Strathroy Rockets beat Sarnia Legionnaires 6-4

The slumping Sarnia Legionnaires lost their fourth straight game Thursday, falling 6-4 to the Strathroy Rockets.

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The slumping Sarnia Legionnaires lost their fourth straight game Thursday, falling 6-4 to the Strathroy Rockets.

But there was a positive development for the struggling Jr. ‘B’ hockey club, and that was the return of Jon Sanderson, one of the team’s best forwards over the last two seasons.

Sanderson, a 20-year-old sniper who stands 6’1 and weighs in at 200 pounds, was sidelined late last season with a serious knee injury.

“He’s a real boost to our team,” head coach Derek Di Muzio said. “He’s one of the best power forwards in the league, if not the best. He will add a calming presence. He knows the league and he’s confident with the puck.”

Sanderson had 38 points in 36 games before he got hurt last winter. The year before, he had 43 points in 44 games.

During Thursday’s game he failed to get on the score sheet but did dish out a number of crunching body checks.

Di Muzio is confident Sanderson will get better as time goes on.


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“He’s been rehabilitating (this year). He’s only had three or four practices.”

Josh Barraclough was the best Legionnaire against the Rockets, scoring twice to give him a total of eight so far this campaign. His first tally, which tied the game in the opening frame, caught the far post, low on goalie Josh Diamond’s stick side. His second, which came in the third period, was scored when he batted the puck out of the air and into the net. That marker gave the Sarnians a 3-2 lead.

But the roof caved in after that, with the visitors scoring four goals in a little over three minutes to take control of the contest.

With time running out, never-say-die forward Nolan DeGurse scored his 15th of the season to make the score 6-4 DeGurse almost scored a second goal but the puck entered the net just as time expired.

Rookie Matt Cunningham had Sarnia’s other goal, burying a cross-ice pass from DeGurse to tie the game 2-2 in the second period.

The Legionnaires outshot Strathroy 32-30, with goalie Nolan DeKoning taking the loss.

Attendance at the Brock Street barn was 1,118.

Riley Wood had three goals for the winners while single markers went to Daniel Aspro, Brendan Mairs and Jordan D’Intino.

Sarnia now has a record of 9-14-1-2 and sits in seventh place in the nine team western conference of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The Legionnaires return to action next Wednesday when they play the first place London Nationals in the Forest City.