Weekend Recap for Oct. 3-5

Happy Monday hockey fans!

First, you’ll see the blog has a bit of a design change.  It now previews a bit of what each article is about.  If you have any problems viewing it, or find any issues, please let me know.


Now to the hockey.  There were 2 games Fri. night.  The first was Leamington Flyers visiting St. Thomas Stars.  Leamington stole the W from the Stars with a 4-3 win.

John Warren opened the scoring for St. Thomas mid-way through the first period.  With just under 4 minutes left in the period, Leamington’s Cale Phibbs tied it at 1-1.

In the 2nd, new Star Zach Grzelewski, in his first game since being sent down from the London Knights on Thursday, gave St. Thomas the lead again.  About 7 minutes later, on the powerplay, Matthew Opblinger would score his first of the night to tie the game again.

Opblinger scored another on the powerplay 5 minutes into the 3rd period to give the Flyers their first lead of the game.  Jordan Babb would respond for the Stars to tie things back up at 3 each.  In the final seconds of the game, just when the teams thought they were heading to overtime, Opblinger would complete his hattrick and win the game 4-3 for the Flyers.

Flyers goalie Michael Barret received the win, stopping 32 of 36 shots and improved his record to 4-0.  Stars goalie Nikolas Dampier took the loss, stopping 40 of 43 shots and his record was then 2-2-1.


The other game on Fri. was St. Marys Lincolns hosting Lambton Shores Predators.  It was another close game, but the Predators escaped with a 4-2 win.

Lambton Shores’ Franco Sproveiro notched the first goal of the game, on the powerplay with Rai DiLoreto in the box on a tripping call.  Colin Burns made it a 2-0 game just 29 seconds into the 2nd period.

Lincolns rookie Jake Alkins scored both goals for St. Marys, both on the powerplay.

The winning goal was scored on a penalty shot by Ty Jackson in the 3rd period.  Drew Marlatt would add an empty net goal to seal St. Marys’ fate.

Predators rookie goalie Andrew Harriman-Duke faced 39 shots and is now sitting at a 3-0 record.  Lincolns goaltender Andrew Masters faced 30 shots and sat at a record of 0-4-2.


Sat. night, Lambton Shores had to be prepared for when the LaSalle Vipers rolled into the Shores Rec Centre.  The Vipers handed the Preds a 7-1 loss.  Story from www.lasallevipers.com

Vipers get back on track with 7-1 win over Preds

The LaSalle Vipers responded swiftly to their first loss of the season, rebounding to a resounding 7-1 victory over the Lambton Shores Predators Saturday night at The Shores Recreation Centre.

Korey Morgan and Graham Pickard each had a hat trick and Connor Rosaasen added a single.

“Our penalty killl was the difference tonight, but it was a huge night for Graham and Korey,” Vipers head coach Bill Bowler says. “They worked hard in practice and they were rewarded for it.”

Eli Billing made his second start as a Viper and earned his second win.

The Vipers next game is Wednesday night at the Vollmer Centre against the Chatham Maroons. The game marks the end of our annual Reaume Thanksgiving Can Drive.

All donations will go to the LaSalle Food Bank to help local low-income families have a happy Thanksgiving season so please give generously. In addition to canned goods, the Food Bank is also looking for non-perishables, produce and household items. Cash donations are also accepted.

Note: Pointstreak is now up for this game and is showing the score as 8-1, so I’m not sure who to believe.


Also on Sat., the struggling Strathroy Rockets hosted the St. Thomas Stars.  The Stars were looking to bounce back from the heartbreaking loss Fri. night to the Flyers.  They made a comeback attempt, but the Rockets held on for a 4-3 win.

Most of Strathroy’s scoring would come in the first period.  Mark MacAuley notched 2 goals, 3 minutes apart.  The first goal was on the powerplay with MacAuley parked at the side of the net.  His second goal, he skated up the wing, crossed the blueline and the fired the puck above Dampier’s left shoulder.  Just 32 seconds later, Kurtis Sander would make it a 3-0 Rockets game.

Star Zach Grzelewski scored his first of 3 for the night before closing out the 1st period.  His second goal came just 2 minutes into the 2nd period and it was a 3-2 Rockets game.  Stuart King would close out the scoring for the Rockets at 7:39 of the 2nd period, which caused Dampier to be pulled from the game and Dan Black to go in.

Grzelewski scored his third goal of the game with just under 5 minutes left in the game to make it a 4-3 game in favour of the Rockets.

In my opinion, the Stars potentially had a chance to win that hockey game, but played rather stupid in the last few minutes of the game.  They got rather dirty and were throwing a lot of hits, that luckily for them were not called.

In the dying minutes of the game, Brett Van Dusen threw a nice hit, but very illegal hit on Rockets rookie defenceman Matt Knight-Bedour.  Van Dusen cut across the ice and launched himself at the goal line at Knight-Bedour, making contact and causing the helmet to fall off.  No call was made on the play.

Dampier made 13 of 17 saves in his 27:39 minutes played in the game, and now has a record of 2-3-1.  Black stopped all 7 shots that came his way in the 31:47 minutes he played.  Rockets goalie Mat Ouellet stopped 23 of 26 shots and improved his record to 2-4.


The last game of the weekend was Sun. night in Chatham as the Maroons hosted St. Marys Lincolns.  The Maroons handed the Lincolns their 9th straight loss in a 6-0 victory.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Maroons’ Bessette shuts out Lincolns

By Mark Malone, Chatham Daily News


It didn’t feel like a shutout to Bo Bessette, but the scoreboard said otherwise.

The Chatham Maroons netminder had to make only 19 saves Sunday for a 6-0 win over the St. Marys Lincolns before 647 fans at Memorial Arena.

Bessette would have preferred a busier night, but he wasn’t complaining after picking up his second straight win.

“I’d rather have a 40-shot night and have no goals,” said the North York native. “But it still counts as a shutout no matter how many shots you get.”

Bessette, 20, received a puck for his first shutout as a Maroon. The official game puck, however, went to captain Michael Verboom for his hat trick.

Verboom would have been happy handing out souvenirs to everyone in the dressing room after the decisive win.

“We had a good team effort,” he said. “Everyone was good tonight. Bo had a good shutout. He looked solid in there.

“You could have given the puck to anyone.”

The No. 1 line of Verboom, Alexander Morgan and Brennan Feasey combined for nine points. Verboom had four points, Feasey had three assists and Morgan added two helpers.

Connor Annett, Steven Beenackers and Trevor Richardson also scored.

While his teammates were outshooting the Lincolns 46-19, Bessette had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the action.

“We looked stellar,” he said. “The ‘D’ were doing their job. All four lines were going. Obviously there are things we can still work on as a team, but I think every team does.”

The Maroons improved to 4-2-1 in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Western Conference.

After allowing a season-high seven goals last Sunday in a loss to the unbeaten Sarnia Legionnaires, the Maroons have given up a total of only one goal in their last two games. Bessette was in net for both wins.

Bessette has made three consecutive starts. He doesn’t feel like he’s earned the No. 1 job ahead of Jacob Lucier, but he’s happy to get the playing time.

“I can’t complain,” Bessette said. “I like having the ice time. It gets my game going a lot better.”

He had four shutouts last season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League: two with Newmarket and two with St. Michael’s.

While Bessette wanted more work Sunday, Verboom was fine with allowing only 19 shots.

“I’m cool with limiting the other team’s shots,” said the Maroons captain. “It means we’re working hard and we’re backchecking hard and we’re blocking the other team’s shots. It’s definitely not a bad thing.”

The Lincolns (0-7-2) are one of only two winless teams in the GOJHL.

“We knew they were going to be hungry for a win,” Verboom said, “and we didn’t want to be that win. I think we came out with a good effort tonight.”

The Maroons led 3-0 after the first period and pulled away with three more goals in the second.

Lincolns goalie Andrew Masters made 40 saves.

NOTES: Annett finished with three points. …Brayden Hopkins fought Jordan Winter of the Lincolns in the first period. … The Lincolns dressed only 18 players, two below the maximum. … The Maroons visit LaSalle on Wednesday. They’ll play the St. Catharines Falcons as part of the GOJHL Showcase on Saturday in St. Catharines and come home Sunday to host the Leamington Flyers.


After the weekend, here are the standings


Sarnia 9 9 0 0 18 1.000 53 26 149 5-0-0 4-0-0
Leamington 9 7 2 0 14 .778 36 21 209 3-1-0 4-1-0
LaSalle 8 7 1 0 14 .875 41 22 165 3-1-0 3-0-0
Chatham 7 4 2 1 9 .643 30 22 173 2-2-0 2-0-1
Lambton Shores 8 4 4 0 8 .500 23 34 128 3-1-0 1-2-0
St. Thomas 7 2 4 1 5 .357 21 29 107 1-2-1 1-2-0
London 8 2 6 0 4 .250 22 26 181 2-1-0 0-5-0
Strathroy 9 2 7 0 4 .222 22 36 155 1-2-0 1-5-0
St. Marys 9 0 7 2 2 .111 13 45 130 0-4-1 0-3-1



Coming up this week:

Tuesday, October 7

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

Wednesday, October 8

LaSalle Vipers vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:00 Vollmer Rec Centre

London Nationals vs. St. Marys Lincolns – 7:30 Western Fair

Thursday, October 9

Leamington Flyers vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:10 Heinz Arena

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. LaSalle Vipers – 7:10 Sarnia Arena


Strathroy and St. Thomas could be another interesting game, considering the teams just played Sat. night.  St. Thomas could be looking for redemption.  LaSalle and Chatham on Wed. should be a good game, as well as Sarnia and LaSalle on Thursday.  LaSalle will be looking to get back at the Legionnaires for the loss last week, but it’s tough to beat Sarnia in their own arena.

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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