Why Things Will Be Different This Year For The Sarnia Sting in the OHL Playoffs
For more than two decades, the Sarnia Sting have seen marginal playoff success. With only a pair of first round victories since their relocation from Newmarket in 1994, it’s been a frustration shared by the team and its fans.
It’s not due to lack of effort. As we saw two seasons ago, the Sting made a deadline deal to acquire phenom Travis Konecny from the Ottawa 67’s to bolster the offense and make a run at the OHL championship. Sadly, it still resulted in a first round exit at the hands of the division rival Soo Greyhounds.
Things look to be shaping up for a different outcome this time around.
On the weekend, the Sting made an exchange with the North Bay Battalion that sees their star d-man Cam Dineen coming to Sarnia. Dineen is an incredibly talented prospect of the Arizona Coyotes and provides some veteran leadership to the Sting blue line. At nearly a point-per-game pace this season (36 in 39 games), Dineen provides a back-end scoring touch as well.
Another trade announced on Monday morning sees another player with NHL potential come to Sarnia. Jonathan Ang is a 4th round pick of the Florida Panthers who’s scored 15 goals and added 28 assists in 39 games this season for the Peterborough Petes. He’s increased his scoring production every year in the OHL and is on pace to easily surpass last season’s career high of 59 points. With Ang joining the Sarnia Sting’s already potent offense, the possibility of a 75-80 point season is very realistic.
With two aforementioned trades, we see the departure of Brady Hinz and Braden Henderson as well as 9 draft picks. On the surface, it sounds like a steep price to pay. However, Dineen and Ang bring some intangible qualities that don’t show up on a box score: Leadership, experience and consistency. These are qualities that any team needs to go deep into the playoffs.
Jordan Kyrou and Adam Ruzicka return this week from their time at the World Junior Hockey Championship tournament in Buffalo. Now that they’re back, coupled with the imminent debuts of Cam Dineen and Jonathan Ang, the Sarnia Sting are primed for an explosive second half of the OHL season…and a long trip through the OHL playoffs this Spring.