By Dan McCaffery
The swashbuckling Sarnia Legionnaires won their 11th straight game Thursday.
Coach Dan Rose's club crushed the St. Marys Lincolns 8-2 before 1,342 fans at the Brock Street Barn.
The victory moved the second place Legionnaires within one point of top spot in the highly-competitive Western Ontario Hockey Conference.
London and Leamington are tied for first. But the Legionnaires have three games in hand on the Nationals and have played four fewer games than the Flyers.
Afterward, Rose said, “That was a good effort. We were only sloppy a few times. I thought our depth showed.”
The team, he continued, is playing hard every shift and showing good discipline.
He added the Legionnaires come to every game “with a fresh attitude. The guys aren't patting themselves on the back (about the winning streak).”
Sarnia killed all eight penalties it faced. Going into the contest, the Lincs sported the best powerplay in the league.
The Legionnaires, who also scored a shorthanded goal, won the game despite the fact that they were missing three regulars.
Captain Tyler Cicchini was out with a hand injury that is expected to sideline him for about a month. Veteran forward Andy Sokol left the game with back trouble and defenceman Tyler Prong was called up by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.
But the team hardly seemed to miss them.
Jeff Paulley got the Legion crew off to a fast start, scoring his first of the season with a drive from the point before the game was three minutes old.
St. Marys tied the game shortly after that but Derek D'Andrea scored two goals in a row to send the Legionnaires into the dressing room ahead 3-1. The outburst gave D'Andrea his 5th and 6th markers of the campaign. And as things turned out, his second goal, which came in the last minute of play, stood up as the game winner.
Jason Teschke backhanded home his eighth of the season at the mid-point of the middle frame to make it 4-1.
Steve Farlow all but put the game out of reach with a blast from the point four minutes later.
But just to make sure, the Legionnaires scored two goals before the period ended. Brent Sauve got his 11th at 14:36 and Evan Dixon notched his 10th with a dandy shorthanded marker at 16:21. Justice Dundas set the play up, recording one of four assists he would collect on the night.
In the final stanza, Jesse Drydak scored his ninth of the year.
Sarnia goalie Kyle Washer turned back 32 shots to bring his won-lost record up to 9-2.
The Legionnaires will try to run their win streak to an even dozen Sunday when they play in Chatham.