Games of the Week Recap Jan 19-22

Happy Friday everyone!

This week started off with a rare Monday game.  It was the re-scheduled game from January 7 of London Nationals hosting Sarnia Legionnaires.  Sarnia needed the win and held off the Nats for a 6-3 win.  Story from

Legionnaires Win in London

By Dan McCaffery

Coach Dan Rose’s 500th game behind the bench of a Jr. ‘B’ hockey club is one he won’t soon forget.

His Sarnia Legionnaires saw to that Monday, defeating the London Nationals 6-3 right in the Forest City.

With the triumph the Legionnaires improved their record to 25-12-1. More importantly, they moved back into second place in the Western Ontario Hockey Conference standings, one point ahead of the Chatham Maroons.

Jordan Fogarty was the hero, scoring twice and setting up two other markers. Ryan Vendramin was almost as prolific, picking up two goals and an assist. Riley Babkirk, meanwhile, had a three-point night (all assists).

Fogarty got the game off on the right foot for Sarnia, scoring at the 14:25 mark of the opening frame.

“Babkirk kept the puck in their zone and I went in on a two-on-one break with Vendramin,” Fogarty recalled later. “I hit the far post and it went in high.”

London’s Rai Di Loreto tied the game before the intermission.

But Cody Trowell put Sarnia back in front early in the second frame, scoring his 28th of the season from the slot. Helpers went to Ryan Trottier and Davis Boyer, although Tyler Prong appeared to be the one who set Trowell up with a nice pass from the point.

Later, with the contest tied at 2-2, Boyer scored his 26th of the season after taking a feed from Tyler Longo.

Longo earned the assist in spades, working tirelessly in the corner to get possession of the puck.

In the dying seconds of the middle frame, with the score knotted at three apiece, Vendramin scored with a low drive from close range to send Sarnia into the dressing room ahead 4-3.

Fogarty and Babkirk earned assists on the goal, which came from a scramble in front of the net immediately following a faceoff.

Early in the third stanza Fogarty struck again, burying his second of the game and 11th of the season after being left alone in front.

“It was another great play by my linemates, who were buzzing all night,” Fogarty said. “I found some open ice and put it in low on the blocker side.”

Babkirk and Vendramin were credited with assists on the play.

Vendramin rounded out the scoring, firing the puck into an empty net for his second of the game and 18th of the season. Fogarty and Babkirk earned assists.

Vendramin, who missed the first 11 games of the season, now has 34 points in just 27 contests.

Rookie goalie Cornel Felder made 33 saves in recording his 10th win of the campaign. Justin Tugwell, who also made 33 saves, took the loss in the Nats cage.

The Legionnaires were playing without captain Nathan Mater (suspended) and defenceman Mitch Read (ill).

They return to action Thursday when they host the Nationals. Game time at Sarnia Arena is set for 7:10 p.m.


On Wed., we had LaSalle Vipers hosting St. Marys Lincolns.  It was a close game with the Vipers defeating the Lincolns by a score of 3-1.  Story from

Morgan scores twice as Vipers defeat Lincolns

LaSalle Vipers leading scorer Korey Morgan struck twice to boost the team to a 3-1 win over the St. Marys Lincolns Wednesday night at the Vollmer Centre.

Morgan, 20, opened the scoring at 6:32 of the first period when his wrist shot fooled Lincolns goaltender Tyler Beattie. Manny Silverio and Nick Gauvin picked up the assists on the play.

St. Marys forward Greg Swan evened things up early in the second, but goals by Graham Pickard and Morgan less than three minutes apart put LaSalle up for good.

“You’re always happy when you win, but I don’t know if that was our best effort,” Vipers head coach Bill Bowler says. “(St. Marys) has a great work ethic. They’re undermanned, they play short and they find a way to stay in games.”

Eli Billing stopped 16 shots to pick up the win, while Beattie turned aside 38.

Silverio had a pair of assists in the winning cause, while Mark Manchurek, Nikko Sablone and Nathan Veres had one apiece.

The Vipers improved to 23-17-0 with the win, while the Lincolns fell to 2-34-4 and have lost their last 21 games.

The Vipers and Lincolns will square off in a rematch Friday night at the Pyramid Recreation Centre in St. Marys Friday night. Game time is 7:30.


Also on Wed. was London Nationals hosting first place Leamington Flyers.  The Nats edged the Flyers 2-1 in OT.

I found this game rather boring.  There wasn’t a lot of excitement, no real hits, no action.

The first goal of the game came with 1:27 left in the first period.  The play was in London’s end, Nats goalie Connor Hughes was out of position when Flyer Matt Opblinger just slapped at the puck and Hughes couldn’t get over in time to keep it out of the net.

From there, the game remained 1-0 Flyers until late in the third period.  Flyer JP Grineau was serving a hooking penalty and the Nats set up their PP with Captain Derek Todosichuk just in front and off to the right of Flyers goalie Trevor Wheaton.  Todosichuk found a hole and tied the game with 4:36 remaining in the game.

With 3:31 remaining, Anthony Kotsovos took a double minor of high sticking.  With the Flyers on the PP for the rest of the game, you would have thought that perhaps they’d break the tie and end it before OT, but honestly, this PP was terrible.  London had control of the puck more than Leamington did.

The teams headed to OT and 38 seconds in, just after the PP ended, Ryan Muzzin took a tripping penalty to give London the PP.  Drew Worrad popped it in the net to end the game 2-1 for London.

In my opinion, Wheaton and Hughes didn’t have overly strong games.  Like I said, there wasn’t a lot of action, but they both made saves when they had to.  I felt that Wheaton got a lot of help from the goal posts and the Nats shooting the puck wide or over the net.  But that was just how I saw the game, I’m sure others feel different about it.


On Thursday, Leamington hosted St. Thomas Stars.  It was a very close game, mostly in St. Thomas’ favour, but the Flyers pulled out a 4-3 OT win.  Story from C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Find Chink in Stars Brick Wall; Win 4-3 In OT

It’s been several years since the St. Thomas played so well in Leamington’s Heinz arena and at one point it looked as though Ron Horvat’s rejuvenated Stars team would gain a victory against the first-place Leamington Flyers. But a surge by the Flyers in the final 10 minutes knotted the game. Then in the final seconds of overtime, Tyler Duarte unleashed a ‘change-up’ shot that dented the mighty armour of Stars stellar goalie Brendan Polesak and gave many of the 617 the fans a memorable 4-3 OT victory.

Polesak was easily the first star of the contest as he stymied the Flyers for 35 minutes before surrendering a goal, and even in the third he was outstanding despite allowing two markers to knot the game.

Despite dominating the first period, the Flyers couldn’t solve Polesak as they outshot the Stars 14-3. The best chance came when Flyers forward Colin Moore rifled a shot that grazed the far post near the 13 minute mark.

The Flyers broke the scoreless tie at 15:28 of the second when Chris Scott sent Mitchell Amante on a breakaway and Amante moved in close then lifted the puck into the top right corner. But less than a minute later, the Stars tied the contest when a loose puck bounced out from a corner behind Flyers starter Michael Barrett and Stars newcomer Ryan Valentini whisked into the net.

After a small skirmish during which two players aside were sidelined with penalty infractions, the Stars gained a 2-1 lead with James Newland and Jay Dekker laying the groundwork for Valentini’s slick shot on which he plucked his own rebound and tapped it into the Flyers’ net.

The spirited second frame featured plenty of up and down action by both teams and good scoring plays at each end.

The hometown Flyers took two minor penalties early in the third and when the second happened at 7:38, head coach Tony Piroski called a time out. It didn’t take the Stars long to capitalize as Brett Van Dusen connected on a Valentini rebound and suddenly the Stars led 3-1.

With the Stars pressing once again around 13:30, the puck bounded hard off defenceman Blaine Bechard and Kyle Perkowski raced out to collect it and weave down the left lane before cutting in close, making a deke and depositing the puck behind Polesak. At 16:52, Alex Friesen and Kyle Quick led a rush into the Stars’ zone and Mitchell Amante cannoned a low blast that bounded off Polesak’s pads as he fell to the ice and the puck entered the net to create a tied game.

The Flyers continued to turn it up a notch as the game became an all-out war of action from end to end during the final minutes of regulation play.

Each team had momentary chances in the four-on-four OT and as the final 20 seconds began to tick off it appeared that a shootout would follow. But the Flyers did get one last chance to settle things. Kyle Quick headed into the Stars zone in the dying seconds but was blocked by a defenceman. However, Tyler Duarte dug the puck out and moved towards Polesak before unleashing what looked like an off-speed shot. Duarte’s last ditch attempt sailed into the upper right corner for the game-winner with only 10 seconds left. It was a thrilling game and Duarte’s animated performance after scoring the winner was worth every penny to watch before he was mobbed by the entire Flyers team.

NOTES: Former Flyers player and NHLer Steve Ott is having his sweater number (14) retired by the Windsor Spitfires next week …It was the Flyers first look at several new Stars players which include Brendan Polesak, James Newland and Ryan Valentini, and all performed well for the Stars …Many thanks to Andrew Buttigieg for broadcasting the Stars-Leamington contests on MyFM 94.1 this season …It will be an important contest for the Flyers on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 29 at 4:10 pm) as they host the Sarnia Legionnaires. Should the Flyers win that one, it will greatly help them clinch first-place …Some notable scratches from the game were Ryan Muzzin, Cale Allen and Zach Guilbeault for Leamington while Adam Truax, Matt Simsons and Andrew Chambers were sidelined for the Stars.


The other game on Thurs. was Sarnia Legionnaires hosting London.  These team played on Monday, with Sarnia securing a 6-3 win.  It appeared to be a wild game with Sarnia coming out with a 7-5 win.  Story from

Sarnia Legionnaires Won a Wild One

By Dan McCaffery

The Sarnia Legionnaires won a wild one at the Brock Street barn Thursday, dumping the London Nationals 7-5.

The victory, which came before just under 1,300 fans, was Sarnia’s second win over London in four days.

With the triumph, the Legionnaires improved their record to 26-12-1. That leaves them in second place, three points ahead of the third ranked Chatham Maroons. But the Maroons have two games in hand on the Legionnaires.

Specialty teams were the difference in the contest, with Sarnia scoring three power-play goals on five opportunities. The Nats blinked the red light once on six manpower advantages. One of their failed power-plays came during a prolonged two-man advantage.

Head coach Dan Rose said, “We can score and we’ve got a lot of character in that room.” He added the score did not reflect the play, with London getting a lucky bounce on one of its goals.

Austin Kemp put the visitors ahead 1-0 just 40 seconds into the game.

But the Legionnaires scored two straight power-play goals to take the lead.

Jordan Fogarty was credited with the first one but, after the game, he said the puck was actually deflected into the net by teammate Riley Babkirk.

Still, Fogarty had a great game, scoring two goals of his own to bring his total for the campaign up to 13. More impressive still, he has four goals in his last two outings.

With the score tied at 2-2, Ryan Vendramin scored his 19th of the season with a shot just off to the side of the cage.

Shortly after that, Hunter Tyczynski notched his first of the season, firing a blistering drive under the crossbar to send Sarnia into the first intermission ahead by a goal.

In the middle frame Fogarty scored twice while Scott Goodman had the lone Nationals marker.

Fogarty just missed another goal in the final stanza when he broke in alone, only to be turned back by goalkeeper Justin Tugwell.

In the final period London’s Kyle Robinson was credited with an exceptionally fluky goal that made the score 5-4.

But the Legionnaires quickly restored their two-goal edge when Brandon Layman beat Tugwell to a loose puck and sent the rubber over to defenceman Kyler Keating. Keating made no mistake, burying his 12th of the campaign.

The Nats refused to give up, however, and they were rewarded with a late goal by Matt Bean.

Cody Trowell finally put an end to the drama with an empty net tally.

Winning goalie Andrew Masters made 38 saves. Tugwell blocked 35 pucks.

It was a chippy affair, with the officials handing out 108 minutes in penalties, or exactly 54 apiece.

The Legionnaires return to action Sunday when they travel to Leamington. Their next home game is next Thursday when they host the LaSalle Vipers. Game time is set for 7:10 p.m.


Here are the standings


xLeamington 40 31 7 2 64 .800 160 100 894 18-2-0 13-5-2
xSarnia 39 26 12 1 53 .679 179 147 755 16-4-0 10-8-1
xChatham 37 24 11 2 50 .676 175 126 726 13-6-1 11-5-1
xLaSalle 40 23 17 0 46 .575 165 137 891 14-7-0 9-10-0
xStrathroy 38 20 16 2 42 .553 152 129 718 13-6-1 7-10-1
xLondon 40 19 19 2 40 .500 136 124 771 12-6-1 7-13-1
xSt. Thomas 38 16 17 5 37 .487 124 131 553 10-8-1 6-9-4
Lambton Shores 39 12 24 3 27 .346 125 186 903 8-10-1 4-14-2
St. Marys 40 2 34 4 8 .100 68 208 682 2-16-2 0-18-2



Coming up this weekend

Friday, January 23

St. Thomas Stars vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:30 Timken Centre

St. Marys Lincolns vs. LaSalle Vipers – 7:30 Pyramid Rec Centre

Saturday, January 24

Strathroy Rockets vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial

Sunday, January 25

Leamington Flyers vs. Sarnia Legionnaires – 4:10 Heinz Arena

Chatham Maroons vs. London Nationals – 7:00 Chatham Memorial

Lambton Shores Predators vs. St. Thomas Stars – 7:30 Shores Rec Centre


You can’t go wrong with any of these games.  The teams are trying to put themselves in the best play-off position they can and grab as many points as they can.  Chatham has finally caught up with Sarnia and could use all 4 of the points this weekend, but Sarnia doesn’t want to see that happen.  London is hot on the trail of Strathroy.  St. Thomas is in the mix there as well.

It’s a tight race down the stretch and it’s going to be an exciting ending.

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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