Legionnaires Win Barn Burner

December 11, 2015

By Dan McCaffery
Photos by Pat Brethauer


"Holy mackerel! Holy mackerel! That's all I can say.”

That was Sarnia Legionnaires head coach Mark Davis's first response after watching his Jr. 'B' hockey club edge the London Nationals Thursday in a wild shootout at the Brock Street barn.

When the smoke cleared the Legion crew had stormed back from a three-goal first period deficit to shade the Nats 7-6.

The triumph – their fourth in a row – improved their record to 15-10-1-3, good enough for fifth place in the nine-team Western conference standings. They are just two points behind London and Chatham, who are tied for third, and only four back of second ranked St. Thomas.


Captain Hunter Tycyznski started the barrage of goals just 2:52 into the contest with a sharp angle shot that somehow eluded London netminder Connor Hughes. Hughes was immediately pulled, although, as it turned out, his night was not over.

But the lead was short-lived, with the Nationals scoring four times to head into the dressing room ahead 4-1. Three of those tallies came against starting Sarnia goalkeeper Aidan Hughes (the younger brother of Connor). Like his older sibling, Aidan got the hook before the period expired.

In the first intermission Davis told his players, “pick away, that's the only thing you can do.”


The Legionnaires took his advice to heart, with Brandon Layman notching his 17th of the campaign just 1:33 into the middle frame. Defenceman Brad Yowart followed that up seven minutes later with a power-play marker that made it 4-3.

However, John Warren restored London's two-goal advantage with a power-play tally of his own just before the mid-point of the contest.

Big rally


The Legionnaires rallied strongly after that, with Ryan Vendramin scoring his 13th at 13:40 and rearguard Sam McCormack his 4th at 18:23. McCormack's goal came only moments after he stopped what looked like a sure London goal, clearing the puck away from an open Sarnia cage.

In the final period rookie Jarret Marks broke the 5-5 tie, scoring at the 2:47 mark with a shot from the slot.

Three minutes later, Brock Perry made it 7-5, lighting the lamp after undressing a Nats defender.


"I was going in one-on-one with the defenceman when I tried to beat him to the inside. He went inside, so I went outside and it roofed it on Weir (Nats goalie Zack Weir).” Perry explained.

That goal -- Perry's 10th of the season -- brought Connor Hughes back in the game and he shut the door the rest of the way.


But Sarnia goalie Shayne Battler made a couple of brilliant glove saves before being beaten by John Adams on a shorthanded breakway. When it was all over, Battler won praise from Davis, who said, "He had to stand up and be accountable and he did."



Game notes:

Thirteen different Legionnaires had at least one point in the game.

Battler now has 10 victories to his credit.

The Sarnians don't return to action until Saturday, Dec. 19 when they host the St. Thomas Stars.

Attendance at Sarnia Arena was 1,078, giving the Legionnaires a league-leading 19,863 ticket sales to date.





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