Sarnia Legionnaires Edge Strathroy in OT Thriller

October 9, 2015

By Dan McCaffery
submitted photos

A forward who made his reputation as a defensive specialist is leading the Sarnia Legionnaires in scoring this young Jr. 'B' hockey season.

Brandon Layman – who registered just eight goals all of last year – scored in overtime Thursday to lift his club to a 4-3 victory over the Strathroy Rockets.

For Layman, it was his team-leading fifth tally in just nine games.

And it came in dramatic fashion.

In fact, Layman and linemate Jordan Fogarty broke in on Rockets goalie Dane Gubbels, trying desperately to reach a loose puck before Gubbels could scoop it up.

"Fogarty was in the lead and he poked it through to me,” Layman recalled. “I had a wide open net.”

Layman added he expects to take a more offensive role with the team this season.

Head coach Mark Davis was full of praise for Layman. “He's playing amazing hockey,” the bench boss said. “He's one of those kids who grows on you. He's got an 'A' on his jersey and he leads by example.”

The game itself was a tense battle from start to finish.

Sarnia's Alec DeKoning started the fireworks early in the first period when he beat Gubbels with a drive from a sharp angle. Brendan Shagena set the play up, earning his first point of the season in the process.

For DeKoning, it was his second goal of the year.

But Riley O'Connell tied the game with a power-play marker before the first stanza came to a close.

Neither side lit the lamp in the middle frame, setting the stage for a heart-stopping third period.

Flurry of goals

Jarret Marks put the Legion crew ahead 2-1 at the 6:47 mark, backhanding home a shot from close range after some great work from his linemates.

P. J. Vandervaart delivered a thumping hit along the sideboards and Zack Vanderwal kept the puck in at the point, allowing Marks to notch his second of the season. Vanderwal, who was playing his first game of the year, got an assist on the play.

It looked like the game was over when Captain Hunter Tyczynski got his second of the campaign with less than five minutes left. Tyczynski backhanded in a loose puck in the crease to make it 3-1 Sarnia. Helpers went to Jacob Stos and Ben Derrough.

But the Rockets struck for two goals in the final three minutes – including one with Gubbels on the bench for a sixth attacker – to force OT. O'Connell had one of the markers, while Mark Ewart had the other.

Game notes:

Attendance at the Brock Street Barn was 1,348.

The Legionnaires now have a 4-3-1-1 record, which leaves them in a three-way tie for third place with St. Thomas and Strathroy.

Shayne Battler got the win in Sarnia's net, kicking out 27 shots. The Legionnaires fired 47 pucks on the Rockets cage.

Legionnaires rearguard Sam McCormack earned praise from Davis after he stood up for a teammate, taking on one of the bigger Rockets in a spirited fight.







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