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Vipers Edge Legionnaires

january 29, 2015

By Dan McCaffery


The Sarnia Legionnaires saw their chances of finishing in second place take a major hit Thursday.

The Jr. 'B' hockey club dropped a 7-6 decision to the LaSalle Vipers to fall three points behind the red hot Chatham Maroons.

The Maroons, who have won seven in a row (and 10 of their last 11) have a game in hand on the Sarnians. They also have what appears to be an easier schedule, including two games with the last place St. Marys Lincolns.

The Legionnaires may soon have to worry about holding onto third. In fact, they are just one point ahead of the Vipers. But Sarnia, which has eight games left in the regular schedule, has two games in hand on LaSalle.

The Legionnaires started strongly Thursday, buzzing all around the LaSalle cage on a pair of powerplays. But they failed to score (in fact, they would go a dreadful 0-for-8 with the man advantage).

After that, the visitors stormed into a 3-0 lead, with goals coming from Brett Primeau, Nikko Sablone and Nathan Savage.

Sarnia head coach Dan Rose called a time out to settle his charges down and, 12 seconds later, Jay Clarke banked a shot in off the back of LaSalle goalie Eli Billing's skate to get the Legionnaires on the board.


Shortly after that, Hunter Tycznski unloaded a drive from the slot to make the score 3-2 heading into the first intermission.

Captain Nathan Mater and Jordan Fogarty blinked the red light in the middle frame to give Sarnia the lead going into the final stanza.

Brandon Layman scored a shorthanded tally early in the third to give the Legionnaires what looked like a comfortable 5-3 advantage. Layman came charging in on a two-on-one break before firing home a shot from the faceoff circle.

After that, LaSalle reeled off four straight goals to take a 7-5 lead. Korey Morgan, Manny Silverio, Brendan Harrogate and Savage did the damage.

Davis Boyer closed out the scoring with a penalty shot goal with just 20 seconds left on the clock.

"That was a pond hockey game,” Rose said afterward. “It was an 'oreo' game – the middle was great but that was it. We were good in the second period but in the first and third we were crappy.”

Defenceman Mitch Read #14, obtained at the trade deadline from the St. Marys Lincolns, played his first game for the Legionnaires and picked up an assist. The day after being acquired, he underwent emergency appendectomy surgery.

"Mitch played a good first game,” Rose said. “He's a great skater with good skills.”

Winning netminder Billings made 30 saves. Andrew Masters and Cornel Felder split the goaltending duties for Sarnia and made a combined total of 30 stops.

Attendance was 1,172.

The Legionnaires return to action Saturday when they travel to Strathroy to take on the Rockets.







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