Games of the Week for Jan. 7-8

Happy Friday GOJHL fans.  I hope you’ve had a good week and for those in the London-Middlesex-Elgin region, hope you’ve dug out of the snow from Wednesday and Thursday.

This week, the first place Leamington Flyers travelled to LaSalle to take on their Essex County rivals.  After building a 2-0 lead, the Flyers fell 5-3 to the Vipers.

The teams went 15 minutes without a goal until Ryan Muzzin, who returned after being sidelined with an injury for a month, put the Flyers on the board at 15:12.  Just 50 seconds later, Alex Friesen added 1 and made it a 2-0 Flyers game to close out the first period.

Vipers coach Bill Bowler must have gave a hell of a speech during that first intermission because the Vipers would come out and take a 3-2 lead just 2:48 into the second period.  Goals were scored by Daniel Beaudoin at 0:27, Brendan Harrogate at 1:38 and Tyler Russell at 2:48.  Korey Morgan also added a short handed goal at 6:10, making it 4-2, while Eric Kirby was off serving a double minor for spearing.

The Flyers would add a goal in the second, from JP Grineau, but that would end their scoring for the game.

Tempers also flared during the second period, but they’re rivals for a reason.  Just after Beaudoin’s goal, pretty much off the draw, LaSalle’s Nicolas Crescenzi dropped the gloves with Leamington’s Mitch Amante.  Amante also received a playing without a helmet gross misconduct, which tells me he undid his chinstrap for the fight, and caused him to miss the Flyers game on Thursday.

At 12:15, it was Viper Nick Gauvin vs. Flyer Blaine Bechard.  Bechard received a crosschecking penalty at the same time, and Gauvin received the instigator, which means he jumped Bechard for the crosscheck.

The last fight of the game took place at 19:07.  It was Viper Nathan Savage vs. Flyer Zak Parlette.  I’m guessing this is an error, but Pointstreak says that Savage received a crosscheck at 19:26 and I’m thinking it’s actually at 19:07, unless it was somebody different, but that would have sparked this bout.

Things appeared to settle down for the third period.  The only goal of the period came from Morgan again to seal the Vipers 5-3 win.

Flyers goalie Mike Barrett took the loss in net, making 30 of 35 saves, and his record is now 12-4-1.  The Vipers relied on veteran goalie Paolo Battisti, who improved his record to 11-8, and stopped 27 of 30 shots.

 

The other game on Wed. was supposed to be London Nationals hosting Sarnia Legionnaires.  As stated, the London region was hit with a steady stream of snow all day on Wed., with a portion of the 402 closed for over 14 hours, so the game was postponed.

On Thursday night, Leamington was back in action with a home game against the Lambton Shores Predators.  It was a close game with the Flyers edging out the Predators 2-1.  Story from C. Scott Holland.

Leamington Edges Lambton 2-1 in Thriller

For nearly 30 minutes, the visiting Lambton Shores Predators gave the first-place Leamington Flyers a fit as the Flyers controlled the play and kept shooting puck after puck at Predators goalie Anthony Hurtubise, yet failed to score. But Lambton’s 1-0 lead was erased in the third when the Flyers finally solved the outstanding netminder and eventually, Leamington gained a 2-1 lead which they held onto until the final buzzer sounded.

For Leamington, it is an indication of how hard Lambton can play and their potential first-round playoff opponent definitely made a loud statement that any wins will have to be earned.

Despite being badly outshot 51-19, Lambton made the Flyers work for the puck throughout the entire game. The Preds’ downfall actually came in the final minutes when Andrew Kim took a slashing penalty in the Lambton zone and head coach Don Dickson irately confronted the refs seconds later. Dickson was handed an unsportsmanlike bench minor and the two penalties drained any thoughts of pulling Hurtubise for an extra attacker.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 17:54 of the first period while on a powerplay. Drew Marlatt and Sean Ross set up Colin Burns’ screen shot which baffled Leamington starter Trevor Wheaton and suddenly it was a 1-0 game for Lambton.

Hurtubise appeared to have a golden horseshoe throughout the night as six overall Flyers’ shots bounced off the crossbar or posts. Three of them came in the first and another in the second grazed off the goalie’s pads and off a far post.

Lambton clung to the precious 1-0 lead as Leamington pelted 31 shots at the netminder.

Leamington controlled the majority of play and it wasn’t until 4:10 of the third that the hometown team reaped a reward. Kyle Quick and Matthew Opblinger exchanged passes until Ryan Muzzin collected a loose puck and rifled a blazing shot from the left faceoff circle. Muzzin’s blast easily found the top left hand corner and knotted the game.

Midway through the final frame, Flyer Zach Guilbeault let Blain Bechard trigger a shot towards the Lambton net from the left point. But with the shot veering a bit to Hurtubise’s right, Matthew Opblinger deftly got the back of his blade on it and the redirection caught the Preds’ goalie off guard and the puck went past him into the cage. During the last 10 minutes Lambton tried to even the score until at 17:39 Kim took his penalty and just 14 seconds later the bench minor occurred.

Powerplays were a small factor for Lambton. They had one extra-man tally in two tries. The Flyers were blanked in 10 attempts.

With the win the Flyers maintained their lead atop the GOJHL’s West Conference standings and sport the GOJHL’s best record at home (16-2-0).

NOTES:  The Flyers will start wearing their special replica 1950s jerseys from Jan. 15 to the end of the season and there will be a silent auction of them during the final two home games of the season. The 1950s jersey silent auction is part of the celebration of the Flyers’ 60th anniversary …The Flyers are off for an entire week and will begin the home stretch on Thurs. Jan. 15 when they host the LaSalle Vipers …It was the first time playing a home game for Flyers newcomer Ryan Shipley. Shipley had plenty of ice time and played steadily but did not pick up any points  …Among those spotted in the crowd were scouts Harold Konrad and Pete Anthony and former Flyers’ Jr. C player Jeff Simpson.         

 

Also on Thurs., Sarnia took on LaSalle.  The Vipers have picked up their play in the New Year and stunned the 2nd place Legionnaires with a 5-3 win.  Story from Sarnia Observer.

Legionnaires get big new D-man

By Dan McCaffery

http://www.theobserver.ca/2015/01/08/legionnaires-get-big-new-d-man

The Sarnia Legionnaires have added a big new defenceman to their lineup.

Connor Andersen, who stands 6’3 and weighs in at 215 pounds, made his debut with the Jr. ‘B’ hockey club Thursday. And he did so in impressive fashion, scoring a goal in the team’s 5-3 loss to the LaSalle Vipers.

Andersen, a native of Oakville, was obtained in a cash deal with the Brampton Bombers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Midwest Conference.

“I’m really excited to be here,” the 20-year-old said afterward. “When they asked me if I would come here, it was a no-brainer. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Legionnaires.”

Asked to describe his style, Andersen said, “I like to take care of my own end but, if I see an opening, I like to join the rush as well.”

In fact, Andersen has four goals this campaign, including one scored for the Georgetown Raiders Jr. ‘A’ squad. He also had two goals and five assists for the Bombers.

Andersen was impressed with the crowd of more than 1,000 in attendance for the contest, which was played at the Brock Street Barn. “It was three times as many fans” as he was accustomed to playing in front of with the Bombers.

As for his first goal with his new club, Andersen said, “Our centre won the draw and it came back to me (on the point). I walked the line and threw it low on the short side. It fooled the goalie.”

Sarnia head coach Dan Rose said, “We’re pleased (with Andersen). He hasn’t even practised with us. He just showed up today. He played a good game, controlled his man and played hard.”

Rose used the new rearguard in all situations, including penalty kills and powerplays.

Sarnia’s other goals were scored by Ryan Vendramin (his 13th) and Jordan Fogarty (his 9th).

The game was closer than the score would indicate. One of LaSalle’s goals was scored into an empty net and another came when Legionnaires defenceman Cameron Clarke was flagrantly tripped as he skated in front of his own net. There was no penalty called, leaving Vipers forward Nikko Sablone free to pounce on the loose puck and score from point blank range.

LaSalle’s other goals were credited to Nathan Savage, Dalton Langlois, Connor Roassen and Nicolas Crecenzi.

Rose said, “I thought we played well. We played a good game.”

 

In a rare Thurs. home game, St. Thomas Stars hosted St. Marys Lincolns.  The Stars defeated the Lincolns 5-2.  Story from www.stthomasstars.com

Brookshaw leads St. Thomas over St. Marys, 5-2

The St. Thomas Stars’ Caron Brookshaw had a big offensive game, scoring two goals and contributing one assist in his team’s 5-2 win over the St. Marys Lincolns.

Brookshaw scored at 15:10 into the second period to make the score 2-0 St. Thomas and again while 11:02 into the third to make the score 4-1 St. Thomas.

St. Thomas stifled St. Marys’ power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. The Stars kept the Lincolns’ goalie busy throughout the game, and Tyler Beattie made 46 saves on 51 shots.

St. Thomas also got points from Dane Johnstone, who also had one goal and one assist. Other goals were scored by Anders Adzija and Jay Dekker.  In addition, St. Thomas received assists from Jesse Anderson, who had two and Austin Elkin, Brett Van Dusen, Carter McCormick, and Andrew Chambers, who each chipped in one.

St. Marys managed to stay out of the box better than usual, registering one minor for two minutes in penalty time. The Lincolns wound up below its season average of 18.0 penalty minutes per game.

The Lincolns were led by Sean O’Brien, who racked up one goal and one assist. O`Brien scored 18:07 into the third period to make the score 4-2 St. Thomas. Graham Brulotte picked up the assist. St. Marys also got a goal from Brent House.

Dan Black recorded 26 saves for St. Thomas. The Stars incurred four minutes in penalty time with two minors. The Lincolns registered zero goals on three power play opportunities.

 

Here are your standings

 

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME AWAY
Leamington 36 28 7 1 57 .792 149 92 827 16-2-0 12-5-1
Sarnia 35 24 11 0 48 .686 157 128 675 15-3-0 9-8-0
Chatham 33 20 11 2 42 .636 144 114 650 11-6-1 9-5-1
LaSalle 36 20 16 0 40 .556 155 131 841 11-7-0 9-9-0
Strathroy 34 18 14 2 38 .559 133 117 653 12-5-1 6-9-1
London 34 16 16 2 34 .500 114 104 627 10-5-1 6-11-1
St. Thomas 35 15 16 4 34 .486 114 119 535 10-7-1 5-9-3
Lambton Shores 35 11 21 3 25 .357 111 167 808 7-9-1 4-12-2
St. Marys 35 2 29 4 8 .114 63 172 633 2-14-2 0-15-2

 

 

Coming up this weekend

Friday, January 9

St. Marys Lincolns vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:30 Pyramid Rec Centre

Saturday, January 10

Strathroy Rockets vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial

Sunday, January 11

London Nationals vs. LaSalle Vipers – 2:30 Western Fair

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

Lambton Shores Predators vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:30 Shores Rec Centre

 

I hate to miss my boys games, but I’m working on an article and need to do some Mid-West research, so I might make it an out of Conference weekend, it depends on the weather though.

I’d like to see Elmira play, I’ve heard they’re the favourites to win it in the Mid-West.  Elmira’s a bit of a far drive for me, so I can’t make it there on Sat., but they play in Waterloo Sun. afternoon.  I may skip my boys game on Sat. and head to Cambridge to watch them and Guelph.  I will end up at a few arenas somewhere this weekend, that you can count on.

 

This weekend is also the trade deadline.  By 11:59pm January 10, all teams must have their rosters set at 23, or less.  I’m not sure when this came in, I think it was this year because I don’t remember it last year, but all season, the teams have only been able to have a maximum of 23 signed on their roster.  So, this week, most teams will add a player and cut a player, depending how many they have signed right now.

So far, this is what’s been announced:

Sarnia has picked up St. Marys goalie Andrew Masters and they have traded Hunter Johnson to Welland.  I initially heard that Hunter was going to St. Marys as part of the trade, but I’m thinking he declined it.  Also rumoured is Mitch Reid from St. Marys to Sarnia, but if it’s happening, it hasn’t been finalized yet.

Sarnia also picked up a defenceman from Brampton, Connor Andersen, as noted in the story from the Sarnia Observer.

In what I consider a big move, St. Thomas has picked up Caledonia’s goalie Brendan Polasek.  It was announced that their goalie Nik Dampier is injured, so they were looking for someone.  Polasek is considered the best goalie in the league (including the Golden Horseshoe), but we’ll see how he transitions to the West.  I’ve also heard they’re looking to fill the spot left by Zack Grzelewski who has been recalled by the London Knights.  I’ve heard that the Knights are also keeping John Warren from the Nationals, so London will be looking to replace him on their roster.

I’ve also been told by a very reliable source that Luk Knight, who played for the Stars last season and was playing in Nova Scotia this year, has returned and the Stars have dealt him to Chatham, but I haven’t seen anything official.

There’s also word that Windsor Spitfires have released Mark Manchurek, who is expected to return to LaSalle.

I’ve also seen reports that Jack Kilgour has, or will, signed with Kitchener Rangers, so the Rockets will be looking to fill that spot.

 

Trade deadline day is always a fun day.  The past few years, my phone pretty much blows up on Jan. 10 with people calling and texting me asking if I’ve heard of any trades, or to tell me about some trades.  I will try and keep track of them all and have a full rundown on Monday’s Weekend Recap.

Have a good weekend everybody and make it out to see a game.  This is exciting hockey to watch, especially now that it’s the push for play-offs.

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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