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Legionnaires Win in St. Thomas to Tie Series
MARCH 4, 2015


By Dan McCaffery



file photo - Cameron Clarke set up first goal


The Sarnia Legionnaires pulled off an almost 'must win' Tuesday, edging the St. Thomas Stars 3-2.

The triumph, which came right in the Elgin County city, evened the best-of-seven Western Jr. 'B' hockey quarterfinal series at two games apiece.

Game Five goes Thursday at the Brock Street barn, with the puck drop set for 7:10 p.m.

"It wasn't our best game, we seemed to be playing a little tentative for the first 10 minutes,” head coach Dan Rose said. “The guys wanted to win so badly that they were gripping their sticks a little tightly.”

But that changed just past the mid-point of the opening frame when rushing rearguard Cameron Clarke got on his horse and charged into the St. Thomas zone.

Stars goalie Braden Polasek stoned the flashy defenceman but Sarnia's Brandon Layman pounced on a rebound to put the visitors ahead 1-0.

In the dying seconds of the period Davis Boyer made it 2-0, backhanding home a nifty pass from Cody Trowell.

However, Sarnia ran into penalty trouble after that, giving St. Thomas the extra man for eight minutes in the middle frame.

The Stars scored two goals, including one on the powerplay, to square matters going into the third period.

In the intermission, Rose said, he told his players “to keep battling. All we had to do was win one period and the momentum would shift. We won the period by one goal. It was a little close, but it was a real team builder and character builder.”

 

Trowell got the winner with four minutes left on the clock when he scored with a blazing drive from the faceoff circle.

Ryan Trottier set the play up, racing into the St. Thomas zone and going wide before getting the rubber to Trowell.

The Legionnaires were handed two penalties in the final four minutes but held on, thanks to the goaltending of Andrew Masters and some solid penalty killing.

"Our PK did a really good job, they were diving to get pucks out,” Rose said.

In all, Masters turned back 27 shots for his second playoff victory. Polasek faced 29 shots in the St. Thomas cage.

GAME NOTES:


P. J. Vandervaart played his first game in over a month, having been sidelined with an upper body injury.
file photo - Cody Trowell scores game winner

“He didn't see a lot of ice but P. J. had some good shifts,” Rose said. “His a big, strong kid and he puts a little fear into smaller players.”

He added Vandervaart will likely be in the lineup again Thursday.

Trottier has nine assists in the series to go with one goal.
Boyer, meanwhile, has five goals to his credit.

Sarnia received 16 minutes in penalties on eight infractions while St. Thomas was handed just three minors.

 

The two teams are back in action on Thursday in Sarnia.  Puck drop 7:10 pm at the Sarnia Arena.

 

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