Weekend Recap for Feb. 13-16

Hello Hockey Fans!  I hope you all had a great Family Day weekend.  There was a lot of hockey this weekend, and more coming up this week, so let’s dive in.

On Friday, St. Thomas Stars hosted Leamington Flyers.  The Stars beat up on the Flyers 8-5 to climb to 6th place in the standings.  Story from www.stthomasstars.com

Stars Align to Beat Flyers

Article by: Andrew Buttigieg

The Stars were given the opportunities, and they took advantage of them.

Five goals in the second period lifted the Stars to an 8-5 victory over the 1st place Leamington Flyers.

It was not the start that the Stars were looking for, as the Flyers were the first to get on the board in the 1st period to take an early lead. Fortunately for the Stars, that was the only lead the Flyers would have all game. Two late goals in the 1st allowed the Stars to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Right from the opening puck drop of the 2nd period, it was all Stars.

The boys lit the red lamp five times – including three on the PP – as they took a 7-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Stars were caught back on their heels in the 3rd period, but an 8th insurance goal allowed the Stars to cruise to victory … 8-5 the final.

The Stars powerplay was 4/8 on this night. Their penalty kill was also stellar, killing off all 4 Leamington powerplays.

Stars goals credited to EIGHT different players: Brett Van Dusen, Andrew Chambers, Adam Truax, Ryan Valentini, Carson Moniz, Carson Brookshaw, Carter McCormick and Josh Slegers.

The Stars next game is Family Day Monday in London. Game time is 2:30pm. This game will NOT be broadcasted on the radio.

Our final regular season home game of the season will be Thursday against the St. Marys Lincolns.


Also on Friday, St. Marys Lincolns hosted Strathroy Rockets.  It appears to have been a close game, but the Rockets handed the Lincolns their 26th straight loss with a 5-3 decision.

Lucas Latina opened the scoring 3:49 into the game.  Nick Boyer would add a power play marker with just over 8 min. to play in the 1st period to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead.

In the 2nd, Nathan Smith got the Lincolns on the board with a power play goal at 9:45.  Just 39 seconds later, Kurtis Sander restored Strathroy’s 2-goal lead to make it 3-1.  Smith added his 2nd goal of the game with just over 2 min. to go in the period while on the PK and the teams headed to the 3rd period with the Rockets leading 3-2.

New Rocket, and former Lincoln, Ocean Check would add his own shorthanded goal to open the 3rd period and make it 4-2 Rockets.  With just under 1 min. to play, Greg Swan would inch the Lincs closer and made it 4-3.  Joe Seney scored the final goal of the game to seal the 5-3 victory for Strathroy.

Dane Gubbels picked up the win for the Rockets, improving his record to 4-2, and making 20 saves.  Tyler Beattie took the loss in net, making 32 saves.


Sat. brought some nasty weather and the game in Forest between Lambton Shores and Chatham was postponed.  That game will be played tonight.


The game between Strathroy and London Nationals was a go and it was a classic.  The Rockets defeated the Nationals 7-4.  Story from David Honsberger.


By David Honsberger

A 7-4 London Nationals setback to the Strathroy Rockets at the WMMC in Strathroy on Valentine’s Day has severely hampered their chances in securing fifth place.

The loss leaves London 5 points below the fifth place Rockets with just three London games yet to play. The Rockets have two games left in their regular season.

Still very involved in the hunt for a higher seed are the St. Thomas Stars. The Stars remain one point ahead of the Nats and four behind the Rockets.

Looming large is a Family Day matinee at the Western Fair between the Nats and the Stars. A St. Thomas win combined with a Stars’ win over the last place St. Marys Lincolns at the Timkin Centre in St. Thomas on Thursday could set up a final day showdown between the Stars and the Rockets at the WMMC on Saturday. The Rockets only other game will be played in Leamington against the first place Flyers. Leamington has lost just a single game at the Heinz Arena all season.

The Rockets and the Nats were involved in a wild and volatile affair at the WMMC on a windy, snowy and stormy night.

The Rockets saw a 3-0 first period lead evaporate when the Nats exploded for four second-period goals as the two teams headed into the second intermission tied at 4-4.

The Rockets broke the draw with a pair of goals and an empty net marker to secure the win.

National’s goaltender Connor Hughes seemed to struggle throughout the game, especially in the first period.

Both teams had nine powerplay chances but London’s penalties seemed to come at crucial times in the game. They also gave the Rockets two 2-man advantages. It cost the Nats dearly as the Rockets tallied four-powerplay goals, a season high. The Nats scored twice with the man advantage.

Sam Vokes led the Rocket attack with a hat trick and an assist. All three of Vokes’ goals came on the powerplay. Stuart King opened the scoring at 4:43 of the first period and scored the game winner with a deadly backhand shot from the deep slot that fooled Hughes at 2:28 of the third period. Dan Chapman also scored for the Rockets and Ocean Check secured the win with an empty net goal.

National’s captain Derek Todosichuk put his team in a big hole when he was assessed a major penalty and an automatic game ejection for a dangerous cross check to Rocket Mark MacAulay with 5:06 remaining in regulation time. It was also Todosichuk’s third stick violation of the game.

Despite playing a man short, Nationals head coach Kelly Thomson pulled Hughes for the extra attacker with over three minutes remaining in regulation time resulting in the Check empty net goal.

Earlier in the period Rocket defenseman Marcus Baird was the clear winner in a bout with Nationals rearguard Anthony Kotsovos much to the delight of the 466 fans in attendance.

The Nationals outshot the Rockets 38-37. Mat Ouellet earned the win in goal for the Rockets. Ouellet also assisted on Vokes’ first period goal giving the Rocket goaltender 7 assists on the season, easily eclipsing the previous franchise record of 4 set by K.J. Robinson.

The Rockets win evened the season series at three wins each.

Dan Chapman had three assists to go along with his goal for a four-point night. It was just the second 3-assist performance in a single game by a Rocket this year. Brett Dalton had the other.

Vokes had an assist along with his three goals for his second 4-point night of the season, the only Rocket to do so this season.

The game also marked the return of Matt Laberge on the Rocket defense after an eight-game absence with a foot injury.

Kyle Robinson, Austin Kemp, Todosichuk and Drew Worrad scored for the Nationals.

The Entertainment Tonight Players of the Game for the Rockets were Vokes, Chapman and King.


On Sun., Chatham hosted LaSalle Vipers.  The Vipers pushed the Maroons to OT, but Chatham picked up the extra point with a 4-3 win.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Richardson scores in OT for Maroons

By Mark Malone, Chatham Daily News


Trevor Richardson didn’t want to play overtime Sunday night.

Thanks to him, the extra period didn’t last very long.

Richardson scored a wraparound goal 28 seconds into overtime as the Chatham Maroons beat the LaSalle Vipers 4-3 in front of 847 fans at Memorial Arena.

He was happy to send the crowd home happy after a sudden-death period he’d hoped to avoid.

“It’s always exciting for the fans to go to overtime, especially against a rivalry team like LaSalle,” he said.

Michael Levesque, Brayden Hopkins and Alexander Morgan also scored in the Maroons’ 12th consecutive win over the Vipers.

Jake Patterson allowed only one goal after the first period and made 36 saves for the win.

The Maroons were playing for the first time since their 10-game winning streak ended Thursday in Leamington.

Richardson said they didn’t dwell on the loss.

“Just start a new winning streak,” he said. “You can’t go back and worry about the past. You worry about the game tonight and start a new winning streak.”

The Maroons won despite being short-handed on the blue-line. They played most of the game with only five defencemen, including call-up Corbin Hagerman of the Blenheim Blades, after losing Connor McKinnon to an injury.

Rookie defenceman Levi Tetrault was also out with a hand injury.

“We were definitely getting a little bit tired near the end,” defenceman Connor Annett said. “We were trying to keep things simple – get the puck out of our end and get the puck in at theirs.”

Saturday’s game at Lambton Shores was postponed due to dangerous driving conditions. No makeup date was announced, but the teams are trying to reschedule the game for Tuesday.

If they play Tuesday, the Maroons will end the regular season with four games in six nights. They visit London on Wednesday and Lambton Shores on Saturday before hosting St. Marys on Sunday.

“From here on in, it’s basically playoffs,” Richardson said. “Our mindset is to win every hockey game and fix the mistakes in previous games and work on them in future games.”

The Maroons regained a three-point lead over the Sarnia Legionnaires for second place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Western Conference. The Vipers are in fourth.

The Vipers led 2-1 after the first period on two goals by Brett Primeau.

Hopkins and Morgan scored in the first four minutes of the second period for a 3-2 lead.

The Vipers drew even in the third when Mark Manchurek scored at 11:29 on their fourth power play of the period.

Vipers goalie Eli Billing stopped 40 shots. He made a point-blank pad save on Gus Ford with 3½ minutes left to preserve the 3-3 tie.

NOTES: Morgan and Ian Faubert each had two points. … Maroons forward Luc Knight sat out his third straight game. … Chatham was 0-for-4 and LaSalle was 1-for-7 on the power play.


The other game on Sun. was Lambton Shores hosting Sarnia Legionnaires.  Really, it only took Sarnia the 1st period to seal the victory, but at game’s end, Sarnia topped the Preds 8-2.  Story from SarniaSports.com.

Legionnaires Take Solid Win Against Preds

By Dan McCaffery


The Sarnia Legionnaires were clicking on all cylinders Sunday.

Coach Dan Rose’s Western Jr. ‘B’ hockey club got goals from all four lines – and from the defence as well – on its way to an 8-2 win over the Lambton Shores Predators.

“We played well, we moved the puck well and our special teams did a great job,” Rose said. “Our PK (penalty kill) did well.”

In fact, Sarnia killed off all eight shorthanded situations it faced. The Legionnaires, meanwhile, scored three times on a dozen powerplays.

Rookie defenceman Cameron Clarke was the top gun for the Legion crew, picking up two goals and three assists for five points.

The line of Ryan Vendramin, Jordan Fogarty and Brandon Layman was on fire. Indeed, Vendramin had two goals and an assist, Layman had a goal and Fogarty had four assists.

Vendramin now has 26 goals on the campaign.

Cody Trowell got his team-leading 32nd of the season, while Hunter Tyczynski had his fourth, Captain Nathan Mater collected his eighth and Brandon Layman scored his seventh.

Riley Babkirk and Brendan Trottier had two assists each, with Mitch Read and Kyler Keating also getting helpers.

Preds goals were credited to Brendan Trottier and Drew Marlatt.

Sarnia goalie Andrew Masters kicked out 32 shots, including one on a breakaway, to earn his seventh win of the season.

Anthony Hurtubise took the loss, although he made 41 saves.

The Legionnaires are now 30-15-1 and need just one more point to wrap up third place in the nine-team Western Conference.

LaSalle, which sits in fourth, is four points back of the Sarnians.

The Legionnaires return to action Tuesday when they host the last place St. Marys Lincolns. Game time at the Brock Street barn is set for 7:10 p.m.


On Mon, it was a Family Day matinee between London and St. Thomas.  This was a great game to watch and St. Thomas took the points, and extended their lead on London, with a 4-3 win.  Story from www.stthomasstars.com

Late Goal Boosts Stars over Nats

Article by: Andrew Buttigieg

The Stars-Nationals rivalry sure looked alive and well in London on Family Day.

The two teams battled it out at the Western Fair Sports complex in front of a ‘split’ crowd … Half cheering for London, half cheering for the Stars (Thanks to all the Stars fans that came to cheer us on!)

Just like last game against Leamington, the Stars gave up the first goal of the hockey game. The Stars defence got caught pinching in the offensive zone, which led to a 2-on-1 the other way for the Nationals. Nationals forward Drew Worrad sniped one home past goalie Nik Dampier to make it 1-0 for the Nationals.

The Stars were quick to respond though.

First, it was Carson Brookshaw receiving a pass from the corner and sniping one past Justin Tugwell to tie the game 1-1. Then, shortly after, Ryan Valentini circled out from behind the net and made a beautiful stretch pass to Dane Johnstone which led him on a breakaway. Johnstone made no mistake, putting it through the five-hole of the Nationals goalie to make it 2-1 Stars. The Stars were not done yet! Just 41 seconds later, Jordan Babb received a nice pass from Spencer Hutchinson from the corner and slapped one home to extend the lead to 3-1.

The Stars kept it that was for over half of the second period. Both goalies (Dampier and Tugwell) made some great saves as well. However, a powerplay goal by Tanner Lafrance allowed the Nationals to claw within one goal heading into the third period.

Lafrance notched his second goal of the game in the third period, when he beat Dampier on a wraparound to even the game up 3-3.

However, the Stars battled right till the end of this intense game.

With about 1:30 remaining in the third period, it was a gritty shift from Jesse Anderson, Matt McJannet and Andrew Chambers that led to the winning goal for the Stars. The puck popped loose in front and Chambers made no mistake, potting the loose puck into the right side of the net to seal the deal for the Stars.

St. Thomas wins 4-3.

Nik Dampier saved 32/35 shots in his return from injury to earn the win on this Family Day.

The Stars now take a 3 point lead on London for 6th place in the West. Now just two points behind Strathroy for 5th, with two games left to play in the regular season!

The Stars next game is Thursday at home against the St. Marys Lincolns. Game time is 7:30pm at the Timken Centre! This is the last chance for you to use your flex passes, as we DO NOT accept passes in the playoffs.



We’re down to the final week of regular season play and here are your standings.


Leamington 47 36 9 2 74 .787 199 126 1096 22-2-0 14-7-2
Chatham 45 31 12 2 64 .711 221 147 820 17-6-1 14-6-1
Sarnia 46 30 15 1 61 .663 212 172 850 18-5-0 12-10-1
LaSalle 47 28 18 1 57 .606 200 162 982 16-8-0 12-10-1
Strathroy 47 24 21 2 50 .532 177 155 915 15-8-1 9-13-1
St. Thomas 47 21 20 6 48 .511 156 165 664 12-10-1 9-10-5
London 47 21 23 3 45 .479 156 155 863 14-7-2 7-16-1
Lambton Shores 46 13 29 4 30 .326 147 231 1109 9-12-2 4-17-2
St. Marys 45 2 39 4 8 .089 78 237 719 2-19-2 0-20-2




I don’t expect the standings to change too much over the next 6 days.  The only questions at this point is 5-7.  Strathroy is just 2 points ahead of St. Thomas, and the Stars are just 3 points ahead of London.  Anything can happen in the final 2 games for each of these teams.  Strathroy and St. Thomas play each other on Sat. and that could be the battle for 5th place, depending what happens this week.


Coming up

Tuesday, February 17

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. St. Marys Lincolns – 7:10 Sarnia Arena

Lambton Shores Predators vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:30 Shores Rec Centre

Wednesday, February 18

LaSalle Vipers vs. Sarnia Legionnaires – 7:00 Vollmer Rec Centre

London Nationals vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:30 Western Fair

Thursday, February 19

Leamington Flyers vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:10 Heinz Arena

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:10 Sarnia Arena

St. Thomas Stars vs. St. Marys Lincolns – 7:30 Timken Centre



London and Chatham on Wed. is most likely a play-off preview.  In order for London to take 6th place, the Nats would have to win their final 2 games, vs. Chatham and LaSalle, and St. Thomas would have to lose theirs, vs. St. Marys and Strathroy.  I know it’s not fair to judge St. Marys, but the 2 points are likely to go to St. Thomas on Thurs., which would make London 7th place.


I expect Chatham to try to run up the score on Lambton Shores and even London.  Brennan Feasey is in the hunt for the GOJHL scoring title.  He’s currently in 2nd with 79 points, behind Waterloo Siskins Christian Mroczkowski, who has 85 points.  Yes, Tyler Morrison from St. Catharines is in between them, and yes, he’s on the list on Pointstreak for the scoring leaders, but since the Golden Horseshoe is separate from the GOJHL, they’re not included in the stats.

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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