Sarno had a relatively successful junior career with the Windsor Spitfires and the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (OHL leading scorer) with the Spitfires in 1997-98 and the Sting in 1998-99. He also won the Emms Family Award (OHL top player) in 1996-97.
Sarno apprenticed in the Oilers farm system, playing for their AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. After one season in Finland, Sarno returned to North America, where he played for the Oilers new AHL franchise, the Toronto Roadrunners in 2003-04. He also made his NHL debut, playing six games with the big club. Shortly thereafter, he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks, who wanted more depth at their centre position. He played one and a half seasons for their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, before signing on with the Syracuse Crunch (affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets).