With only three games remaining on the regular season schedule, the London Nationals continue to struggle in the search for a winning formula as the post season rapidly approaches.
Playing host to the visiting Strathroy Rockets, London was looking build on an 4-3 shootout win over Chatham on Sunday (Feb. 10) — their only win in the last five games — when they took to the ice Wednesday (Feb. 13) at the Western Fair District (WFD) Sports Complex.
Trailing the Rockets by one early in the second period, things started looking up the Nationals when Aaron Dartch scored his 30th goal of the season, a power-play marker assisted by Noah Schwartz and Ryan Tuffin.
The congratulations would be short lived, however, after Kurtis Sander rang a shot off the inside of the far post to the right of London goalie Taylor Edwards six minutes later, restoring Strathroy’s one-goal lead.
Trading goals exactly a minute apart in the opening minutes of the third period — Strathroy’s coming off the stick of Tyler Duarte and London’s by Jeff Bauer — the Nationals looked poised to for a comeback.
But it was not to be as the Rockets held their hosts at bay through the remainder of the period to skate away with a 3-2 victory.
Currently sitting tied at 58 points with LaSalle for third place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) Western Conference standings, London will face off against the St. Marys Lincolns in their final home game of the regular season starting at 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday (Feb. 20), at the WFD.