By Dan McCaffery
The Sarnia Legionnaires took a tough loss Wednesday, dropping a hard-fought 5-4 decision to the London Nationals.
Matt Fuller scored with less than four minutes left in the third period to give the home team the win.
Despite the setback, which was Sarnia's third in a row, head coach Dan Rose was not about to press the panic button.
"We're getting better, improving every game, Rose said. We played hard but we were kind of snake bit.
Rose was referring to the beginning of the third period, when the Legionnaires came out on fire, hemming the Nats in their own zone for two minutes while producing four or five good scoring chances.
Unfortunately, they were not rewarded for their efforts.
Around the mid-point of the final frame they came close again, only to have Jordan Fogarty rattle a shot off the post.
Shortly after that, London got what proved to be the winner.
But the Legionnaires, who are now 5-6, were in the Jr. 'B' hockey game from start to finish.
In fact, they opened the scoring early in the contest, with Jay Clarke poking in a shot from the lip of the crease after accepting a passout from behind the net from Riley Roberts.
After the Nationals tied it up, Roberts went to work, scoring from a goalmouth scramble with help from Clarke and Hunter Tyczynski.
In the middle frame the the Nats found the back of the net first, but Cody Trowell brought the visitors back on even terms when he grabbed his own rebound and backhanded the rubber into the strings. Bobby King and Ryan Vendramin got helpers on the play.
After the Nats went ahead 4-3, the Sarnians clawed their way right back into the game. This time it was Thomas Moxley who did the honours, unleasing a howitzer from the point. Assists went to Vendramin and Josh Kestner.
Sean Parker took the loss in net, although he played a strong game, making 31 saves, including a breakaway stop.
The Legionnaires were credited with 25 shots.
Besides Fuller, other London marksmen included Scott Lombardi, Jeff Bauer, Kyle Robinson and Austin Kemp.
Sarnia was missing Nathan Mater (flu), J. P. Vandervaart (injured) and Curtis Crombeen (suspended).
Brad Campbell of the Mooretown Flags saw action in his second straight game for the Legionnaires.
The Legionnaires are back in action next week with a Wednesday night (Oct 18) road game in LaSalle, then back at home Thursday hosting London.