Jr. ‘B’ Lincolns make a few deals as team takes shape

Centreman Mazur back with Lincs; Martin new Nationals’ head coach

By Pat Payton

Director of Hockey Operations/GM Greg Smale announced this past weekend that he completed three trades recently as St. Marys Lincolns’ 2021-22 GOJHL roster continues to take shape.

Smale dealt 20-year-old defenceman Brennan Long to the Kincardine Bulldogs of the PJHL. The Kincardine native spent the last two seasons in St. Marys.

“Basically, it came down to a numbers game with 20-year-olds,” the GM explained. “Brennan has been nothing but phenomenal here. We wanted to give him the opportunity to play more minutes with the Jr. ‘C’ Bulldogs and also play an extra year of Junior.”

Lincs also sent forward Josh Short back to the Dorchester Dolphins of the PJHL. The 18-year-old Londoner scored 32 goals, including playoffs, with Dorchester in 2019-20.

“Josh signed with us in the Covid year, and put the time in,” Smale said. “But with work commitments he decided the lighter Jr. ‘C’ schedule is better for him, so we accommodated him for that.”

Lincolns also sent the rights to defenceman Zach Betts to the Brantford 99ers of the OJHL. The 18-year-old Woodstock native also signed with St. Marys during the 2020-21 Covid season. Betts played with the GOJHL’s Pelham Panthers in 2019-20.

Lincs received cash for all three players.

Mazur returns to the fold

Smale got a pleasant surprise recently when big centreman Joe Mazur agreed to return to the Lincolns. He skated with the team this past weekend.

The Sudbury native spent two seasons (2018-20) with the Lincs. The GM said Mazur told him that he’s heard that the Lincolns are going to have a “heckuva team” this season and he wants to be a part of it. Mazur, a strong penalty-killer, had 30 points (8-22) in the 2019-20 season.

“That puts us up to a whopping seven 20-year-olds,” Smale noted. “It’s going to be a veteran team.”

Every GOJHL team is allowed a maximum of nine 20-year-olds on its roster.

With Mazur, the Lincolns have five or six players back from the 2019-20 squad that won 30 games, finished third overall in the conference, and won a quarter-final playoff series in five games against the Strathroy Rockets.

GOJHL notebook:

–GM Smale reports that Lincolns held a prospects camp on the Aug. 20-22 weekend in Tavistock. “It was three days of games and it went well,” he said. “It was nice to see some real five-on-five hockey again.”

Almost 40 players took part in the camp.

–Former Lincs’ forward Colin Martin is the new head coach of the London Nationals. The 30-year-old London native recently left the Komoka Kings to take the Nats’ job.

The London vacancy came about after Pat Powers recently stepped down as Nationals’ coach and GM. Powers held the job for six seasons, leading the Nats to four straight Western Conference titles. He is now the southwestern Ontario scout for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs.

Martin, meanwhile, was a member of the Lincolns (2007-09) for two seasons, and then went on to play three years with the OHL’s London Knights. In the 2008-09 season, Martin led St. Marys in scoring, clicking for 39 goals and 65 points in 37 games.

–Chatham Maroons recently announced that they’ve signed two players from Michigan. Goalie Brenden Stroble, 19, hails from Livonia, and defenceman Colin Whaley, 18, calls Adrian home.

–The GOJHL’s Top Prospects and Future Stars games will be played either Dec. 28 or 29 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. The GOJHL Showcase weekend will be held Friday, Jan. 21, to Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Meridian Community Centre in Pelham. Each GOJHL team will play two games at the event, which attracts a lot of scouts.