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 Legionnaires get Important Point

january 19, 2015


By Dan McCaffery

Brennan Feasey scored three goals Sunday including the shootout winner as the Chatham Maroons edged the Sarnia Legionnaires
7-6.

Except for penalty killing, Sarnia played a good road game, connecting three times on eight power play opportunities.

Unfortunately, they were absolutely dreadful when shorthanded. Indeed, the Maroons were an excellent five-for-seven with the man advantage. On top of that, the Legionnaires allowed a shorthanded goal.

With the loss, the Sarnians fell into third place in the Western Jr. 'B' hockey standings, one point behind the Maroons.

Still, by virtue of getting into extra time, the Legionnaires picked up an important point, giving them 49 on the season, five more than fourth ranked LaSalle. The top four teams get home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

It should also be noted that Sarnia won the season series with Chatham, posting a 3-2-1 record, good enough for seven of a possible 12 points. Should the teams end up tied for second, that extra point could prove to be decisive.

Sarnia is now 24-12-1 on the season.

Big early lead

Sarnia's Tyler Longo opened the scoring before the mid-point of the first period, finishing off a two-on-one break with Brandon Layman to collect his fourth tally of the campaign.

Not long after that, Ryan Vendramin scored on a wrap-around to give Sarnia a two-goal lead.

Ryan Trottier made it 3-1 for the visitors when he scored his eighth of the year on a penalty shot. And Vendramin upped the margin to 4-1 before the first stanza came to a close, grabbing a loose puck and whipping a bullet drive under the crossbar. For Vendramin, it was his 16th of the season.

Early in the middle frame, Riley Babkirk appeared to finish the Maroons off with a wraparound effort that made it 5-1. Babkirk now has 17 goals to his credit.

The turning point came when Steven Szekesy scored a short-handed marker for the Maroons. After that, momentum shifted and Chatham struck twice more before the period was out, cutting the lead to a single goal. Jared Dennis and Gus Ford did the damage.

In the final frame Sarnia got into penalty trouble and it cost them two goals. Alex Morgan and Feasey scored with the man advantage to give Chatham a 6-5 edge late in the contest.

Just when it looked as if Sarnia was finished, Cody Trowell scored a power play marker of his own to force overtime. For Trowell, it was his team-leading 27th tally.

The Legionnaires lost the shootout by the narrowest of margins, with Trowell ringing a shot of the post on the last play of the game.

Goalie Andrew Masters made 54 saves for the Legionnaires. Chatham's Jake Patterson faced 37 shots.

Missing players

The Legionnaires were also hampered by the fact that two star players were missing. Captain Nathan Mater was sitting out the second of a four-game suspension and defenceman Mitch Read was recovering from an emergency appendectomy that is expected to sideline him until about the end of the month. Read suffered the setback right after being obtained in a trade with the St. Marys Lincolns. He was the Lincs captain.

Sarnia is back in action Monday when it travels to London to face the Nationals for the first of a home-and-home series. The same two teams will meet again Thursday at Sarnia Arena.

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