By Dan McCaffery
The Sarnia Legionnaires started off the New Year in fine form Friday, pasting
the St. Marys Lincolns 6-2.
Ryan Trottier led the way with a hat-trick.
With the victory, the Legion crew improved its won-lost record to 23-10, good
enough for second place in the Western Jr. 'B' hockey standings, five points
ahead of the third ranked Chatham Maroons.
Trottier, who returned recently from an injury that had sidelined him for two
months, now has six goals on the campaign.
The game would have been even more lopsided if not for the outstanding play of
Lincolns goalie Andrew Masters, who made 46 saves. Included among his stops was
a great toe save on a close range shot by Tyler Longo. He also robbed Trottier
on a couple of occasions.
Ryan Vendramin got the Legionnaires off on the right foot, poking a loose puck
into an open side just two minutes into the contest. Riley Babkirk and Jordan
Fogarty assisted on what was Vendramin's 10th goal of the season.
Graham Brulotte tied the game with a powerplay marker in the second frame but it
was all Sarnia after that.
Trottier restored the Legionnaires lead with three consecutive goals.
"Ryan played a good game," Sarnia head coach Dan Rose said. "He's missed most of
the year (with an injury) but he had some good jump tonight. He came ready to
play. He's going to be a force for us."
Trottier said, "I feel I'm getting my legs back under me, I'm getting back into
His first goal came when he deked around a defenceman and fired a bullet into
the top corner.
On his second tally, Trottier appeared to be hemmed in by two Lincs defencemen.
But he would not be denied, firing a shot toward the net that hit a St. Marys
rearguard and bounced into the cage. "I got lucky on that one," he said.
The big forward finished his hat-trick with a highlight reel marker, dancing
around a defender to get loose in the slot.
"I beat the defenceman, went to the net and Davis Boyer passed it to me for a
tap in," he recalled.
Cameron Clarke and Davis Boyer had the other Legionnaire goals, both blinking
the red light on breakaways.
Boyer now has a team-leading 24 goals.
Jared Lindsay scored the second St. Marys goal late in the third period.
Rookie goalie Cornel Felder made 31 saves to pick up the win.
The game also saw the return of forward Hunter Tyczynski, who had missed the
entire season to date due to injury.
"Hunter didn't look out of place at all," Rose said.
The bench boss added he was pleased with the play of all his players. "We
controlled the tempo of the game with good puck control," he said. "We hadn't
played in two weeks but we just rolled four lines from start to finish."