Home ice advantage in the opening round of the GOJHL Western Conference has been decided.

A 5-2 Strathroy Rockets loss to the Chatham Maroons on Sunday, February 8 at Chatham Memorial Arena secured home ice advantage for the LaSalle Vipers in the quarter-finals and destroyed any hopes that the Rockets had of garnering a top-four spot.

The Vipers can finish no lower than fourth.

The Leamington Flyers still sit rather comfortably in first place with 72 points, 10 points more than second place Chatham. The Maroons do have two games in hand on the Flyers with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Sarnia Legionnaires remain in third place with 59 points, three below the Maroons and five points up on LaSalle. Chatham has one game in hand on Sarnia. The Legionnaires have a game in hand on the Vipers.

The Rockets sit precariously in fifth place, just a narrow 3 points up on the London Nationals and the St. Thomas Stars. Both the Stars and the Nats have a game in hand on the Rockets.

The Rockets will play both the Nationals and the Stars in the Rockets’ final two home games of the regular season.

On Saturday, February 7 the Rockets needed to pull out a come-from-behind 3-1 win over the last place St. Marys Lincolns at the WMMC. The loss extended the Lincolns losing stretch to 25 games, easily erasing their franchise previous worse losing record of 12 games.

The Rockets have won just 2 of their previous 9 games.

The Maroon 5-2 win over the Rockets improved their winning streak to 10 games, their longest of the season.

David Honsberger

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