Nats in tough against Flyers

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

The London Nationals play for first place tonight.

"Even if it's for a day or two, it would nice to say we have sole possession of first place -- but we're not taking anything for granted," Nats coach Doug Berk said.

The Nationals, 16-9-1, are tied with the Chatham Maroons for second in the Western Junior B Hockey League, one point behind the St. Marys Lincolns.

The Nats play the last-place Leamington Flyers at the Western Fair Sports Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Though the Flyers are 7-16-3, they have made some player changes recently and are 4-1 since the Nationals beat them 4-3 in overtime Nov. 17.

The Flyers have since beaten St. Thomas 4-2, Chatham 5-4 in OT, Petrolia 4-2 and Strathroy 3-2 in a shootout.

Also of concern, Berk said, is the Flyers are the only other team in the league to play on an international-size ice surface, so they're familiar with the dimensions at Western Fair, and they have good goaltending.

The Nationals are defending an 11-2 home record, while the Flyers are 3-10 on the road.

Tonight's game brings together the two teams with the fewest penalty minutes.

They have garnered a total of seven points from each other in their three previous meetings.

Leamington beat London in the first game of the season 5-1 in Leamington. On Oct. 30, the Nats won 5-3 at Western Fair, then the Nats took the Nov. 17 OT decision.


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