The Sarnia Legionnaires kicked off the New Year with a victory Thursday, edging the Strathroy Rockets 8-7 in double overtime.
Ryan Trottier was the hero, scoring with a hard drive from close range.
“It was three-on-three so there was lots of ice,” Trottier said afterward. “I drew the defender and had a clean shot. I saw the right side of the net was open.”
The tally, Trottier’s sixth of the campaign, was set up by Brett Storr and Alec DeKoning.
Sarnia head coach Mark Davis felt Trottier’s goal was the highlight of what was otherwise a poorly played hockey game.
“I wasn’t impressed,” the bench boss said. “We had two three-goal leads and we blew them. I wasn’t in there (the Sarnia dressing room) high-fiving everybody.”
Trottier agreed the team was poor defensively, but added the club was rusty after a long layoff. In fact, the team was playing its first contest since Dec. 20.
On the positive side, the Legionnaires found the back of the net five times on six power-plays.
But they were dreadful on the penalty kill, surrendering three goals on six Strathroy opportunities.
Ryan Vendramin played his usual solid game, scoring three goals and adding a pair of assists. He now has an eye-popping 45 points (including 16 goals) in just 21 games.
Jordan Fogarty was also an offensive force, picking up three helpers.
Other goals were scored by Captain Hunter Tyczynski, Brock Perry, Jacob Stos, and Brad Yowart.
With the victory the Legion crew improved to 16-11-1-3. That leaves them in sixth place in the Western Jr. ‘B’ standings, two points back of fifth ranked LaSalle. The Legionnaires have two games in hand on the Essex County squad.
Attendance at the Brock Street barn was 1,432.
Aidan Hughes was credited with the win, his sixth of the year. He stopped 26 shots.
Defensive forward Joey Zappa picked up an assist, giving him his second point of the season.
The Legionnaires had 30 shots on two goalies, with Dan Davies being tagged with the loss.
Sarnia returns to action tonight (Friday, Jan. 8) when it plays in St. Thomas.