bench. Rookie Matt Lahey, the club's top pick in last summer's draft, had trouble getting the puck out of his own zone on a couple of shifts and that led to a couple of Sarnia scoring opportunities.

Lahey, just 15, and fellow rookies James McGinn, 16, and Arron Alphonso, 15, had given the 67's some valuable shifts in the third period of Saturday night's 5-0 win over the Saginaw Spirit.

Their contributions Saturday in a demanding stretch took some of the load off older, more experienced players.

But the 67's had to play without Alphonso yesterday after he took a shot in the foot Saturday night. He had blood drained from his toe in the second intermission of the game against the Spirit and gamely played the third. He was limping yesterday and Kilrea opted to keep him out of the lineup and dress seven defencemen.

The 67's next game is Friday at home against the Windsor Spitfires.

THREE STARS

1. Mike Iafrate, G, Sarnia

2. Anthony Guadagnolo, G, Ottawa

3. Micheal Haley, C, Sarnia.


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