Weekend Recap – Oct. 24-26

Happy Monday GOJHL fans.  I hope you had a great weekend and were able to make it out to some games.  There were 6 games in the West this weekend so let’s have a look at them.


First was Friday night when St. Thomas Stars hosted Strathroy Rockets.  Despite a comeback attempt by the Stars, the Rockets hung on with a 7-6 win.  Story from David Honsberger.

Rockets Survive Stars’ Comeback Bid

The Strathroy Rockets hung on for a 7-6 win Friday night at the Timkin Centre in St. Thomas after building an early 4-0 lead.

Playing on the heels of the news that five-year veteran and three-year captain Tyler Duarte had been dealt to the Leamington Flyers, the rejuvenated Rockets stormed out of the gates scoring twice in the opening 69 seconds on goals by Stuart King and Sam Vokes.

At the 5-minute mark Nick Boyer tallied his first of three on the night bringing a quick end to Stars’ starting goaltender Nikolas Dampier’s night.

Just 55 seconds later King notched his second of the period on backup Dan Black.

Stars coach Ron Horvat called a time out and the Stars answered quickly with a goal by Zach Grzelewski just 70 seconds later. Andrew Chambers cut the Rocket lead in half 77 seconds later.

The two teams had combined for 6 goals in the opening 7:27.

From that point on, the game settled down considerably – until the third period.

The two clubs would skate through over 30 minutes of scoreless hockey until Boyer scored with 2 minutes remaining in the second period. It would be the only goal of the period and gave the Rockets a 5-2 lead heading into the final frame.

The lone second period goal by Boyer did not seem very significant at the time until the Stars outscored the Rockets 4-2 in the third period.

John Warren and Josh Slegers scored in the opening 6:50 to bring the Stars to within a goal of the Rockets.

The Rockets answered quickly when Boyer completed his hat trick and Dan Chapman scored what turned out to be the game winner less than three minutes later.

Spencer Hutchinson gave the Stars some hope at 12:57 on the powerplay, and Warren with his second of the night with 67 seconds remaining in regulation time brought the Stars back to within a goal. Warren’s goal also came on the powerplay with Black on the bench for the extra attacker.

The Rockets dodged a huge bullet when a potential Stars’ tying goal was waved off as the Rocket net was bumped from its moorings.

Warren nearly tied the game seconds later, but the puck hopped over his stick.

Final shots favoured the Rockets 40-37. Strathroy went 2 for 5 on the powerplay while St. Thomas was 2 for 7.

Rocket goaltender Matt Ouellet bolted from his net at the sound of the final buzzer and headed to the Rocket dressing room clearly upset with his performance.

The Boyer-Brett Dalton-King line scored 5 of the Rocket goals with Dalton earning 3 assists and extending his point streak to 7 games.

Boyer was the first player at the rink and on the ice for warm-up for the Rockets. He clearly demonstrated that he was prepared to rally and inspire his team with the departure of Duarte to Leamington.

The win improved the Rockets’ record to 5-10 and moved them into a three-way tie for sixth place with the 4-8-2 Stars and the 5-8 Lambton Shores Predators. All three clubs trailed the fifth place London Nationals by 3 points. Three of the Rockets 5 wins this season have come at the expense of the Stars.

The Entertainment Tonight Stars of the Game for the Rockets were King, Boyer and defenseman Kurtis Sander.

Warren and Grzelewski were outstanding all night along with underage linemate Dane Johnstone.


The other game on Fri. was St. Marys Lincolns hosting Chatham Maroons.  The Maroons shut out the Lincolns 4-0.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Maroons’ Bessette shuts out Lincolns


ST. MARYS – Head coach Mark Davis was feeling better and back on the Chatham Maroons’ bench Friday after an illness kept him from Thursday’s game.

The Maroons found a cure for what was ailing them, too.

They bounced back from a 7-6 defeat to the London Nationals with a 4-0 win over the lowly St. Marys Lincolns before 225 fans at the Pyramid Recreation Centre.

“We had a really good first period, we had an OK second period and in the third period we didn’t play well,” Davis said. “We played well enough to win, but not as well as I’d hoped.

“Their goaltender (Andrew Masters) stood on his head. He was amazing.”

Maroons goalie Bo Bessette also played well, making 29 saves for his second shutout of the season. Both were against the last-place Lincolns.

“We wanted to throw him back in there and get his confidence back after last night,” Davis said.

The Maroons struck quickly with two goals in the first two minutes.

Steven Szekesy scored 32 seconds after the opening faceoff and fellow defenceman Connor Annett followed at 1:26.

The Maroons started well in the second period, too. Brennan Feasey scored his team-high 11th goal 1:43 into the frame for a 3-0 lead.

Trevor Richardson added a power-play goal at 16:23 for a 4-0 lead after two periods.

Captain Michael Verboom had three assists.

The Maroons finished with 38 shots on Masters.

They improved to 8-5-1 in the GOJHL Western Conference, while the Lincolns fell to 1-13-2.

The Lincolns have been shut out four times. They’ve scored only 26 goals in 16 games.

They’re improving, Davis said, but he expects a much stiffer test Sunday when the unbeaten Sarnia Legionnaires (13-0-0) visit Memorial Arena at 7 p.m.

He also wants the Maroons to play better defensively than they did Friday.

“We have to keep their shots down and match their energy,” he said. “I think we have as good a team as any in the league. We just have to play 60 minutes. … You play a team like Sarnia, you’ve got to work every shift. One-on-one battles are going to be huge on Sunday.”

The Legionnaires won 7-5 on Sept. 28 in Chatham in the teams’ only meeting this season.


Sat. night, Lambton Shores Predators hosted Leamington Flyers.  The Preds were shut out at home 6-0 by the Flyers.  Story from Pointstreak.

Leamington shrugs off penalties, upends Lambton Shores, 6-0

The Lambton Shores Predators failed to take advantage of their power play opportunities and the Leamington Flyers shook off a number of penalties to win, 6-0.

Leamington was led by Kyle Quick, who tallied one goal and one assist. Quick scored on the power play 15:15 into the second period to make the score 1-0 Leamington. The Flyers had taken the advantage when Lambton Shores’ Sean Ross got sent off for high sticking. Thomas Virban picked up the assist.

Leamington racked up the penalties in the contest, and ended with seven minors and one major for 39 minutes in penalty time. The Flyers surpassed its season average of 27.0 penalty minutes per game. Leamington excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in eight chances. The Flyers’ defense was surprisingly good. Leamington allows 2.7 goals per game. The Flyers’ offense rang up 38 shots on the Predators’ net.

Leamington additionally got points from Eric Henderson, who also registered one goal and one assist. Leamington also got a goal from Chris Scott as well. More assists for Leamington came via Cale Phibbs and Matthew Opblinger, who each chipped in one and Tyler Duarte, Cale Allen, and Kyle Perkowski, who contributed two each.

Lambton Shores could not produce up to its normal offensive output. The Predators average 2.5 goals per game.

Michael Barrett rejected 21 shots on goal for Leamington. The Flyers registered one goal on five power play opportunities. Lambton Shores’ Anthony Hertubise stopped 32 shots out of the 38 that he faced.

The Predators incurred 20 minutes in penalty time with five minors.


The other game on Sat. was Strathroy Rockets hosting the undefeated Sarnia Legionnaires.  The Legionnaires left the WMMA with a 1 in the L column after the Rockets won 3-2.  It was arguably the best game of the weekend, and the best game the Rockets have played this season.  It was the most intense game I’ve been to in a long time and it was classic Strathroy-Sarnia.  I know people don’t like this word, but our teams just absolutely hate each other, which makes for fantastic games.  Story by David Honsberger.

Legionnaires Perfect Season Ends

The perfect start to the Sarnia Legionnaires’ season came to an abrupt halt at the WMMC in Strathroy on Saturday night as the Rockets edged the visiting Legionnaires 3-2 in front of 352 fans.

Bev Shipley, the MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, gave an emotional speech prior to the start of the game reflecting on the tragic events that transpired in Ottawa earlier in the week.

This is video of Bev’s speech.


Sarnia’s dynamic start of the 2014-15 season ended after 13 straight wins. Despite the fast start, the first place Legionnaires find the second place Leamington Flyers hot on their heels. The Flyers trail the Legionnaires by two points after a 6-0 shutout win over the Predators in Lambton Shores Saturday night. Former Rocket captain Tyler Duarte was dressed for his first game as a Flyer earning a pair of assists. The two clubs meet on Tuesday, October 28 at the Sarnia Arena. In their only other meeting this season, Sarnia skated away with a 6-4 win on the opening day of the season.

The Legionnaires were their own worst enemy against the Rockets. The Rockets had 13 powerplay opportunities in the game capitalizing on two of them. The Rockets also enjoyed four lengthy 5-on-3 opportunities.

By contrast Sarnia went 1 for 5 with the man advantage.

The Rockets used their speed and their body to punish the Legionnaires in the small confines of WMMC. Sarnia retaliated by taking numerous penalties.

The Rockets would outshoot the Legionnaires by a 52-33 margin – the most shots on goal registered by the Rockets in a single game this season.

The Rocket win combined with their 7-6 victory the previous night in St. Thomas moved Strathroy into sole possession of sixth place, one point below the idle London Nationals.

Brett Dalton scored his first of two on the night at 14:30 of the opening period when he blasted a one-timer from the faceoff dot past Cornel Felder on a 5-on-3 powerplay to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead. The goal extended Dalton’s point streak to 8 games (4 goals, 8 assists). Mark MacAulay and Kurtis Sander assisted on the play.

The Legionnaires would tie the game at 1-1 on a nearly identical play when Sam McCormack fired a one-timer past Rocket starter Mat Ouellet with Cameron Clarke and Ryan Vendramin assisting at 4:42 of the second period. It was goaltender Ouellet’s eighth straight start in goal for the Rockets.

The Rockets would head into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead when Dalton tallied his second of the night. Dalton was the benefactor of a deft pass from Nick Boyer between the legs of Kyler Keating into the slot at 11:40. Stuart King also assisted on the play.

Speedy Nick Griffin put the Rockets up 3-1 at 5:31 of the third period with a great individual effort. Cameron Clarke missed Jay Clarke’s pass into the slot in front of the Rocket net. Griffin gobbled up the puck and sped down the ice outracing Jake O’Donnell and fired a wrist shot that beat Felder.

The Legionnaires cut the Rocket lead to 3-2 at 10:08 of the third when Riley Babkirk stripped the puck from Nick Whitworth behind the Rocket net and set up Cody Trowell.

Despite pressing in the final minutes looking for the equalizer, the Legionnaires took 3 minor penalties in the final minute to seal their fate.

The win evened the Rockets’ home record at 4-4.

The Entertainment Tonight Players of the Game for the Rockets were Nick Boyer, Nick Griffin and the defensive pairing of Matt Laberge and Matt Knight-Bebour.


On Sun. it was a matinee and the final game of the Rockets 3-in-3 weekend, as they hosted Lambton Shores Predators.  It took overtime, but the Rockets were victorious with a 7-6 win, and took all 6 points available this weekend, and gave up just 1.  The win moved Strathroy to 5th place, 1 point above London Nationals.  Story from Pointstreak.

Lambton Shores falls to Strathroy in overtime, 7-6 (OT)

The Strathroy Rockets’ Stuart King scored 3:24 into overtime to beat the Lambton Shores Predators, 7-6 (OT).

King had two goals and one assist to lead Strathroy. King scored the first of his two goals at 12:21 into the third period to make the score 6-5 Strathroy. Lucas Latina picked up the assist. King’s next tally made the score 7-6 Strathroy with 16:36 left in overtime. Kurtis Sander assisted on the tally.

The Rockets’ penalty kill excelled, as Strathroy gave up one goal despite allowing eight power plays.

The Rockets forced Predators’ goalies to work between the pipes, finishing with 53 shots and forcing 46 saves. Anthony Hurtubise made 12 stops and Andrew Harriman-Duke made 34. Strathroy surpassed its usual scoring output this season. The Rockets average 3.2 goals per game.

Strathroy additionally got points from Sander, who also racked up one goal and one assist. Others who scored for Strathroy included Dan Chapman, who had two and Brett Dalton and Kieran Milne, who each put in one. In addition, Strathroy received assists from Nick Whitworth, Sam Vokes, and Nick Boyer, who contributed one each and Matt Laberge and Mark MacAulay, who each chipped in two.

Lambton Shores forced Strathroy goalie Mat Ouellet to work between the pipes, taking 56 shots. The Predators outdid their season average for goals scored. Lambton Shores has scored at the pace of 2.7 goals per game during the current campaign. The Predators were forced to rely heavily on their penalty kill unit throughout the game, as they racked up 24 penalty minutes.

Lambton Shores was helped by Brenden Trottier, who grabbed one goal and two assists. Trottier scored 12:40 into the first period to make the score 2-2. Brett Corrigan provided the assist. Lambton Shores also got points from Drew Marlatt, who also had one goal and one assist, Corrigan, who also finished with one goal and one assist, and Ryan Fraser, who also registered one goal and two assists. Lambton Shores also had goals scored by Ty Jackson and Sean Ross, who scored one goal each. More assists for Lambton Shores came via Franco Sproviero, Colin Burns, and Ethan Sarfati, who contributed one each.

Ouellet made 50 saves for the Rockets on 56 shots. Strathroy incurred 16 minutes in penalty time with eight minors.


The last game on Sun. was Chatham Maroons hosting Sarnia Legionnaires.  I’m thinking the Legionnaires failed to get on the bus as the Maroons trounced them 8-2.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Feasey scores three as Maroons rout Legionnaires

By Mark Malone


Coaches have been looking all season for a killer instinct in the Chatham Maroons.

They saw the team go for the jugular Sunday.

The Maroons scored two early goals and never stopped shooting in an 8-2 win over the GOJHL Western Conference-leading Sarnia Legionnaires in front of 857 fans at Memorial Arena.

Brennan Feasey had a natural hat trick and Steven Beenackers added two goals as the Maroons finished with a season-high 65 shots.

“I thought from the drop of the puck in the first period to the buzzer in the third period, that was a great team effort,” Maroons head coach Mark Davis said.

Legionnaires head coach Dan Rose said his club had an emotional letdown after suffering its first loss Saturday.

The Maroons smelled blood and matched their biggest margin of victory this season.

“You’re playing the No. 1 team in the league,” Davis said. “If you can’t get pumped up for that, you can’t get pumped up for anything. We had a game plan and guys stuck to it. We took a ton of shots.”

Michael Verboom had a goal and four assists. Brett Storr and Jared Dennis also scored as the Maroons built a 5-0 lead early in the second period.

“Everyone knew it was going to be a good game,” Storr said. “We had to come out firing and not let off the gas.”

Bo Bessette had 26 saves as the Maroons (9-5-1) moved one point ahead of the LaSalle Vipers for third place in the Western Conference.

“We knew we had to have a full team effort tonight,” Feasey said. “That was what we talked about. Every guy on the team had to have a good effort tonight.”

Storr opened the scoring at 4:53 with his first goal in two seasons. He was scoreless in 58 games last season with the Espanola Rivermen in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

“It’s a relief,” said the Sarnia native, who last scored in December 2012 with the Wallaceburg Lakers. “I thought someone else tipped it in, but everyone started coming to me. I guess I scored.”

Beenackers put the Maroons ahead 2-0 just over a minute later.

They struck quickly in the second period, too, with three goals in the first 4:20.

Ex-Maroon Hunter Johnson was chased after giving up seven goals on 49 shots. Cornel Felder stopped 15 of 16.

“We had too many guys out of the lineup,” said Rose, who was missing two regulars with injuries and two with suspensions. “They have a real good hockey team. You have to be at your best to beat them.”

The Legionnaires (13-2-0) were coming off a 3-2 loss Saturday in Strathroy.

“Last night we got outworked a bit,” Rose said. “Tonight we had a bad game and they had a good game.”

Kyler Keating and Riley Roberts scored for the Legionnaires.

“We know they can score a lot of goals,” Feasey said. “We wanted to take care of defence tonight and because of that, … we spent more time in their end and less time in our end.”

NOTES: Defenceman Connor Annett will be out five weeks with a collarbone separation and bruised ribs, Davis said. He was hit from behind in Friday’s win at St. Marys. … Brayden Hopkins had three assists. … Chatham was 1-for-6 and Sarnia was 2-for-7 on the power play. … The Maroons visit St. Thomas on Friday and host Lambton Shores on Sunday. …Chatham’s Drew Marlatt and Wheatley’s Ty Jackson each scored once for the Lambton Shores Predators in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Rockets on Sunday.


Here are the standings.


Sarnia 15 13 2 0 26 .867 87 45 304 8-0-0 5-2-0
Leamington 16 12 4 0 24 .750 70 43 427 6-2-0 6-2-0
Chatham 15 9 5 1 19 .633 72 54 347 5-4-0 4-1-1
LaSalle 14 9 5 0 18 .643 60 45 406 5-3-0 4-2-0
Strathroy 17 7 10 0 14 .412 55 69 309 4-4-0 3-6-0
London 15 6 8 1 13 .433 44 51 284 4-2-1 2-6-0
Lambton Shores 15 5 9 1 11 .367 41 71 395 4-4-0 1-5-1
St. Thomas 14 4 8 2 10 .357 45 50 206 3-3-1 1-5-1
St. Marys 16 1 13 2 4 .125 26 76 253 1-6-1 0-7-1



If you compare them to the Games of the Week summary from Friday, you’ll see that Strathroy started the weekend in 8th, with 8 points, and has finished in 5th, with 14 points.  That’s how tight things are in our Conference.  You can go on a 3 or 4 game win streak and move up 3 or 4 spots.  It’s also beneficial when not every team plays.  Chatham picked up 4 points this weekend and because LaSalle wasn’t playing, they managed to catch and pass them for 3rd place.   With Sarnia’s 2 losses now, they have the Flyers breathing down their neck, just 2 points back, and the teams play tomorrow, so that could be interesting.

You’ll also see that in the last couple of weeks, Lambton Shores has dropped off.  They started this season stronger than ever and in the last couple weeks, they’ve lost some games, which has moved them down to 7th place, just 1 point ahead of St. Thomas, and 2 back from London.  But just as the Rockets have done, the Predators could easily go on a 3 game win streak and move back up in the standings.


Coming up this week:

Tuesday, October 28

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. Leamington Flyers – 7:10 Sarnia Arena

Wednesday, October 29

LaSalle Vipers vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:00 Vollmer Rec Centre

London Nationals vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:30 Western Fair

Thursday, October 30

Leamington Flyers vs. LaSalle Vipers – 7:10 Heinz Arena

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. St. Thomas Stars – 7:10 Sarnia Arena


Every game should be good.  Sarnia is coming off 2 losses now, and the Flyers slowly creeping up behind them, so that game is important to each team.  Sarnia will remain in 1st with or without the points, but of course they want the win because every team wants the win.  Leamington will want to points to tie Sarnia for 1st place.

With the way Strathroy played this weekend, they have a real opportunity to roll into the Vollmer and tame the Vipers.  They just have to focus on that 2-hour bus ride and be ready to play when they get there.  Despite what you all think, riding 2 hours on a bus is mentally and physically draining.  I’ve seen it numerous times when the boys aren’t exactly 100% focussed on the task at hand after arriving in Leamington or LaSalle, and previously Tecumseh, and we get absolutely slaughtered.

London and Lambton Shores are separated by 1 point, so that could be a good game.  I’ll be watching it on Rogers while listening to our game on 105.7 MyFM.

Leamington and LaSalle are Essex County rivals and usually have some good games together.

St. Thomas is a team that can surprise you any night of the week.  I’d say it will depend how tomorrow night goes as to what Legionnaire team shows up on Thursday.


So there’s your recap and I’ll see you all on Wed. for another Player Profile.

And, as it’s Municipal Election Day, be sure to get out there and make your vote count.  Remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

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.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login