SARNIA — The Sarnia Legionnaires played the powerhouse London Nationals to a wild 6-6 double overtime tie Thursday to extend their undefeated streak to five games.
Sarnia, which now sports a record of 16-9-1-4, finds itself in fourth place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s western conference, six points ahead of fifth-ranked LaSalle and just two back of the Chatham Maroons, who are third.
“After a two-week break (for the Christmas holidays) it was what we expected,” Sarnia assistant coach Brad Wilson said. “We didn’t start out well but we battled back. Isaac McLean played very solid for us and we had a number of shot-blockers.”
Defenceman Max Hartwell, who was credited with a goal and an assist, said: “Right now we’re doing well. If we can stick with London we can beat anyone. We just have to play our style of game.”
Asked to describe his goal, Hartwell said he was thinking of passing the puck off, then decided to let go a blast from the point. “It went through a screen and into the net low on the glove side.”
The rookie rearguard said he’s pleased with his play so far this campaign.
“I had to get used to the style of play. I feel like I’m progressing. I’m just doing the little things.”
Said Wilson: “Max had a goal and an assist on two consecutive shifts. He’s committed to our system and tonight he was rewarded for it. He’s a very hard-working player, a very honest player that’s hard to play against.”
Isaac McLean gave Sarnia the lead early in the contest when he roared around a Nationals defenceman and caught the corner, low stick side. He had a second tally later in the game.
Other Sarnia goals were credited to Logan Gardner, Nolan DeGurse (with a shorthanded, breakaway effort) and Will Redick. Redick tapped in a puck sitting on the goal-line with just over six minutes to go in regulation time to force overtime.
In extra time Sarnia had the best chances. Ben Schoch nicked the goal post with one blast, then rang a drive off the iron with a second. Redick was foiled on the doorstep by a great save by goalie Jukka Schotter.
–Dan McCaffrey, special to Postmedia
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