Games of the Week Recap for Jan. 28 & 29

Happy Friday!!!!!!  The weekend is finally here and the hockey games are picking up because it’s the push for play-offs.

The week started out with LaSalle Vipers hosting Lambton Shores Predators.  The Vipers handed the Preds a 6-3 loss.  Story from

Vipers overcome slow start to beat the Predators

The LaSalle Vipers rallied from a 2-1 first period deficit to beat the Lambton Shores Predators 6-3 in front of 895 at the Vollmer Centre Wednesday night.

Andrew Kim’s power play marker opened the scoring in the Predators favour, but Vipers leading scorer Korey Morgan evened things up with a short-handed marker.

Ryan Fraser put the Preds back in front with a goal in the last minute of the opening period, but the Vipers responded with the game’s next three goals to take control.

Manny Silverio, Brendan Harrogate and Mark Manchurek all beat Anthony Hurtubise before Vaughn Treppa scored to bring Lambton Shores within one.

Morgan’s second of the game and Daniel Beaudoin’s empty netter sealed it.

“They play us hard,” Vipers head coach Bill Bowler says. “They’re a real quick team, they put a lot of shots on net. It was a good hockey game I think for the fans.”

Eli Billing made 28 stops to pick up the win, while Hurtubise stopped 45 in a losing cause.

Nicolas Crescenzi recorded a pair of assists in the victory.

Following the game, Vipers defenceman Nick Gauvin was called up by the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. He is expected to make his OHL debut Thursday night against the London Knights.


Also on Wed., London Nationals hosted St. Thomas Stars.  It was a close game, and a bit boring, but the Stars pulled out a 3-2 shoot out win.  Story from London Community News.

London Nationals lose 3-2 in shootout to St. Thomas Stars

By Mike Maloney

The Stars were shining at the Western Fair Sports Centre on Jan. 28. Unfortunately for the London Nationals, they weren’t the ones in the sky but instead, it was their Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) rivals from St. Thomas who snagged a 3-2 shoot-out win over the boys in blue and white.

Hoping for a change of fortunes at home after a pair of road losses to Sarnia and Chatham, the Nationals looked to be on the right path when Austin Kemp gave London an early 1-0 lead with his 19thgoal of the season just over five minutes into the opening frame.

It would be a pair of Forest City natives, though, that took the wind out the Nationals sails.

First, Adam Truax would put the teams back on an even footing when he teamed up with teammates Jordan Babb and James Newland late in the second period. Just 51 seconds into the third, Spencer Hutchinson made it 2-1 for St. Thomas with a shot along the ice that slid under London netminder Justin Tugwell.

Nationals hopes would soar again 13 minutes later when Colin Wilson wired a shot home from just inside the blueline to tie the game up again at 2-2 where the score would remain through the balance of regulation time and five-minutes of overtime.

It would be Hutchinson coming back to haunt his hometown once again, scoring the first and only goal of the shootout while Brendan Polasek stonewalled all three London snipers to seal the win for St. Thomas.

Speaking after the game, Stars head coach Ron Horvat didn’t think London had played a bad game, but instead felt that it was more just a of case his guys just wanted it more. “That’s what it looked like and we did.’

Trailing London by three points heading into Wednesday’s contest, Horvat remarked that at this point of the season, every game is big and you want to cash in on your opportunities whenever possible to help you move up as far as you can in the standings.

Noting there has always been a great rivalry between the two clubs, going head-to-head with the Nationals also brings with it something a little more than other games said Horvat.

Explaining how a lot of the London players on his roster are ones that “London didn’t want,” it provides a bit of an added incentive for those players to step up their game. “You know what happens, your going into their place and I am going to show you — the London Nationals and the crowd — that I should have had a better chance.“

Heading down the final stretch to the playoffs, Horvat will admit that the loss of Zach Grzelewski — who was the Stars leading scorer before getting called up to the London Knights — has hurt a bit and forced them to make some changes.

A big part of that is staying out of the penalty box by playing disciplined hockey while at the same time, stepping up the defence by doing things like keeping the shots and goals against down.

“It’s a team effort, its not just a goaltender,” said Horvat. Not being particularly gifted with natural goal scorers, he said the idea is if they get a chance to score and do then great but if not, then the idea is to prevent one.


On Thursday, Chatham Maroons had a rare home game, due to Sun being the Superbowl, hosting Lambton Shores.  The Maroons doubled up the Preds 8-4.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Maroons’ defencemen get offensive

By Mark Malone, Chatham Daily News

The Chatham Maroons’ forwards have been scoring in bunches during the team’s seven-game winning streak.

The defencemen decided to get in on the fun Thursday.

Blue-liners Steven Szekesy and Nate Pietens scored in the first period as the Maroons rode an early lead to an 8-4 win over the Lambton Shores Predators in front of 582 fans at Memorial Arena.

“It’s nice when the ‘D’ has a chance to chip in like that,” Pietens said. “We’ve taken a different approach the last little bit. We’re trying to get our ‘D’ involved with the offence. It’s nice to see it pay off.”

Rookie defenceman Levi Tetrault was even credited with his first career goal, but it was later awarded to Brennan Feasey.

Feasey finished with two goals as the Maroons stretched their point streak to 11 games (10-0-1).

Brayden Hopkins, Mark Fratarcangeli, Jared Dennis and Ian Faubert also scored.

The Maroons’ defencemen combined for seven points, led by Szekesy’s three.

They’ve been getting more offensive since Tyler Roeszler took over as head coach in late November, Pietens said.

“He likes to get everybody involved in the offence,” Pietens said. “It adds a whole new element. You have some teams where the defence all just stand there on the back end. Having all five guys attack has been really helpful so far.”

The 20-year-old rearguard scored a highlight-reel goal late in the first period for a 3-1 lead, going on an end-to-end rush and then splitting two Predators for his fifth of the season.

“It helps the offence as a whole when you can get some help from the back end and jump up in the play,” Pietens said. “It adds a whole new dimension and another thing other teams have to worry about.”

It also creates more room for the forwards, he said, because opposing teams have to be concerned with guarding the Maroons’ defencemen.

But, Szekesy said, being more offensive doesn’t mean they can neglect their duties on the defensive end.

“You just have to pick your spots when you join the rush,” he said. “You can’t overdo it.”

The change in philosophy hasn’t hurt their defence at all, Szekesy added.

“If anything, it gets us in the game,” said the Maroons captain. “Being part of the offence isn’t a thing the ‘D’ always get to do, so when we do, it’s nice.”

The Maroons lead the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with 195 goals, one more than the Caledonia Corvairs in two fewer games.

Pietens sees no need to take a more defensive approach in the playoffs.

“We’re going to do what’s working for us,” he said. “And what’s working for us is trying to get more offence out of our ‘D’. I don’t see any reason to change it.

“It’s working and it’s helping us win games. And that’s the objective of the playoffs: to win games.”

The Maroons are second in the Western Conference standings with 56 points, three ahead of the Sarnia Legionnaires and four up on the LaSalle Vipers.

Bo Bessette made 38 saves in his third consecutive start for the Maroons.

The Predators were the last team to beat the Maroons on Jan. 4, but they trailed 3-1 at the first intermission Thursday and 7-3 at the second.

Predators goalie Andrew Harriman-Duke was pulled early in the second period after allowing five goals on 18 shots. Anthony Hurtubise, a former Chatham-Kent Cyclone, came in to stop 24 of 27.

Sean Ross had a hat trick and Colin Burns also scored for the Predators, who are eighth in the Western Conference.

The Maroons play Friday in St. Marys. The last-place Lincolns have lost 23 in a row and are out of the playoff race.

“It doesn’t matter what team it is,” Szekesy said. “You’ve got to treat every game like it’s a playoff game.”

NOTES: Connor Doran had three assists for the Maroons. Feasey also had three points, raising his total to a conference-best 73 points. … Chatham was 1-for-6 and Lambton Shores was 0-for-3 on the power play. … Brendan Harrogate of Chatham scored for the Vipers in a 7-6 win over the Legionnaires. … The first-place Leamington Flyers beat the Lincolns 5-2.


Also on Thurs. night, first place Leamington Flyers hosted last place St. Marys Lincolns.  The Flyers defeated the Lincolns 5-2.  Story from C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Down Lincolns 5-2 – by C. Scott Holland 

As the 2014/15 season winds down, the St. Marys Lincolns may have played one of their best games of the season vs the Leamington Flyers Thursday night at the Heinz Arena in Leamington. Despite trailing for the entire game, goalie Tyler Beattie kept his team within striking distance through the 60 minute contest. But when the final buzzer sounded Leamington had claimed a 5-2 victory.

In the opening stanza, the Flyers looked as though they were out for a casual skate, even though they managed to outshoot the Lincs 16-5 and take a 2-0 lead. In the initial minutes, several shots bounded off players and nearly got past Beattie, but he played well and made some good saves along the way. At 11:29, the Flyers tabbed the first goal and despite appearing as if rookie Joe Ogden had netted the goal from the left side after passes from Matthew Opblinger and Ryan Muzzin, the marker was credited to Kyle Perkowski. It remained a close 1-0 game until the dying seconds of the first when Mitchell Amante moved in close on Beattie and was stopped on his handiwork, but he grabbed the loose rebound and tucked it into the left side at 19:47.

Things were more even in the second as both teams had chances, but once again it was the Flyers who reaped the rewards. With Lincs’ Scott Munro sidelined on a tripping call, Tyler Duarte and Kyle Quick took shots before the puck came to Opblinger who was to Beattie’s right. However, Beattie was out of the net and position and Opblinger had an entirely open net to deposit the puck.  Beattie gave a valiant effort in trying to halt the low shot with his glove. Flyers defenceman JP Grineau had been serving an interference infraction when his time expired and he caught a pass from Amante to go on a breakaway down the right lane. Grineau connected by flicking the puck into the top left corner and it was 4-0 for the Flyers.

Heading into the third, the Flyers had killed off several penalties and began the frame with Eric Henderson off for crosschecking. Once more, the Flyers held the Lincs at bay despite a very sustained effort by St. Marys. The game’s turning point may well have been the penalties called at exactly the 10 minute mark. An initial delayed penalty call on St. Marys led to some retaliation which ended with both players fighting. When things had been sorted out, Flyer Jacob McGhee was handed a major for crosschecking  plus a game misconduct while the Lincs’ Matt McGall took a 2 minute minor for crosschecking. Both players also received five minute fighting majors and game misconducts.   The post-game debate was whether the major penalties will carry extra games for falling in the final 10 minutes of play since the clock time was exactly the 10 minute point.

At 11:17, Evan Krassey broke Michael Barrett’s shutout bid, and with renewed poise and energy, the Lincolns continued to press. They halved the score at 14:26 on the powerplay when Sean O’Brien and Matt Trudel laid the groundwork for Graham Brulotte’s tally. During the final minute, Beattie was lifted for an extra attacker. With three seconds left in the game Grineau hit Ogden and he fired the puck into the empty net to seal the Flyers victory.

NOTES:  The Flyer were one for two on the powerplay while the Lincolns went one for eight …Leamington outshot St. Marys 42-20 …In a playoff preview, the Flyers play on the road vs Lambton Shores (Sat. Jan 31) and then at home (Thurs., Feb. 5) …The 2014/15 Western Conference banquet and ceremonies are being held in Leamington.


The last game this week was Sarnia Legionnaires hosting LaSalle.  In a close game, the Vipers defeated the Legionnaires 7-6.  Story from Sarnia Observer.

Legionnaires lose sloppy contest

By Dan McCaffery

A third period collapse cost the Sarnia Legionnaires a hockey game Thursday.

The local Jr. ‘B’ team surrendered four goals in the final 20 minutes on its way to a 7-6 loss to the hard charging LaSalle Vipers.

With the setback, Sarnia fell to 24-14-1.

The outcome leaves the club in third place in the standings, three points back of second ranked Chatham and just one ahead of the Vipers, who are in fourth. The Legionnaires have two games in hand on LaSalle.

“That was a pond hockey game,” a disgusted Sarnia head coach Dan Rose said afterward. “It was an ‘oreo’ game – the middle was great but that was it. We were good in the second period but in the first and third we were crappy.”

In fact, the Legionnaires fell behind 3-0 before the game was 14 minutes old.

Rose called a time out to settle his charges down and, 12 seconds later, Jay Clarke banked a shot in off the back of LaSalle goalie Eli Billing’s skate to get the Legionnaires on the board.

Shortly after that, Hunter Tycznski unloaded a drive from the slot to make the score 3-2 heading into the first intermission.

Captain Nathan Mater and Jordan Fogarty blinked the red light in the middle frame to give Sarnia the lead going into the final stanza.

Brandon Layman scored a shorthanded tally early in the third to give the Legionnaires what looked like a comfortable 5-3 advantage. Layman came charging in on a two-on-one break before firing home a shot from the faceoff circle.

After that, LaSalle reeled off four straight goals to take a 7-5 lead.

Davis Boyer closed out the scoring with a penalty shot goal with just 20 seconds left on the clock.

Defenceman Mitch Read, obtained at the trade deadline from the St. Marys Lincolns, played his first game for the Legionnaires and picked up an assist. The day after being acquired, he underwent emergency appendectomy surgery.

“Mitch played a good first game,” Rose said. “He’s a great skater with good skills.”

Nathan Savage had two goals for the winners,with single markers going to Nikko Sablone, Brett Primeau, Korey Morgan, Manny Silverio and Brendan Harrogate.

Winning netminder Billings made 30 saves. Andrew Masters and Cornel Felder split the goaltending duties for Sarnia and made a combined total of 30 stops.

Attendance was 1,172.

The Legionnaires return to action Saturday when they travel to Strathroy to take on the Rockets.


So here are your standings heading into the weekend


Leamington 42 33 7 2 68 .810 170 104 930 20-2-0 13-5-2
Chatham 40 27 11 2 56 .700 195 132 754 15-6-1 12-5-1
Sarnia 41 26 14 1 53 .646 187 159 778 16-5-0 10-9-1
LaSalle 43 26 17 0 52 .605 184 147 928 15-7-0 11-10-0
Strathroy 40 21 17 2 44 .550 156 133 756 13-7-1 8-10-1
London 42 19 20 3 41 .488 140 136 795 12-6-2 7-14-1
St. Thomas 41 17 19 5 39 .476 131 141 598 10-9-1 7-10-4
Lambton Shores 42 13 26 3 29 .345 136 203 935 9-10-1 4-16-2
St. Marys 42 2 36 4 8 .095 71 219 697 2-17-2 0-19-2



I’m also including the top 10 scorers and top 5 goalies since it’s the end of the month


1 Feasey, Brennan CHA F 39 33 40 73 26 11 13 0 0 2
2 Boyer, Davis SAR F 41 28 38 66 41 3 11 1 1 4
3 Ford, Gus CHA F 40 29 30 59 32 10 19 2 1 1
4 Trowell, Cody SAR F 41 29 26 55 8 4 8 1 0 4
5 Babkirk, Riley SAR F 40 18 36 54 70 8 8 0 0 2
6 King, Stuart SRY F 39 22 29 51 38 7 8 0 0 4
7 Morgan, Korey LAS F 43 29 20 49 26 7 5 4 0 2
Worrad, Drew LON F 41 16 33 49 12 2 12 1 1 3
Beenackers, Steven CHA F 40 17 32 49 59 1 8 0 1 4
10 Richardson, Trevor CHA F 40 22 26 48 17 7 7 0 0 2


Technically, Michael Verboom is sitting in 6th in overall Conference scoring, but since he’s no longer with the Maroons, or in the GOJHL, I feel he shouldn’t be included in the top 10.


Here are your top 5 goalies


1 Polasek, Brendan STT 21 1239:32 16 3 1 0 4 37 1.79 420 .919
2 Barrett, Michael LEA 21 1153:44 15 4 0 1 2 43 2.24 495 .920
3 Wheaton, Trevor LEA 24 1372:01 18 3 1 0 2 58 2.54 544 .904
4 Bessette, Bo CHA 30 1666:03 19 8 0 0 4 84 3.03 790 .904
5 Dampier, Nikolas STT 27 1512:06 12 12 0 1 1 77 3.06 781 .910



Coming up this weekend

Friday, January 30

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

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

Saturday, January 31

Lambton Shores Predators vs. Leamington Flyers – 7:30 Shores Rec Centre

Strathroy Rockets vs. Sarnia Legionnaires – 7:30 West Middlesex Memorial


As mentioned, Chatham played last night because Sun. is the Superbowl, so there are no games on Sun. for the West.  As I mentioned in my Mid-West recap, depending on the weather, I may head to a game in the Mid-West as they’re all playing in the afternoon.

Have a good weekend everybody, stay safe with the weather that we’re getting, and I’ll see you again on Monday.

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.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login