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Legionnaires win second in two days
Andrew Brethauer September 29th, 2011

Sarnia, ON The Sarnia Legionnaires may have finally hit their stride this week, with a 5-2 victory over the Chatham Maroons, the Legionnaires have won their last two games and are starting to work together as a unit.

"That was a great effort, we really played well tonight," said head coach Dan Rose. "They're working as 5-man units when they are out there. The score did not indicate the level of play tonight. We completely dominated them."

Sarnia outplayed the Maroons in the first period, resulting in two goals that came off of the continue forecheck the Legionnaires put on. Andrew Sokol got his second of the year off rebound blocked shot, and beat a sprawling Conner MacKinnon to put Sarnia up 1-0.

Sarnia would go on the powerplay in the middle of the period, where Jesse Drydak had two chances in the slot but just couldn't find the handle on either shot. But even when turned around on their own penalty kill, the Legionnaires lead by Evan Dixon had two chances at scoring.

Soon after the penalty kill expired, Anthony Donati won a puck battle behind the net, sent the puck out from where Derek D'Andrea scored his second of the season to put Sarnia up 2-0 after the first.

In the second the Legionnaires made a costly mistake that resulted in a Chatham goal, as a clear up the ice was knocked down by Ian Faubert who raced in on Kyle Washer with a 3 on 1, dishing off to Thomas Eady who scored to cut the lead in half.

But Dixon, who has been a stand out player for Sarnia would restore the two goal lead with a turnover of his own in the Chatham corner, walking across the top of the goal crease from the corner and sliding a backhand passed MacKinnon for the 3-2 lead after the second.

Sarnia held Chatham to just three shots in the period.

In the third, the Legionnaires took four penalties in the first half of the period. Chatham would jump on a 5 on 3 powerplay when Michael Verboom picked up a rebound from a point shot and made it a 3-2 game.

But Sarnia, who outshot Chatham 19-15 in the period would continue their dominating play. Justice Dundas would score his first goal as a Legionnaire after getting sent down from the Sarnia Sting on a cross pass from Jesse Drydak, beating MacKinnon with a top corner wrist shot. for the 4-2 lead.

22 seconds later Daniel Nikandrov would get a pass from Dixon out of the corner and beat MacKinnon low for the fifth and final goal of the night, as Sarnia takes home their second victory on home ice, 5-2.

Rose thought his team, who has had discipline problems in the past, played a disciplined game despite the third period penalties.

"Our guys were disciplined. We got some penalties but they were not undisciplined penalties," said Rose. "We were disciplined last night and we were tonight."

Sarnia killed of six of the seven penalties handed out to them, while were 0 for 4 on the powerplay.

With a full line up with two new additions in Nathan Mater and Justice Dundas, the Legionnaires received contributions from everyone throughout the line up. Rose went with three different powerplay units and made minor changes to his line up to help generate scoring, showcasing not only the skill of the Legionnaires, but also the tremendous depth the team has.

"It was good hard hockey, and I think our depth showed as the game went on," said Rose. "We have four lines that can play. We got skill, we are big, we are going to be a tough team to play if they show up and play like this."

With two wins in a row, the Legionnaires seemingly have found the way to win. But Rose has been adamant that confidence has never been an issue in the Legionnaires dressing room, and that from the get go, it was all a process to get a winning team on the ice.

"We always have confidence in this hockey team, we just struggled out of the gate" said Rose. "We knew we would get it going. We didn't want to make an excuses, we just weren't playing well, that's all."

Kyle Washer also picked up his third win of the season, making 24 saves and coming up big when he had to.

Sarnia is now 3-4-0 to start the year. Sarnia is on the road next week with a Wednesday game in LaSalle and a Saturday game in Welland. Sarnia's next home game is Thursday, October 13th against Strathroy.


 

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