Games of the Week – Oct. 28-30

Happy Halloween!!!  We had 5 games in the West this week, so let’s get to it.


In a rare Tues. home game, first place Sarnia Legionnaires hosted second place Leamington Flyers.  The Legionnaires were on a two game losing streak with the Flyers breathing down their necks for first place.  The Flyers extended their losing streak to three games as they trounced Sarnia 7-2.  Story from

Legionnaires Out of Sync

“Were in a bit of a hole right now.” Head Coach Dan Rose said after his team lost 7 – 2  to the Leamington Flyers on Tuesday night in Sarnia.

“There are a lot more positive things happening out there tonight than there was in Chatham the other night.” said Rose referring to the 8-2 loss on Sunday in Chatham.  “We had some bad bounces and they had a couple weird goals. But in general the kids competed a lot harder tonight than they did in Chatham the other night and that’s a good thing to see. ”

Sarnia started the night off on a positive note scoring the first goal at 4:51 in the first period by Brandon Layman with Jake O’Donnell earning the assist.  From that point on it was downhill as Leamington scored three goals in the first and added two in the second and two more in the third.

Sarnia second goal was scored in the second period when Riley Roberts fired one in from a sharp angle from the side.  Cody Trowell earned the assist on the play.

Tyler Duarte scored two for the Flyers with singles by Kyle Quick, Matthew Opblinger, Chirs Scott, Kyle Perkowski and Cale Phibbs.

Leamington outshot the Legionnaires 40 – 27.  Goaltender Cornel Felder suffered the loss, Trevor Wheaton picked up the win.

Both sides went scoreless on the power play. Sarnia took a total of six minutes in penalty time on three infractions.  Leamington took four minutes on two infractions.

After starting the season with thirteen straight wins the team is in a slump after taking their third loss after playing their third game in four nights.

The team was missing three players, Nathan Mater who received a suspension in Strathroy, Jordan Fogarty and Ryan Trottier both out with injuries.

“With everybody out we got one guy off each line out.” Rose said “We had to mix and match and it’s just not working. We’ll fight through it, once we get everybody in the line up we’ll be fine but right now everybody’s out of sync.”

Mater will be back in the line up for Thursday night’s game when Sarnia host St. Thomas.

“We’ll battle through it. They’re a great group of kids and they don’t’ like losing and they got a lot of pride, they’ll fight their way through it.”


On Wed. night, the Strathroy Rockets, who were on a three game win streak rolled into the Vollmer Rec Centre to take on the LaSalle Vipers, hoping to make it No. 4 in a row.  The Vipers had other plans and defeated the Rockets 3-2 with a late goal.  Story from

Primeau’s Halloween trick a treat, keys comeback win

The LaSalle Vipers twice trailed the Strathroy Rockets, but rookie forward Brett Primeau scored three times to lift them to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night on Halloween Game Night, sponsored by Zehrs Markets, at the Vollmer Centre.

Fans dressed up, with the best costumes winning prizes from Zerhs, and those in attendance were treated with free chocolate and chips as well.

Jack Kilgour opened the scoring at 11:58 of the first period, but Primeau’s first of the night evened things up before the intermission.

Nick Griffin put Strathroy back in front, scoring off a rush at 7:34 of the second period. The Rockets would hold that lead for nearly 20 minutes, until Primeau struck once again, cashing in on a loose puck in the crease.

“Today I found the puck was on my stick and I was getting a lot of chances,” Primeau says. “To get that last one felt good, it was a good team win.”

With 1:14 to play, and an offensive zone faceoff upcoming, Vipers head coach Bill Bowler called a time out to make sure his troops were on the same page.

Just eight seconds later, the Primeau tallied the game-winner.

“Good play by Pignanelli on the backhand to put it towards the net and Brett found a way to get a stick on it,” Bowler says of the play.

Primeau, 17, is a draft pick of the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals and leads LaSalle with 13 goals in 15 games.

Forward Graham Pickard and defenceman Brendan McGhee each had a pair of assists. The helpers were McGhee’s first two points with the Vipers.

Paolo Battisti stopped 27 shots in the victory, while Dane Gubbels made 46 saves in a losing effort.

“We expect our goaltenders to make those saves, and so far this season our goaltending has been excellent,” Bowler says.

Here’s some photos sent to me from Devan Mighton of the game in LaSalle.


Also on Wed., London Nationals hosted Lambton Shores Predators.  The Nats needed 1:55 of overtime, but they defeated the Preds 5-4.

The Predators Colin Burns opened the scoring at 10:56 of the first period.  London’s captain Derek Todosichuk would get the Nats on the board 3 minutes into the second period.  Burns would score his second of the night, on the powerplay, 8 minutes later to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.

It appears that London capitalized on Lambton Shores spending some time in the box as both Todosichuk and Nats rookie Mitchell Kreis would each score a powerplay goal to give London a 3-2 lead before the end of the second period.

At 5:27 of the third period, Drew Worrad would extend London’s lead over Lambton Shores to 4-2.  Just 46 seconds later, Ryan Fraser would cut that lead to 4-3.  At 13:20, Brenden Trottier  would tie the game for the Preds and thus send the game to overtime.  Troy Taylor ended the game at 1:55 into OT to secure a 5-4 Nationals win.

Lambton Shores goalie Andrew Harriman-Duke took the loss in net, facing 27 shots.  Nationals goalie Justin Tugwell picked up the win, facing 40 shots.


On Devil’s night, we saw an Essex County battle between Leamington Flyers and LaSalle Vipers.  The Flyers completed a come from behind 4-1 win over the Vipers.  Story from C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Rally For Four In Third; Top Vipers 4-1

The LaSalle Vipers and Leamington Flyers faced one another in their on-going inter-county rivalry at the Heinz arena on Thursday night, but the visitors, whose lineup was decimated with some scratches of key players, played well over their heads for 40 minutes. But it was the hometown Flyers who saved he best for last as they rallied from a slim 1-0 deficit to notch three unanswered goals and then fire an empty-netter to seal a 4-1 win.

LaSalle starting goalie Eli Billing, a cut from the Flyers’ training camp last August, had something to prove, and that he did as he stoned Leamington for 45 minutes before the tide turned in Leamington’s favor. Billing was spectacular between the pipes making 34 saves while Leamington’s Michael Barrett allowed just one  puck to get past him.

Much of the first 40 minutes was sent jockeying to set up plays and hustling along the boards and digging for loose pucks. The Flyers had a couple good chances early on, but during a nearly five minute stretch in the opening frame LaSalle enjoyed a  man advantage yet did not reap any rewards from three opportunities. The Flyers doubled the Vipers in shots 10-5 in the first stanza.

At the outset of the second, the Flyers struggled to get anything going and the Vipers notched the opening goal. Connor Rosaasen and Tyler Russell worked the puck deep into the Flyers’ end zone and it was Russell who fed Nikko Sablone . Sablone redirected the puck past Leamington starter Michael Barrett while anchored near the left post.

From that juncture onward, the teams rushed back and forth many times missing golden chances and neither side gained any goals. At 15:27, it appeared a skirmish would break out, but co-incidentals were handed to Flyer Mitchell Amante and Viper Brendan McGhee.

With renewed vigor, the Flyers came out in the third and pressed. Finally, at 5:16, the work of Zachary Guilbeault and Chris Scott paid off as Scott’s pass from the right corner behind the Vipers’ net found Amante low in the slot and Amante triggrered the rubber into the net to even the score. At 11:20, with the contest still knotted 1-1, Dalton Langlois took a tripping penalty and 1 minute into the powerplay, Cale Allen and Eric Shaw turned a similar play as on Leamington’s opening goal and this time Guilbeault ripped the tally. Guilbeault’s powerpay marker stood as the eventual game-winner.

The Flyers’ defence and Barrett’s goaltending got stronger from that point and, while it was still a great game to watch, the damaging blow for the Vipers came at 16:27 when Nathan Opblinger fed Alex Friesen who skated towards Billing and deftly backhanded a goal to the shortside of Billing’s paddle.

The Vipers gambled with 1:38 remaining in the game as they lifted Billing. However, the hard work of Amante and Scott led to winning a battle along the boards and Kyle Quick scooping up a loose puck and flinging it into the vacated net from just inside the Vipers’ blueline. Billing returned to the net and the Flyers ran the clock out to win 4-1.

NOTES:  The Vipers were without the services of defenseman Brett Langlous as well as forwards Nicholas Gauvin, Rio Anzolin, Nathan Savage, Daniel Beaudoin. Filling the spots in the Vipers’ lineup were:  Michael Rottinger, Connor Matton and Michael Hatch. Sitting for the Flyers were: Colin Moore and Thomas Virban …While many fans got their first glimpse of Tyler Duarte in a Flyers jersey (#6), Duarte did not garner any points but displayed good decision making with the puck and handled himself well …In a special pre-game ceremony, Leamington’s mayor-elect John Patterson and newly elected councillors John Jacobs, Larry Verbeke, John Hammond and Tim Wilkinson were introduced. Councillor Rick Atkin couldn’t make it since he had a prior commitment. Mayor Patterson dropped the ceremonial puck.

The Flyers have a busy schedule ahead as they play at Strathroy Sat. Nov. 1, then in LaSalle on Wed. Nov. 5 and then are back home to host Strathroy Thurs. Nov. 6.


The other game on Thurs. was Sarnia Legionnaires hosting St. Thomas Stars.  It was a close game, but the Legionnaires found themselves back in the win column with a 3-2 victory.  Story from Sarnia Observer.

Legionnaires back on track

The Sarnia Legionnaires snapped a three-game losing streak Thursday.

Coach Dan Rose’s Western Jr. ‘B’ hockey club nipped the St. Thomas Stars 3-2 before more than 1,100 fans at the Brock Street Barn.

Cody Trowell led the way, lifting a backhander into the net late in the third period to break up a tense deadlock. Davis Boyer and Brandon Layman had assists on the play, which came with just 62 seconds left on the clock.

With the triumph, the Legion crew improved its won-lost record to 14-3, good enough for a share of first place with the Leamington Flyers. Sarnia has a game in hand on the Tomato Town team.

“We competed really hard,” Rose said. “We only had a couple of bad shifts. It should have been a 7-2 game. The big difference was their goalie. He really stood on his head.”

In fact, Stars netman Nikolas Dampier made 32 saves, many of them of the spectacular variety. At one point in the final frame, after Dampier made a dazzling save on sniper Davis Boyer, the St. Thomas goaltender received loud cheers from Sarnia fans.

Goals came fast and furious in the first five minutes of the contest.

Trowell started proceedings with a wrap-around marker at 1:41. Boyer and Nathan Mater drew assists.

Ryan Lyle, who was called up from the Jr. ‘C’ Mooretown Flags to replace one of four Legionnaire regulars out of the lineup, gave Sarnia a two-goal bulge at the 2:21 mark, burying a blast from the faceoff circle. Defenceman P.J. Vaandervaart and forward Bob King had helpers on the play.

But a couple of minutes later, St. Thomas struck for two goals in 12 seconds.

Carter McCormack and Zach Grelewski blinked the red light to knot the battle at 2-2 and set the stage for Trowell’s third period heroics.

Hunter Johnson got the win in net, kicking out 21 shots.

A fight in the dying seconds of the game involving Sarnia’s Sam McCormack and Carson Moniz of St. Thomas, will result in one-game suspensions to both players.

The Legionnaires return to action next Thursday when they host the Chatham Maroons.


Although there are a couple games tonight, for the blog purposes, this is your end of Oct. standings.

Sarnia 17 14 3 0 28 .824 92 54 337 9-1-0 5-2-0
Leamington 18 14 4 0 28 .778 81 46 443 7-2-0 7-2-0
LaSalle 16 10 6 0 20 .625 64 51 434 6-3-0 4-3-0
Chatham 15 9 5 1 19 .633 72 54 347 5-4-0 4-1-1
London 16 7 8 1 15 .469 49 55 298 5-2-1 2-6-0
Strathroy 18 7 11 0 14 .389 57 72 346 4-4-0 3-7-0
Lambton Shores 16 5 9 2 12 .375 45 76 405 4-4-0 1-5-2
St. Thomas 15 4 9 2 10 .333 47 53 249 3-3-1 1-6-1
St. Marys 16 1 13 2 4 .125 26 76 253 1-6-1 0-7-1




Coming up this weekend

October 31, 2014

St. Thomas Stars vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:30 Timken Centre

St. Marys Lincolns vs. London Nationals – 7:30 Pyramid Rec Centre

November 1, 2014

Strathroy Rockets vs. Leamington Flyers – 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial

November 2, 2014

Chatham Maroons vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:00 Chatham Memorial


I can’t help but think that Sat’s game will be good.  It will be the return of Tyler Duarte to the WMMA and it will be his first trip there not as a Rocket.


Have a good weekend and I’ll see you all again on Mon. to recap the weekend.

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 and you can find me on Twitter at 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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