Special to The Journal
Head coach Dan Rose is vowing the Sarnia Legionnaires will ice a competitive Jr. ‘B’ hockey club this winter.
Commenting after the team’s training camp wrapped up Sunday, the bench boss said, “It was a great weekend, we had a lot of good talent to look at. If we could get a little bigger, we’d like to, but we’ll have a good team.”
He added the club’s veterans came to camp ready to play. That was just as well, because they were being pressed by about 60 newcomers, including athletes from as far away as Florida and the Ukraine.
“We had three or four (top) prospects,” he said.
And, he noted, the Legionnaires are working with the Sarnia Sting, who may send them players to develop as well.
At this writing the club had signed three newcomers, including rearguards Sam McCormack and Cameron Clarke and forward Tyler Longo.
Although Rose insisted no one will know who the contending teams will be until about half way through the season, the fact is that the Legionnaires are chocked full of veteran talent. Indeed, 15 players from last year’s lineup were at camp.
Sarnia finished fourth in the nine-team Western Ontario Hockey Conference last winter.
Legionnaire defencemen eligible to return include P. J. Vandervaart, Brad Campbell, Tyler Prong and Hayden Allen.
Up front, Sarnia has veterans Nathan Mater, Riley Roberts, Davis Boyer, Cody Trowell, Bob King, Jay Clarke, Jordan Fogarty, Ryan Lyle, Hunter Tyczynski and Brandon Layman.
In net, veteran Hunter Johnson, widely regarded as one of the best goalies in the league, will be back.
The Legionnaires open the regular season Sept. 9 when they host the defending champion Leamington Flyers. Puck drop at the Brock Street Barn is set for 7 p.m.