The Chatham Maroons have held first in the GOJHL’s Western Conference for much of the season, but their biggest test is quickly approaching, with the second place Leamington Flyers in town Sunday to face Chatham.
With their lead down to 1-point earlier this week, Maroons all-star goalie Darien Ekblad stood on his head Wednesday night to shutout the LaSalle Vipers 3-0 and give the Maroons a 3-point lead over Leamington.
In fact, it has been Ekblad’s play much of the season, after being acquired from the Leamington Flyers that has allowed to Maroons to remain in first and hold off the Flyers.
Chatham has won each of their three meetings with Leamington this season, however two of those wins came by one goal margins. The Maroons will also face Leamington a fifth and final time February 21. With both Leamington and Chatham having 10 games remaining on their schedule, each game will count down the stretch to decide which team will finish first and face the last playoff qualifier, which if the postseason were to start today, would be the Lambton Shores Predators.
Following St. Marys’ fire sale at the GOJHL deadline, many are predicting the Lincolns will continue to slide down the standings and either Lambton Shores or the Sarnia Legionnaires will occupy the eighth and final playof spot.
Leamington has been led this season by Alex Seguin who has 21 goals and 34 assists in 39 games. Tony Spidalieri is the only other 20 goal scorer on the Leamington roster.
Puck drop for Sunday’s crucial match up is 7:00pm at Memorial Arena.