CHL Notebook: Sting turning ship around as offence comes alive


Ryan Roth of the Sarnia Sting. (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

After starting the Ontario Hockey League season with seven straight losses, the Sarnia Sting are making some noise.

Beginning with a 5-1 win over the Barrie Colts on Oct. 17, the Sting have won seven of their past eight games and have done so on the strength of what has become a potent offence of late.

The team has averaged over five goals per game in that stretch.

Among the offensive leaders is winger Ryan Roth, acquired from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in an early season trade.

The 19-year-old forward has 24 points this season, 18 of which have come in his last eight games. Roth went through a stretch between Oct. 12 and 20 that saw him put up 12 points in four games.

Veteran Sting forward Sean Josling has been potent offensively as well.

The 20-year-old has been held off the scoresheet just three times this season and has a pair of five-point games already.

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In 15 games, Josling has 14 goals and 31 points.

The defending OHL champions in Guelph have also put together a strong stretch of hockey of late as well.

Winners of four consecutive games, the Storm remain in the mix in the toughest division in the OHL at the moment.

All five teams in the OHL’s Midwest Division have winning records early on and just four points separate the first-place Owen Sound Attack from the fifth-place Kitchener Rangers.

For the Storm, goaltender Nico Daws has been solid this season in taking over for Anthony Popovich as the starter.

Following a recent win over the Greyhounds, Storm general manager/coach George Burnett credited Daws’ commitment during the summer.

"He’s been terrific. He recommitted himself this summer. He had a terrific summer of strength and fitness," Burnett said.

"He’s been calm and cool in the net and a big reason why we’re off to a decent start for a young group," Burnett added.

Speaking of defending league champs starting the season well, how about the Prince Albert Raiders?

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The 2019 Western Hockey League winners have victories in four straight games and seven of their past 10, and sit atop the WHL’s East Division.

With an 11-2-3-0 record, the Raiders have been a middle of the pack team as far as goals scored early on this season, but have been one of the CHL’s stingiest teams defensively.

With 33 goals against in 16 games, the Raiders have surrendered the fewest goals in the league through the opening six weeks of the season.

Getting an opportunity as a full-time starter for the first time, Boston Bilous has been lights out for the Raiders in goal.

In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Sherbrooke Phoenix have continued to roll right along.

Through 18 games, Sherbrooke has lost just once in regulation time, a 4-2 loss to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Oct. 2.

The team has gone 11-0-1-0 since and sits atop the QMJHL standings with a record of 15-1-2-0 overall.

The Moncton Wildcats also remain red hot.

The Eastern Conference leader heads into this week having won eight in a row and nine of 10.

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