By Dan McCaffery
With three top players out of the lineup, the Sarnia Legionnaires dropped a 4-1 decision Tuesday night to the Leamington Flyers Thursday in Greater Ontario Jr B. Hockey league action.
The Essex County squad dominated the contest most of the way, outshooting Sarnia 37-20 before almost 1,000 fans at the Brock Street Barn. With the win, the visitors improved their record to an impressive 8-1-1. Sarnia, meanwhile, dropped to 5-5.
But Legionnaires coach Dan Rose did not seem overly upset with the outcome. He said it was tough on the defence to play without veteran rearguards Curtis Crombeen (suspended) and P. J. Vandervaart (injured). Also missing was veteran forward Nathan Mater (flu).
"It was a tough game but it was better than our first one against them (a 7-2 loss in Leamington back in September) so we're getting better,” Rose said. “Our guys didn't quit. In the second period we had a lot of scoring chances. We hit a couple of goal posts and just missed” on a few other shots.
Noting that Leamington is a top team in the Western Ontario Hockey Conference, Rose said, “Our goal is to be able to beat them at the end of the year.”
Riley Roberts had Sarnia's lone goal, his fourth of the season. Riley Babkirk set it up, gaining his team-leading 10th assist in the process.
Kyle Shaw had three goals for the winners, who led 2-1 after the first period and 3-1 after 40 minutes.
It was a tame game, with only six minor penalties being called. Leamington was 0-4 with the man advantage while Sarnia was 0-for-2.
Sean Parker took the loss in net.
Blueliner Brad Campbell was called up from the Mooretown Flags Jr. 'C' team and played well in his first Jr. 'B' game, Rose said.
The Legionnaires return to action tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 8) when they visit London.