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Legionnaires Win in Hair-raising Game
MARCH 16, 2015


By Dan McCaffery

"It was a good, hard fought battle,” Head Coach Dan Rose said after watching his club squeak out a win late in the third period. “The further you go in the playoffs, the more 2-1 games you'll see.”

Ryan Vendramin's goal late in the third period gave the Sarnia Legionnaires a hair-raising win in front of 1,623 fans over the LaSalle Vipers Sunday. The conquest also gave the Legion crew a 2-1 lead in games in the Western Jr. 'B' hockey semi-final playoff series.

"Brandon Layman won the draw and Cameron Clarke sent it over to me, backdoor,” Vendramin recalled.

For the big forward, it was his third goal of the playoffs.

Vendramin said the game was a hard, tight-checking affair from start to finish. “The whole playoffs have been like that,” he said.

Riley Babkirk broke up a scoreless tie early in the second period after being set up by linemates Nathan Mater and Jay Clarke.

The Legionnaires had a glorious chance to take command of the contest not long after that when they found themselves with a two-man advantage for 1:41.

"If we had scored on that five-on-three it might have changed the game, but we didn't,” Rose said. “Give them (LaSalle) credit.”

On the other side of the coin, Sarnia was successful in killing the two short-handed situations it faced.

LaSalle's Nathan Savage squared matters early in the third period with an unassisted tally, setting the stage for Vendramin's goal, which came at the 16:11 mark.

With half a minute to go, Sarnia goalkeeper Andrew Masters made a save that prevented the Vipers from forcing overtime.

"It went off a tip, I turned around and saw it rolling on the goal-line,” the netminder recalled. “I went into desperation mood and swooped it away.”

"He was our player of the game, he turned around and got that one off the goal-line,” Rose said.

Masters stopped 34 shots and at the other end Paolo Battisti faced 25 Sarnia drives.

Game Four goes Wednesday March 18th in LaSalle, with the fifth contest set for the Brock Street barn on Thursday at 7:10 pm.

 

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