Legionnaires set for Vipers' visit

The Sarnia Legionnaires face the LaSalle Vipers on Thursday in another important contest for the junior B hockey club.

The Sarnia Legionnaires storm the St. Marys Lincolns' net at Sarnia Arena in Sarnia, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Shawna Lavoie/Special to Postmedia Network)

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The Sarnia Legionnaires face the LaSalle Vipers on Thursday in another important contest for the junior B hockey club.

Here’s a preview of the Western Conference game in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League:

WHO: Sarnia Legionnaires (5-2-0-1) versus LaSalle Vipers (3-5-0-0). Puck drop at 7:10 p.m. at Sarnia Arena.

SIGNIFICANCE: The Legionnaires need a win to keep pace with several teams challenging them for second place in the nine-team loop. The Vipers, meanwhile, are looking to start climbing in the standings after getting off to a slow start.

MISSING PLAYERS: Sarnia continues to be plagued by injury and suspension problems. Rugged forward Cameron Ware is set to return from suspension, but Logan Gardner remains banished for another two games while Kobe Ferreira won’t be allowed to return from suspension until Saturday night in Strathroy. On top of that, at least three players are out with injuries or sickness.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The Legionnaires have had the better power play in the early going, scoring 24 per cent of the time with a man advantage. The Vipers’ mark stands at just over 18 per cent. When it comes to killing penalties, both are around the 75-per-cent success rate.

WHO IS HOT: Sarnia: Isaac McLean is starting to look like the power forward the Legionnaires thought he would be when they obtained him in a trade with the Komoka Kings. McLean, who was hurt shortly after arriving in Sarnia, has collected three points in his last two games. Last winter, the Petrolia native scored an impressive 55 points in 50 games with the Kings, including 26 goals.

Grey Hay has also been hot, scoring five points in his last five games.

LaSalle: A.J. Ryan has 11 points, one more than Brett Vorshuk and Kory Silverio. Vorshuk leads the team in goals with five.

HOME ICE FACTOR: The Legionnaires have been solid at home, winning four of five games. The Vipers have won one of three road matches.

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