By DAN McCAFFERY
A late second period goal Wednesday was the difference as the London Nationals defeated the Sarnia Legionnaires 4-1.
The visitors had dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Nats 21-12.
But a goal by Paul Hopkins with just nine seconds left in the middle frame sent London into the intermission with a 2-1 edge.
Sarnia fell apart in the third stanza, taking one undisciplined penalty after another.
Jesse Drydak got the only Legionnaire goal when he came out from the side of the net and roofed the puck on a powerplay. Evan Dixon and Jason Teschke got assists on what was Drydak's 31st of the season.
The marker tied the game at 1-1 but London took the lead moments later and never looked back.
Shawn Parker took the loss in net for the Legionnaires.
Sarnia was missing three players to injury. The latest to go down is defenceman Jeff Paulley, who could miss close to a month with a lower body injury.
Despite the loss, Sarnia remains five points ahead of London in the race for first place in the GOJHL's western conference. That's because the league has taken a win in LaSalle away from the Nats after London was caught using an ineligible player.
The Legionnaires return to action tonight when they host the St. Thomas Stars. Game time at the Sarnia Arena is set for 7:10 p.m.