London Eliminates Legionnaires Monday march 10, 2014
By DAVE PAUL
The Sarnia Legionnaires' season ended Sunday night, with a 4-1, Game 7, loss to the London Nationals in GOJHL first round playoff action at Sarnia Arena.
The Legionnaires took a 1-0 lead in the first and it stood up until the latter stages of the second period when the Nationals finally tied the game.
Entering the third period tied 1-1, the pressure might have been too much for the younger, less-experienced Sarnia squad. London was the better team, relentlessly pressuring the Legionnaires for the first half of the period.
But they were unable to break the tie until a couple of Sarnia penalties gave them power play chances and they cashed in.
The Nationals, who will move on to face Leamington in the second round of the playoffs, outshot Sarnia 29-15 (8-6, 8-6 and 13-3) in the game. Hunter Johnson tended goal for Sarnia while Jacob Riley was in the London net.
Sarnia played without captain Nathan Mater, who received a two-game suspension for comments made to an official during Saturday night's Game 6 in London.
Thomas Moxley got Sarnia on the board at 6:30 of the first period, scoring from in close. Play was balanced, with both teams having some good scoring chances, though London outshot Sarnia.
Another evenly-played period, the Legionnaires had several excellent opportunities to go up 2-0 but couldn't convert. Finally, the Nationals broke through with just over two minutes left to play in the period and it was 1-1 after 40 minutes.
London was the dominant team for the first 10 minutes of the period, but Sarnia managed to cling to the 1-1 tie. Finally, after being on the defensive for such a long stretch, the Legionnaires broke down and took a couple of penalties just past the midway point in the period on London converted on both power plays. They added an empty net goal to finish the game, and the series.
Coach Dan Rose said:
"(It was) two pretty evenly-matched teams and it comes down to a game of inches. We took a couple of penalties in the third period … they got some pucks to the net that went in, we had some pucks to the net that didn't go in.
"It was a great season, it was a great group of kids," said Rose, "and it was a pleasure to come to the rink every night."
Regarding Nathan Mater's suspension:
"It's a call that was made last night and you can't change it and we had to go out there and battle hard without him," said Rose. "It was a lesson learned and hopefully in the future we'll be a little more disciplined."
Forward Davis Boyer said:
"We gave it all we had. It was a hard-fought seven-game series. Give them credit. It was anyone's game … we can't be disappointed in our effort."