By DAVE BORODY
“He came in here and won a job.”
Those were the first comments made by Sarnia Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu, when asked about rookie forward Bryan Moore.
Moore scored a goal and added an assist in helping the Sting post a 4-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires, Sunday afternoon at the RBC Centre.
The win evened Sarnia’s pre-season record in the Ontario Hockey League at 2-2.
Moore was drafted by the Sting two years ago, but did not attend any mini-camps or training camps until this year. The American played in the United States Junior League a year ago.
“He’s a little older than some of our other rookies,” explained Beaulieu. “It’s not like he’s a 16 or 17 year-old. He’s a little more seasoned. But he plays the game the right way. He’s a good skater with a decent stick who is going to score some goals. I also think we can use him to kill penalties.”
Moore started the game on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Craig Hottot. Unfortunately Hottot was tossed midway through the opening period for a head-checking major.
“When I heard I was playing with those two guys, especially Alex, the third overall pick in last year’s NHL draft, I was pretty excited,” said Moore, with a distinct American accent.
“I knew I had to play harder to keep up with those guys. This was my first home game with the Sting and it was exciting. We came out hard. Everyone told me Windsor is a hard-working team so we had to be ready.”
Moore has already four points in two pre-season games.
“The OHL is a lot faster than the league I played in last year. It’s more physical and you have to come prepared to play every game. There are also a lot more skilled players in the OHL.”
Moore explained his decision to come to Sarnia this season.
“I was drafted here a couple of years ago, but then I wanted to go to school. However I had a bad year with my team in the USHL and wanted a fresh start and start over. I realized I have a better shot at playing pro by coming to Sarnia.”
Moore described his goal against Windsor, Sarnia’s third of the game and one of the nicest.
“I guess in was a three-on-one break. I came in on the left wing and and the one side of the net was wide open so I picked the top corner on the glove side.”
Moore feels the pre-season games are good for him to adjust to his new team and the league.
“Defensively I need to get better and my board play also has to improve. I’m learning quickly to get the puck out of my own end and not have any turnovers.”
Moore, Reid Boucher, Alex Galchenyuk and Anthony DeAngelo all had a goal and an assist to lead the Sting offence. For Boucher it was his sixth goal in four games. Charlie Sarault and Josh Chapman chipped in with assists.
Jordan Maletta, Sam Studnicka and Derek Schoenmakers scored for Windsor.
Sarnia held a 35-29 edge in shots on goal. J.P. Anderson went the distance in goal for the Sting and was solid throughout while Jaroslav Pavelka played goal for Windsor.
“J.P. gives us a chance every night,” said Beaulieu, when asked about his goalie. “I think you will see a lot of that this season. He’s a veteran player who knows how to win. Our power play was decent. We have five good offensive players on the first unit. We will need to rely on our power play.”
He added, “I thought (Brett) Hargrave, (Sarnia’s top pick), was good. He’s getting better every game and adjusting to a new league. Some things we liked today and other things we didn’t. What we do in practice is what we want to see in games. It’s a work in progress.”
Sarnia had to kill over a five-minute major in the opening period when Hottot was ejected with a head-checking major. Windsor had just three shots. The Sting enjoyed a five-minute power play in period two when Chris Marchase was banished for a check form behind. Sarnia did not score.
The game was scoreless after one period. The Sting scored the line goal of period two at 15:43 on Boucher’s power play tally. (It was the lone power play marker of the game).
The Sting enjoyed leads of 3-0 and 4-1 in period three before Windsor made the game close with a pair of late goals. Galchenyuk’s goal at 12:46 turned out to be the game winner.
Next action for the Sting is Thursday when they host the Saginaw Spirit beginning at 7:05 p.m. at the RBC Centre. They conclude their exhibition schedule next Sunday at Windsor.
The 68-game regular season begins Sept. 21st when the Sting hosts the Belleville Bulls. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
– Moore was first star with DeAngelo second star and Clarke third star.
– Russian import Nikolay Goldobin arrived in Sarnia Saturday and attended Sunday’s game, but did not play. Beaulieu says he expects him to play Thursday after a couple of practices.
– Not dressed for the Sting were Mike DiPaolo, Justice Dundas, Goldobin and Alex Basso.
– Nail Yakupov was on hand to take part in the opening face-off. Yakupov, wearing an Edmonton Oilers jersey, was the top pick in last June’s NHL draft by the Oilers.
– Tickets for all Sting games are on sale daily at the RBC box office, by calling 519-541-1717 or going online at Sarniasting.com
Dave Borody is a freelance writer who covers Sting games both home and away and also does features for the Sting Website.
Photo Courtesy Metcalfe Photography – (L to R) Kerby Rychel, Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk