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Hockey Day in Sarnia a success for the Legionnaires
andrew brethauer February 11th, 2012

Sarnia, ON - With three goals in the third period, the Sarnia Legionnaires continue their quest to lock up first place in the Western Conference, defeating the LaSalle Vipers 3-1 on Hockey Day in Sarnia. 

The Vipers played the trap defence on the Legionnaires, clogging up the neutral zone for the majority of the first and second period causing Sarnia to turn the puck over numerous times. But once Sarnia got their break out moving north and south in the third, the goals soon followed.

"They came in with a good game play, playing a road game, they set up a good trap and they trapped the whole game," said Legionnaires Head Coach Dan Rose. "We know how to get out of it but it is the first time we had to do it all year. So we didn't have the experience. One they settled down and guys started to move the puck, we started to play a north and south, our skill took over and we scored some pretty nice goals."

After a scoreless first period, LaSalle opened the scoring late in the second period as Jonathan Woelk found Eric Noel in front of the net where he banged it in past Sean Parker for the 1-0 Viper lead.

The lead would not last long in the third as 39 seconds in, Nathan Mater would find a streaking Jesse Drydak who sped past the defence and put a back hander into the top of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

Drydak would get in on the second goal, leading the rush into the Vipers zone but putting on the breaks, he would spot a wide open Jason Teschke who came in alone, with his shot flipping over the goalie and into the back of the net for the first Sarnia lead of the game.

The Vipers would run into penalty trouble late in the game, and some quick passing would lead to a Daniel Nikandrov goal, as Drydak and Teschke would pick up points on the assists with the fast passes, putting Sarnia ahead 3-1 for a final score.

"We played a pretty good defensive game ourselves," said Rose. "We were not playing bad we were just not generating any offence."

Sean Parker got the start and made 21 saves for his 13th win of the season. Anthony Donti would also have a multi point game for the Legionnaires with two assists.

Rose sees the test tonight with the Vipers trap defence as a valuable test heading into the playoffs, and something the Legionnaires will continue to work on in the weeks to come. Sarnia can seal up first place in the conference within their next two games and if so, will take on the 8th place seed which is currently being contested between the Chatham Marrons and the Lambton Shore Predators. Rose says though, in this years playoffs, he wouldn't put his money on any team winning any series because every team is close this year.

"There is no good or bad teams in this league this year," said Rose. "I would not want to bet on any series at all. I'd bet on my own team because I believe in my team but beyond that I would not place money on any one of the other series."

Sarnia will next take on St. Thomas on Sunday and will return to the Sarnia Arena on their regular Thursday night game against Chatham.




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