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Legionnaires look for identity to snap three game winless streak
andrew brethauer September 27th, 2011

Sarnia, ON   An identity crisis may explain the Sarnia Legionnaires 1-4-0 start to the season which includes a current three game losing streak. But head coach Dan Rose insists it is a process to bring a team together and finding the ways to success.

"We're struggling right now to find our own identity," said Rose. "We've played well at times and other times we have been very sloppy."

The Legionnaires have practiced well says Rose, but so far the hard practice has not translated into victories this season. The latest last week being a 7-4 loss to Lambton Shores and a 5-2 loss to St. Thomas.

But don't expect any drastic changes on the ice, as line changes will be kept to a minimum while players continue to work together and find the chemistry between themselves. Sarnia's top line of Jason Teschke, Jesse Drydak and Tyler Cicchini have five goals between them, while Brent Sauve who had three the prior week was held scoreless against the Predators and the Stars.

The Legionnaires will welcome two new additions to the line up for this weeks games, as the Sarnia Sting will send down Justice Dundas and Nathan Mater to the Legionnaires, who have been playing short on the bench while waiting for the Sting to make their final roster cuts.

But despite the slow start, the Legionnaires continue to have high expectations for themselves heading into the season, as Rose knows finding the chemistry for a team now in September, can translate to better hockey in January and February.

"The players. myself included, have high expectations for this team," said Rose. "This is a really good hockey team that has a lot of potential. No one is happy where we are right now, but it is a long process. January-February is when you want to be playing your best hockey and we are just in the initial process of putting our team together."

Rose believes this is a team that can win this year, and that the Legionnaires are not in a transition phase. Rose has said he accepts the responsibility to find the right line combinations and get things back on track. Both powerplay units are new and still working through chemistry, but with Sarnia's top line as unit one, the ability to put pucks in the net is only a matter of time.

Sarnia currently has the fifth worst powerplay with just three goals on 32 advantages. Their penalty kill is also fifth worst, but through five games the Legionnaires have managed to keep the penalties down, being shorthanded 27 times which is the third lowest in the league, while also scoring two shorthanded goals.

Wednesday night the Legionnaires are in London to face the Nationals (3-2-0). A return trip Thursday night puts Sarnia at home to the Chatham Maroons (2-4-1). A tough road ahead, but both winnable games for Sarnia,.

Kyle Washer and Sean Parker have split the ice time over the first give games, with Washer getting the extra nod in net and the only victory of the season.

Puck drop on Thursday night at Sarnia Arena is at 7:10pm.



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