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Legionnaires Upend Stars

saturday november 29, 2014


By DAN MCCAFFERY

Ryan Vendramin and Riley Babkirk led the way Friday as the Sarnia Legionnaires defeated the St. Thomas Stars 6-4 right in the Elgin County city.

Vendramin had three assists and Babkirk had two goals to help the club win its second game in two nights.

Sarnia, which is in second place in the Western Jr. 'B' hockey standings, now has a 19-7 won-lost record. The Legionnaires are five points ahead of third ranked Chatham and four back of the front running Leamington Flyers.

"It was a tough Friday night game for us after a big game Thursday," head coach Dan Rose said afterward. "The guys expended a lot of energy, both emotionally and physically (in Thursday's home win against the Chatham Maroons)."

He added, "In the second period we were flat, but in the third they showed they wanted to win and they played hard. They played the way they're capable of. The kids sucked it up and played well in the third."

Babkirk got the winner in the final stanza, beating goalie Dan Black with a seeing-eye tally.

The veteran forward came flying down the wing on a two-on-one break before slamming on the brakes in the faceoff circle. Then, while standing still, he picked the top corner with a blistering wrist shot.

"I was originally looking to pass but the goalie took that option away so I had to shoot. It went in high on the stick side," Babkirk said.

The veteran forward said the Legionnaires are starting to find the form that made them a powerhouse earlier in the season. "We're persevering, I think we're starting to get things together," he said.

 Defenceman Brad Campbell got Sarnia on the board first with a drive from the point. The goal was his ninth of the season.

Vendramin picked up his first of three helpers on the play. he now has 20 points in 15 games since rejoining the team last month.

 Kyler Keating (with his 10th), Cody Trowell (with his 21st) and Jordan Fogarty (with his eighth) rounded out the Legionnaires scoring. Fogarty's tally was into an empty net.

Zach Grzelewski had two goals for the Stars, with singles going to Dane Johnstone and Wayne Russell.

Backup goalie Cornel Felder was solid in the Sarnia cage, kicking out 40 shots. He also stood his ground when facing a St. Thomas penalty shot by Josh Stegers. Felder refused to make the first move, forcing Stegers to shoot wide.

The Legionnaires had 32 shots on Black.

Sarnia returns to action next Wednesday when it travels to London to face the Nationals. Their next home game is next Thursday, when they host the Chatham Maroons. Game time at the Brock Street barn is set for 7:10 p.m.

 

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