By Pat Payton
Sparked by Mason Goldie’s hat trick, St. Marys Lincolns doubled Sarnia Legionnaires 6-3 in front of approximately 500 spectators on ‘Family Day’ Monday afternoon at the PRC.
It was St. Marys’ first win over Sarnia this season, but the two points won’t help the Lincs (11-28-3-3) as they will miss the Western Conference playoffs for a second straight season.
The three goals for Goldie give the 17-year-old Londoner a team-leading 18 for the season. He has five goals in the last three games.
“All my teammates around me have been helping me out a lot, getting me to the good spots,” Goldie said modestly. “I just happen to be the guy who’s putting the puck in the net.”
Goldie would like to get a couple of more goals in the team’s last three games and hit the 20-goal plateau. “That’s on the list; I’d love that,” he said.
Fellow rookies Joe Mazur and Kyle Curtin were other big factors Monday. Mazur clicked for two goals (his 13th and 14th) and an assist, and Curtin made 44 saves.
The fourth-place Legionnaires slipped to 21-17-2-5 with the loss.
Lincolns 6 – Legionnaires 3
At the PRC Monday, Mason Goldie fired what proved to be the winner on a third-period penalty shot. An official ruled that a Sarnia player had placed his hand over the puck in the crease. It came with just over 10 minutes to play, and snapped a 3-3 tie.
“I just wanted to keep it simple,” Goldie said of his penalty-shot effort. “I didn’t want to over-handle the puck. I made a move and he exposed down-low blocker, and I happened to put it there.”
After that, Curtin made a couple of big stops–especially on a Legionnaires’ powerplay–to keep his team in front.
Goldie, named Lincolns’ player-of-the-game, completed his hat trick into an empty Sarnia net with 37 seconds remaining. Mazur tacked on another insurance goal with 11 seconds left on the clock.
Lincs’ coach Trent McClement had high praise for Goldie following the game.
“Mason is an awesome player,” he said. “I think he’s a player who went under the radar earlier this year. I think we were the only team really looking at him. That just shows you how good are scouts are, noticing players like him.
“The kid put in a lot of work in the summer, and you can see it in his game and his skating. He’s going to put that work in again this summer. Next year, I predict he’s going to be one of the better players in the league.”
Tanner Hertel (his 10th) scored the other St. Marys goal. Trailing 2-0 after the first period, Legionnaires twice tied it in the third, 2-2 and 3-3. Isaac McLean, Nolan DeGurse (powerplay) and Joe Ferrera scored for the visitors, who finished with a 47-34 edge in shots.
Three affiliate skaters–Sam Sedley, Caleb MacDonald and Tyson Lina–all played well for the Lincolns. MacDonald and Lina both earned two assists.
Lincs finished with a 1-4-1 record against Sarnia this season.
Maroons 4 – Lincolns 3 (Double OT)
At the PRC Friday night, Lincolns were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs when they dropped a 4-3 decision in double overtime to Chatham Maroons.
With St. Thomas also winning in double OT Friday (1-0 over Komoka Kings), it left St. Marys 10 points behind the Stars (15-23-3-3) with only four games to play.
Lincs’ Mason Goldie opened the scoring at 2:28 of the first period. Quinton Pepper had a great chance to put the home team up by two at 5:09, but he failed to convert on a penalty-shot attempt.
Lincolns hit a couple of goal posts midway through the second period, but it stayed 1-0 until the first minute of the third when Maroons’ Zach Power tied it 1-1. Midway through the third, goals by Carson McMillan and Josh Martin–just 15 seconds apart–gave Lincs a 3-1 lead.
However, the veteran Chatham club was quick to respond. Goals by Kyle Fisher and Griffin Robinson–just 29 seconds apart–tied it 3-3, with still over eight minutes left in regulation.
After five minutes of 4-on-4 OT went scoreless, Kyle Fisher fired the winner for Maroons 32 seconds into 3-on-3 overtime after taking a pass from his brother Brett.
“St. Marys has played us well all year,” Chatham coach Kyle Makaric said. “Coming into the game, there was only one goal difference between these two teams. St. Marys is a good team. They come hard and play a full 60 minutes.
“But we believe in our group. We know if we get down, we have the type of firepower to allow us to come back. The guys stayed positive and the puck finally bounced our way.”
Overall, shots were 27-22 in favour of the Lincolns.
“I think it was our 13th one-goal loss,” coach McClement said. “I hate losing, but I’ve said it before that you have to learn how to win. Next year, maybe we’ll win 75 per cent of those one-goal losses with an older team.
“We definitely have to learn how to win these close games. But when you come into the game with just three lines, and you lose a player (McMillan) in the third period to injury and you’re double-shifting people, I still think it was a gutsy effort on our part. As a coach, you’re proud of that.
“We’re showing the fans that we don’t give up, no matter the circumstances. We’re going to play hard right to the end . . . that’s how you build champions.”
Affiliate defenceman Caleb MacDonald had a strong game for St. Marys.
The overtime loss leaves Lincolns with a 1-2-2 record to date against the third-place Maroons, who improved to 26-12-3-4 with the comeback win.
Upcoming: Lincolns play their final three regular-season games this weekend. They host Strathroy Rockets Friday at 7:30 p.m., and then play the Nationals in a re-scheduled game Saturday in London at 7 p.m. They complete their 48-game schedule Sunday in Chatham at 7 o’clock.