Friday, November 27, 2015

Sarnia Sting 1 at Peterborough Petes 3 (OHL) - November 26, 2015

I didn't start taking extended sports road trips until after I was living in Japan for several years, so I never took a journey around my hometown province of Ontario to see the variety of OHL venues on offer. In fact, my trip to Oshawa on Sunday was only my eighth OHL rink, and two of those are inactive. So there are 14 arenas left to see, including the Peterborough Memorial Center, home of the Petes.

I arrived in Peterborough in the early afternoon and the arena was open to the public, so I took a brief walk around. The Petes have had several hockey legends in their organization, including coaches Scotty Bowman and Roger Neilson, and players Bob Gainey and Steve Yzerman to name but a few. Some more recent stars are shown just outside the main entrance.

The building documents not only the history of the Petes but sports throughout the Peterborough area.  Every Petes team is pictured, and it is interesting to see these coaches and players before they became famous. The Sports Hall of Fame includes a separate room with memorabilia from every sport, as well as having the concourse walls covered with pictures of inductees.

You'll also notice the many banners in the rafters, honouring both successful teams and star players and coaches. Get there early to enjoy this before the place fills up with fans.

Parking in the attached lot is $4 though I got there at 3 pm and left my car there for free, watching a bit of the Thanksgiving NFL at a nearby pub to pass the time. You can find street parking in the residential neighbourhood as well, and that would allow you to avoid the small jam that takes place after the game.

Tickets range from $12 for the family zone (from where the below photo was taken) to $28 for club seats along the right side.

The middle sections on the left in the photo above are called Premium Centre Bowl and cost $21.75, while the other bowl seats are $20.50. I bought the cheapest seat and ended up standing in a corner for the last two periods. If I were to return, I would probably splurge for the Premium Centre Bowl. Capacity is limited to just 4,329, so a crowd of 3,000 fills the place quite well. One interesting touch here is that the players have to cross the concourse to get from the ice to the dressing room, so you can stand there and talk to them after each period.

I didn't bother eating here as I had enjoyed a pizza at nearby Southside Pizzeria, but the offerings looked pretty typical for junior hockey. There are vending machines scattered about which are good for snacks and bottled pop. Overall, the PMC is a great place simply for all the history on display, but it helps that you can see a hockey game too.

The Game

The Sarnia Sting were in town with top-ranked defenseman Jakob Chychrun (above, son of Jeff) the star. The first period was scoreless, though not without chances. Just a minute into the second, Sarnia's Anthony Salinitri knocked in a rebound to open the scoring. Both teams continued to press, and at the midway point of the period, Hunter Garlent (#23 in white below) took a pass from Daniel Nikandrov and wristed a perfect shot from the right dot that beat a surprised Justin Fazio to tie the game.

A couple of minutes later, Sarnia's Pavel Zacha (#14 above, the sixth overall pick by New Jersey in 2015) took a high-sticking penalty. The Sting killed it off, but 25 seconds after getting back on the ice, Zacha again was called for high-sticking. Again, the Petes power play was ineffective, but just 13 seconds after returning to play, Zacha was whistled for kneeing. I'm guessing there was a cute girl near the penalty box that had caught Zacha's eye, but whatever the case, the Petes did not waste their third opportunity as Adam Timleck (below) was left alone at the goalmouth and converted a great pass from Matt Spencer.

The third period saw Peterborough take five penalties, and Sarnia peppered Matthew Mancina (below) with 18 shots but none beat him as he took home the game's first star with 41 saves. The Petes added a third when Steven Lorentz popped home a rebound into a empty net to complete the scoring.

It was a rather slow game with 86 face-offs (an average game has around 65) but the home fans left happy.

Next Up

I'm off to Winnipeg for the Grey Cup! Check back for a recap of that on Monday.



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