Games of the Week Review – Oct. 1-2, 2014

Four games happened this week.

First was the game everyone was looking forward to.  The 2 remaining GOJHL undefeated teams, LaSalle Vipers and Sarnia Legionnaires, played Wed. night at the Vollmer Rec Centre.  Sarnia took the win, 7-2, and thus established themselves as the only undefeated GOJHL team.  Story from Jon Maillet, Lambton Shield.

Eight Straight

By Jon Maillet

http://www.lambtonshield.com/eight-straight/

The Sarnia Legionnaires continue to ride the wave of success after dominating the LaSalle Vipers on the road 7-2 to become the only undefeated team left in the GOJHL, as they improve to 8-0-0, Sarnia’s best start since 2008/2009.

Davis Boyer and Riley Babkirk led the way Wednesday night with a goal and two assists each in a game that saw the Legionnaires come out hard, scoring the games first goal just 1:51 into the first, Babkirk scoring his 5th of the season to put Sarnia ahead. They didn’t look back either, leading 3-1 after the first period and chasing Vipers goalie Paolo Battisti in the second period after allowing five goals on just 18 shots.

“I thought we played really well, you know it’s a road game, but we controlled the tempo of the game, our forwards did a great job of back checking through the neutral zone and it allowed our defence to stand up at the blue line and we just kept taking pucks away from them and going back into their end.” Coach Dan Rose said post game, he was also impressed as once again it was another night where the defence provided some offence as Tyler Prong, Kyler Keating and Sam McCormack all scored, for McCormack that was his first GOJHL goal.

Tyler Longo and Brandon Layman also scored their first goals as well, Rose is certainly happy with the depth on his squad saying “Everyone is contributing, that’s a good sign and the guys are cheering for each other, we have a great dressing room right now.”

Another large part of the win came from the goaltending of Hunter Johnson who was certainly busy stopping 35 of 37 shots in the win putting his record to 5-0-0 in net.

Sarnia also had production from Brad Campbell, Jordan Fogarty and Sarnia Sting pick Jake O’Odonnell, each picking up an assist.

Sarnia now has four of the GOJHL’s top point getters as Cody Trowell who had two points against LaSalle and Davis Boyer are now within a point of the league lead with 15 points each, captain Nathan Mater is tied for fifth (12 points) and Riley Babkirk is ninth (11 points).

“I think we have the most depth in the league, that’s what’s starting to win us some games, we are working teams down and all four of our lines are dangerous, we can all score so that’s our advantage nod we play our game towards that.” Said Davis Boyer when asked about the balanced scoring on the team.

The Legionnaires also played a very disciplined style of game as well, avoiding the penalty box the best they could only allowing the Vipers to have three powerplay chances, all of which they killed off. Conversely the Vipers gave up 12 chances to the Legionnaires.

 

Also on Wed., Chatham Maroons rolled into London’s Western Fair looking to bounce back from their 2-game slide over the weekend.  The Maroons handed the Nationals a 2-1 loss.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Maroons snap two-game slide

http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2014/10/01/maroons-snap-two-game-slide

LONDON – The Chatham Maroons weren’t at their best Wednesday, but they played well enough to end their two-game skid.

Alexander Morgan scored with 1:40 left in the third period to beat the London Nationals 2-1 at the Western Fair Sports Centre.

“It was a win,” Maroons head coach Mark Davis said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.

“Bo (Bessette) played really good in net. We had some good chances, but we don’t have that click right now. But it’s coming.”

Bessette made 26 saves. He had a shutout until Kyle Robinson scored the tying goal at 9:43 of the third.

Brayden Hopkins of the Maroons opened the scoring 55 seconds into the second period.

The Maroons (3-2-1) have played only six games in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League season, so Davis isn’t losing any sleep about their lack of chemistry. He’s certain they’ll find it soon.

“I’m not too worried,” he said. “I said that we’re going to have some ugly victories, and tonight was one of them.”

The Maroons were playing their first game since losing twice on the weekend. They suffered a 5-4 shootout loss to the Lambton Shores Predators on Saturday and then dropped a 7-5 decision to the Sarnia Legionnaires at home Sunday.

Bessette was in net for Sunday’s loss, but Davis didn’t hesitate to start him again Wednesday.

“He struggled a bit Sunday, but he didn’t have much help in front of him,” Davis said.

Bessette will get the start again Sunday when the Maroons host the winless St. Marys Lincolns (0-4-2) at 7 p.m. at Memorial Arena, Davis said.

Nationals goalie Justin Tugwell stopped 26 shots.

The Maroons were outshot 13-7 in the second period, but they came back in the third to outshoot the Nationals 11-6.

NOTES: Brennan Feasey leads the Maroons with six goals, Ian Faubert has four, and Hopkins and Trevor Richardson each have three. … Chatham was 0-for-4 and London was 0-for-5 on the power play. … The Nationals (2-6-0) are tied with the Strathroy Rockets for the most losses in the Western Conference.

 

On Thursday, Leamington Flyers hosted St. Marys Lincolns and, as a comment I saw on Twitter, it looked more like a scrimmage game.  Flyers handed the Lincolns a 7-1 loss.  Story by C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Roll To 7-1 Victory Over Lincolns

by C. Scott Holland

Making a long bus trip is tough on any hockey team and on Thursday night, the young St. Marys Lincolns team made the long trip to Leamington. For the Flyers, it was a night when they unveiled a new Zamboni and its sponsor and the Lincs must have felt like it had rolled over them by the time the 60 minute contest had finished.

Lincolns starter Tyler Beattie was peppered with 54 shots and surrendered seven goals while Flyers netminder Trevor Wheaton faced only 19 and permitted a lone puck to get past him.

It didn’t take the Flyers long to assert a lead which they wouldn’t give up. Blaine Bechard and Chris Scott combined to send a left to right pass to Kyle Quick. Quick neatly tucked it past Beattie on the short side at 1:26. At 8:16, Cale Allen’s feed found Quick who hammered a right lane shot that blazed past Beattie to make it 2-0. The Lincs finally got a shot on Wheaton at 13:08 when they went on a two-on-nobody break, but Wheaton foiled the attempt with a glove side save before Nathan Smith, the trailing player, interfered with Wheaton and got caught. On the ensuing powerplay, Colin Moore left a pass for Zachary Guilbeault whose top of the slot shot was redirected into the net by JP Grineau, who was on Beattie’s doorstep.

Up 3-0 in the second, the Flyers didn’t alleviate their shot barrage. Matthew Opblinger and Alex Friesen set up Kyle Perkowski’s cannon-like salvo which caromed off Beattie’s pads and into the twine to make it 4-0. At 11:43, while on another powerplay, Leamington upped the score as Alex Derksen aided Chris Scott in notching his fifth tally of the campaign. Near the 18 minute mark, Zak Parlette and Scott shuffled passes on a slick tic-tac-toe play which ended with Eric Henderson flicking the sixth Flyers’ marker. With Parlette sidelined for hooking, the Lincs tried jamming the puck past Wheaton and were finally rewarded with a powerplay goal when the Flyers netminder stopped a shot which then appeared to bounce right back past him after hitting something. Graham Brulotte drew the assist with Sean O’Brien being credited with the marker.

At the outset of the third, the Flyers Moore and Guilbeault exchanged passes before Blake Rutckj unleashed a left lane shot which found the target and complete the scoring. At 9:40, St. Marys’ forward Colin Nancekivell was part of a Lincs’ play around the Flyers’ net and he clubbed Wheaton on the head with his stick thus receiving a goaltender interference call. Some further roughness occurred at 14:51 around the Lincs’ net as Callum Ruddock and Leamington’s Cale Phibbs were ushered off for roughing after the whistle. Phibbs got an extra two for roughing. It was at this juncture that coach Merlin Malinkowski took exception to something and received a bench minor which was accompanied by a game misconduct for verbal abuse.

The two squads played the rest of the game in a quiet manner and Leamington won 7-1. Leamington went two for four with the man advantage while the Lincolns were one for three. The Flyers badly outshot St. Marys 54 to 19.

The victory left the Flyers with a 6-2 record and moved them into a second-place tie with LaSalle.

On Fri. Oct. 3 the Flyers visit St. Thomas then host Strathroy Thurs. Oct. 9 before hosting Ancaster in their 1 pm Showcase game in St. Catharines on Sat. Oct. 11.
 

I was dead wrong about the game of the week on Monday.  The game of the week was Sarnia vs. Strathroy.  I couldn’t go to the game, but I listened to it on the radio and WOW!  Sarnia improved their record to 9-0 with a 3-2 win, but that W did not come easy.

Jordan Fogarty opened the scoring for Sarnia 1:53 into the game.  According to the radio, it sounded like they thought Rocket Matt Knight-Bedour mis-directed the shot behind Rocket starter Tynan Lauziere.  With Dan Chapman in the box late the first, there was a flurry of activity in front of Lauziere, but he stood strong.

The second period started and it sounded like the Rockets didn’t give up.  They gave up a rather quick goal to start the game, but didn’t let it get them down.  Rookie Sam Vokes finally capitalized on the powerplay and got the Rockets on the board, 1-1.  Vokes would score again, on the powerplay, 5 min. into the third to make it a 2-1 Rockets game.

Sarnia did not back down though.  Within an 8 second span, Riley Babkirk and Nathan Mater restored the Legionnaires lead to 3-2.  They said on the radio that it looked like goalie interference from Babkirk on his goal, but referee Sean Geene let it stand.

Late in the third, Lauziere was late seeing the sign for the extra attacker, on his way to the bench, Ryan Trottier picked up the puck and shot it in the empty net, but it was called back as the Rockets were getting a penalty.

I never like to miss Strathroy-Sarnia hockey games because they are always FANTASTIC games to watch, it sounded like the best game we have played so far.

With the win, Sarnia has improved their record to 9-0.  Strathroy has fallen to 1-7.  Legionnaire Cornel Felder stopped 29 of 31 shots, while Lauziere was 37 of 40.

 

Current standings before the weekend

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME AWAY
Sarnia 9 9 0 0 18 1.000 53 26 149 5-0-0 4-0-0
Leamington 8 6 2 0 12 .750 32 18 201 3-1-0 3-1-0
LaSalle 7 6 1 0 12 .857 34 21 165 3-1-0 3-0-0
Chatham 6 3 2 1 7 .583 24 22 156 1-2-0 2-0-1
Lambton Shores 6 3 3 0 6 .500 18 25 100 3-1-0 0-2-0
St. Thomas 5 2 2 1 5 .500 15 21 68 1-1-1 1-1-0
London 8 2 6 0 4 .250 22 26 181 2-1-0 0-5-0
Strathroy 8 1 7 0 2 .125 18 33 138 0-2-0 1-5-0
St. Marys 7 0 5 2 2 .143 11 35 83 0-3-1 0-2-1

 

Coming up this weekend

Friday

St. Thomas Stars vs. Leamington Flyers – 7:30 Timken Centre

St. Marys Lincolns vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:30 Pyramid Rec Centre

Saturday

Lambton Shores Predators vs. LaSalle Vipers – 7:30 Shores Rec Centre

Strathroy Rockets vs. St. Thomas Stars – 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial

Sunday

Chatham Maroons vs. St. Marys Lincolns – 7:00 Chatham Memorial

 

St. Thomas and Leamington tonight could be a good game, as well as Strathroy and St. Thomas tomorrow.  I’m more inclined to think Strathroy-St. Thomas because they are both near each other in the standings, plus they play each other again next week, so anything could happen.

 

Happy weekend fans and I’ll see you again on Monday.

You all know that I am a die-hard Rockets fan, but I am also a die-hard GOJHL fan, having been watching Jr. B hockey since I was 10 years old. I will only watch the GOJHL and during the hockey season, you never know what arena RG is gonna show up at.

I’m bringing you the games, news, and updates of the GOJHL.

RG is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRocketGirl16 and you can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheRocketGirl16

If you hear of anything about any of the teams in the GOJHL, or have questions about anything, feel free to post it. If I don’t know the answer, I know how to find it.

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