Sarnia Legionnaires centre ice logo (Photo courtesy of Sarnia Legionnaires via Facebook)

Legionnaires crown Kings in GOJHL season opener

The Sarnia Legionnaires (1-0-0-0) kicked off the GOJHL hockey season on a high note with a 7-2 victory over the Komoka Kings (0-1-0-0) at the newly-renovated Brock St. Barn on Thursday night.

Joseph Ferrera led the way for the Legionnaires with a goal and two assists. Kobe Ferreira scored twice, while Logan Gardner, Greg Hay, and Aaron Jamieson each had a goal and an assist. Cameron Ware scored the other Sarnia goal, while captain Alec DeKoning dished out a pair of helpers.

The Legionnaires got off to a hot start, pulling in front 4-0 after the first period. Ferreira opened the scoring at 9:14 on a wrist shot past Komoka goalie Owen Say.

Dylan Vandersleen got the Kings on the board 4:00 into the second, but the Legionnaires struck back just 38 seconds later to make it a 5-1 game. The teams exchanged goals for a 6-2 score after two periods. Greg Hay’s powerplay goal in the third sealed the 7-2 victory.

Making his first career GOJHL start, Legionnaires goalie Jakob Knowles made 44 saves on 46 shots against. The Kings’ Owen Say was pulled after the first period after allowing four goals on 26 shots. Trenton McGrail gave up three goals on 23 shots in relief.

The Legionnaires were strong on the penalty kill, going 7/7 including a five on three opportunity.

Head Coach Derek Di Muzio said the PK was an area of focus heading into the game.

“That’s something that we worked on, we didn’t do any powerplay this week but we focused on the penalty kill, and I thought it was pretty clean.”

Di Muzio is pleased with the team’s overall performance.

“We came out really well in the first period, and capitalized on our opportunities. In the second period we took some undisciplined penalties and gave them an opportunity to come back into the game,” said Di Muzio. “We need to understand in the locker room that if that happens in playoff time it will be an early exit. Overall, I was really happy, the young guys played very well, the defence moved the puck very well, we had a lot of blocked shots and did very well on faceoffs tonight.”

Sarnia’s lineup looked a lot different than in 2017-18 with 13 new players on the club and seven returning.

The Legionnaires return to action on Saturday night against the Leamington Flyers at Sarnia Arena.