By Dan McCaffery
The Sarnia Legionnaires were in the game the whole way Thursday but,
in the end, they couldn't quite handle the first place Leamington
The Tomato Town team edged the shorthanded Legion crew 2-1 before
more than 1,000 fans at the Brock Street barn.
Legionnaires P. J. Vandervaart, Zach Vanderwal and Sam McCormack
missed the contest due to suspension, and Ethan DuPont was given a
game misconduct early in the first period. Later, Eric Mash joined
him on the sidelines with a game misconduct.
"I told the guys, 'we battled hard, we played the first place
team,'” Sarnia head coach Mark Davis said afterward. “I thought
Hughes (Legionnaires goalie Aidan Hughes) played really well in net.
The other goalie (Leamington's Tyler Wall) made some good saves as
He added, “We're not a big scoring team but we had our chances on
In fact, Hughes kicked out 30 shots, while Wall faced 21 pucks.
Leamington drew first blood early in the opening frame, when Scott
Emerson blinked the red light on a power play.
But Ryan Vendramin tied the game late in the period when he broke
into the clear, deked Wall out of position and roofed the puck on a
backhander for his ninth of the campaign. Defenceman Konnor
Roskovich drew the lone assist.
Mitchell Amonte got the game winner in the middle stanza, rifling a
shot just under the crossbar to finish off two-on-one break.
Three Mooretown Flags Jr. 'C' call-ups saw action for Sarnia,
including Nolan Riley, Trevor Bogaert and Mike Kindrachuk.
Davis praised all three, saying, “They played well. They're great
call-ups. They're our future.”
With the loss the Legionnaires fell to 11-9-1-1. They remain in
sixth place in the Western Ontario Hockey Conference standings,
three points behind LaSalle and London, who are tied for fourth.
Sarnia returns to action Thursday when it hosts the St. Thomas
Stars. Game time is set for 7:10 p.m.