Slow start hurts Le­gion­naires

LaSalle scores four goals in first pe­riod to de­feat Sar­nia 5-3

The Observer (Sarnia) - - SPORTS -

A poor first pe­riod was too much for the Sar­nia Le­gion­naires to over­come Wed­nes­day.

The Le­gion­naires al­lowed four goals in the open­ing frame of a 5-3 loss to the Vipers be­fore 487 fans at the Vollmer Re­cre­ation Com­plex in LaSalle.

The Le­gion­naires cut their three-goal deficit to one in the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore the come­back fiz­zled.

Cap­tain Alec DeKon­ing scored two more goals for the Le­gion­naires.

DeKon­ing leads the Western Con­fer­ence and is tied for fourth in the Greater On­tario Ju­nior Hockey League with 20 goals in 22 games. He’s fifth in the con­fer­ence and 16th in the league with 35 points.

Cameron Ware also scored in the Le­gion­naires’ third con­sec­u­tive loss.

The Le­gion­naires (11-8-0-4) have dropped into a fourth-place tie with the Vipers (12-12-1-1). They’re only one point ahead of the sixth-place St. Thomas Stars (1111-1-2), although Sar­nia has played two fewer games than St. Thomas and three fewer than LaSalle.

“There is a lot of par­ity in the league,” Le­gion­naires head coach Derek Di Muzio said re­cently. “Ev­ery game’s an op­por­tu­nity for growth. I’ve just chal­lenged our young guys to be ready to play and grow as a player.”

Le­gion­naires goalie Jakob Knowles made 24 saves. Jack­son Bernard of the Vipers made 25.

The loss ended the Le­gion­naires’ five-game point streak. They lost their pre­vi­ous two games in over­time after win­ning three in a row.

DeKon­ing opened the scor­ing at 4:27, but the Vipers pot­ted the next four goals.

Brett Vor­shuk tal­lied at 7:45, Gian­luca Piz­zuto at 10:04 and Colton Krzeminski at 14:27, then Evan Fer­gu­son scored with 14 sec­onds left in the first pe­riod for a 4-1 lead.

The Vipers out­shot the Le­gion­naires 15-8 in the first pe­riod.

The Le­gion­naires quickly stole mo­men­tum in the sec­ond. DeKon­ing scored his sec­ond of the game at the 10-sec­ond mark.

Ware made it a one-goal game by scor­ing at 10:20 of the sec­ond. Bernard shut out the Le­gion­naires the rest of the way.

A.J. Ryan of the Vipers scored an empty-net­ter with 1:08 left in the third.

The Le­gion­naires will host the Strathroy Rock­ets at 7:10 p.m. Thurs­day at Sar­nia Arena.

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