SARNIA - Charles Sarault scored the only goal of the shootout and the Sarnia Sting defeated the Plymouth Whalers, 5-4, in an Ontario Hockey League game played Friddy before 3,184 at RBC Centre.
Plymouth (24-14-5-4) and Sarnia (27-17-0-3) are each tied at the top of the OHL's West Division with 57 points. The Whalers and Sting have an identical .606 winning percentage over 47 games. The Sting have more victories.
The Whalers and Sting meet 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Compuware Arena (6:45 p.m., 88.1 FM WSDP; 7 p.m., Comcast 900).
Garrett Meurs scored twice (21-22) and added an assist as the game's second star. Cody Payne (15) and Sebastian Uvira (4th of the season and first as a Whaler) scored the other Plymouth goals. Stefan Noesen recorded three assists and Mitchell Heard and Gianluca Curcuruto added two assists each.
New Jersey draft Reid Boucher scored twice (league leading 39th and 40th) as the game's first star, while Alex Basso (7) and Nikolay Goldobin (23) scored for Sarnia.
Plymouth came back three times in the game. Sarnia had leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3, only to see the Whalers come back every time.
The Sting got off to a strong start, outshooting Plymouth, 9-3, over the first ten minutes of the game. Boucher scored on a rebound from the lower rim of the left circle at 2:07 after Plymouth goaltender Matt Mahalak made the original save on Craig Duininck's blast from the point. Goldobin found a loose puck at the hasmarks to score at 15:10 and the Sting led 2-0.