The Sarnia Legionnaires were defeated 5-3 at home Thursday by the Chatham Maroons.
The Legion crew scored just once on six manpower advantages, while giving up two shorthanded goals.
As a result, Sarnia’s record fell to 17-16-2-3, leaving it in sixth place in the nine-team loop. They are five points back of the fifth ranked St. Thomas Stars.
If the Legionnaires are to have any realistic chance of catching the Stars, they will have to win when they play in St. Thomas tonight (Friday, Jan. 22).
With just 12 games left in the regular schedule, it appears doubtful that Sarnia will be able to nail down fourth place – and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. To do that, they would have to overhaul both St. Thomas and LaSalle.
P. J. Vandervaart scored his first goal of the season Thursday, with other Sarnia goals being credited to Jordan Fogarty (his 13th) and Brock Perry (with his 12th).
Assists were earned by Ryan Vendramin, Brendan Shagena, Brandon Layman, Alec DeKoning, Ryan Trottier and Sam McCormack.
The Legionnaires outshot Chatham 43-27.
Aidan Hughes took the loss in net while Parker Butler picked up the win.
Sarnia was playing without captain Hunter Tyczynski and defenceman Brett Storr, both who are injured.
Devin Panzeca and Declan Conway had two goals each for the Maroons, with Steven Beenackers getting the other.
The Legionnaires are home next Thursday to the St. Marys Lincolns. Game time at Sarnia Arena is set for 7:10 p.m.