By Dan McCaffery
The shorthanded Sarnia Legionnaires whipped the highly-touted London Nationals 6-3 Wednesday right in the Forest City.
Coach Dan Rose's Jr. 'B' hockey club was missing four regulars (J.P. Vandervaart, who was suspended, Derek D'Andrea, who was injured, and Captain Jeff Paulley and Henry Yawit, who were both sick).
To add to their woes, rearguard Steve Farlow missed 12 minutes of the second period with a misconduct and a minor. At one point, Rose was down to three lines and just four D-men. But as it turned out, that was enough.
The Legionnaires jumped on a number of giveaways and buried them with low shots. Josh Kestner got the ball rolling just past the four-minute mark with assists going to Nathan Mater and Matt Cimetta. Mater got Sarnia's second goal, which broke a 1-1 tie, before the first period was over. Helpers were awarded to Hunter Tyczynski and Kestner.
After the game, Rose singled out Tyczynski and Kestner for special praise.
In the second stanza, with the score tied at two apiece, Farlow came off the point and scored from close range to restore Sarnia's lead.
Jeff Bauer and Davis Boyer set the play up. Jason Teschke made it 4-2 early in the third with a shot from the faceoff circle. Thomas Moxley got the lone assist on the play. London closed the gap to 4-3 but Davis Boyer snuffed out any hopes of a comeback with a late goal of his own.
Teschke and Jeff King were credited with assists. In the final minute, Jeff Bauer burst into the clear shorthanded and scored into an empty Nationals net. Teschke and Cimetta assisted.
Sean Parker, who was solid all night, made 28 saves for the win. But he got a lot of help from his rearguards, who made sure he didn't have to cope with many rebounds.
Sarnia fired 21 shots on the London net.
The Legionnaires are home tonight against the LaSalle Vipers. A win would leapfrog the club ahead of both the Vipers and the St. Thomas Stars, carrying it from seventh to fifth in one sweep.