Goalie Nolan DeKoning made 53 saves Thursday to lead the Sarnia Legionnaires to their second 5-4 overtime victory over the Chatham Maroons in five days.
SARNIA – Goalie Nolan DeKoning made 53 saves Thursday to lead the Sarnia Legionnaires to their second 5-4 overtime victory over the Chatham Maroons in five days.
The Wallaceburg native made a sensational 24 saves in the first period alone to backstop the Legion crew to the win in front of 1,264 at Sarnia Arena.
But his best block may have come late in the third period when he slid across the crease to turn back a drive off a two-on-one rush,
“When the puck was passed I knew I had to get over quickly,” DeKoning said. “It hit my stick and I closed my legs on it.”
The second-year veteran said he enjoys facing a lot of shots, provided they aren’t screened.
“I like it when I can see them,” he said. “It gets me into the groove. It’s tough to keep your head in the game when you don’t face a lot of shots.”
DeKoning said his defencemen did a good job of keeping the Maroons to the outside and “tying guys up in front of the net as they went for rebounds.”
Brett Fisher led the Maroons with a hat trick, Carson Noble also scored and Kyle Fisher had three assists.
Maroons goalie Bryce Walcarius made 21 saves.
Nolan DeGurse led the Legionnaires’ offence with two goals, including the winning tally 21 seconds into the second overtime, and one assist.
Another offensive hero was ex-Maroon Josh Barraclough, who blinked the red light once and set up three other goals.
Ayden Letang and Joe Ferrera also scored for the Legionnaires, who trailed 3-1 early in the second period and 4-3 to start the third.
The Maroons outshot the Legionnaires 26-4 in the first period, but they led only 2-1 because of DeKoning.
DeKoning “is very calm,” Legionnaires head coach Derek Di Muzio said. “He has a cool presence about him. He doesn’t get rattled and the guys feed off that.”
The Maroons (19-16-1-9) are on a five-game point streak.
They’re in fifth place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Western Conference, four points behind the fourth-place LaSalle Vipers. Both teams have five games left.
The Maroons will visit the Strathroy Rockets on Saturday.
Skate with the Maroons
Fans can skate with the Chatham Maroons after Sunday’s 7 p.m. game against the St. Thomas Stars at Chatham Memorial Arena.
The players will also sign autographs and pose for photos.
– With files from the Daily News