In Greater Ontario Hockey League regular season play the Sarnia Legionnaires dropped a 5 – 4 decision to the Chatham Maroons Thursday night at the Sarnia Arena before 1,145 hockey fans.
The Legionnaires were missing six top players from the lineup that included their No 1 goalie Sean Parker, Captain Davis Boyer, P.J Vandervaart, Riley Babkirk, Riley Roberts and Nathan Mater.
Stepping in to replace players were called up from the Mooretown Flags Jr C that included Adam Hayes, Ryan Lyle and Brandon Layman and back up goalie was Riley Collins, a member of the Sarnia Jr. Sting Midget A/AA team.
"The kids that played tonight showed that they can play with these guys." head coach Dan Rose said
Chatham took a 2 goal lead in the first period with quick goals at 7:40 and 8:19 the first by Kyle Brothers and the second by Mark Fratarcangelli. Ryan Vendramin scored his 6th of the season and put Sarnia on the board a minute later with Jr C players Brandon Layman and Ryan Lyle assisting. Brothers added his second goal of the night at 14:37 to give Chatham a 3 – 1 lead heading into the second.
"We were really soft in the first period. We handed them the three goals by being soft on the puck but once we settled down we played pretty good for two periods." Rose said
Defenceman Thomas Moxley banged one in on a power play early in the second assisted by Jordan Fogarty. Chatham came back with their 4th goal at 8:15 by James McEwan. Last goal in the second was scored by Josh Kestner that narrowed the gap 4 – 3 heading into the third. Assisting on Kestner’s goal were Hunter Tyczynski and Jordan Fogarty his second point of the night.
Fresh off the faceoff Curtis Crombeen on defence went in and scored the tying goal with Brett Corrigan picking up the assist. Chatham regained the lead with Kyle Brothers picking up his third goal of the night at 13:08. Sarnia fought back but Chatham held on to take the win.
Chatham outshot Sarnia 38 – 22. Braden Palocz put on another outstanding performance despite the loss making 33 saves. Brendan Johnston earned the win made 18 saves.
"In the first period we hung him up to dry a couple time." Rose said adding "We turned the puck over all of sudden it was tic tac toe and it was in the net. It wasn't' his fault there was too much puck movement when we had chances to clear the zone, they are mistakes that he kids will learn from."
Both sides took just six minutes in penalties and Sarnia went one for three on the power play, Chatham went zero for three.
Sarnia is now 7 – 8 for the season.
The Legionnaires are in action tonight (Friday) for a road trip to St. Thomas (7-7).
"This group of kids said we will fight through it together and we'll deal with what we have to deal with as long as we work hard we'll win some games and we'll lose some but eventfully we'll come out of it. We are not a third of a way through the schedule so we got a lot of hockey left so once we get everybody healthy we'll be ok. We just proved tonight we can play with anybody with six guys out."