By Pat Payton
After weekend action, former St. Marys Lincolns’ captain Dan Wildfong (1992-95) had his Lone Star Brahmas (12-1) in first place in the South Division of the North American Hockey League. It’s the best record in the entire NAHL to date.
Brahmas are on a 10-game winning streak, and have allowed just 22 goals against in 13 games. The Tier II Jr. ‘A’ team is based in North Richland Hills, Texas.
In 16 seasons coaching hockey (pro and Junior) in Texas, Wildfong, 46, has amassed over 500 wins and his teams have missed the playoffs only once.
The Clinton area native was a member of the last Lincs team (1993-94) to win the Western Conference playoff title. The following season, he collected 46 goals and 107 points and then accepted a NCAA Division 1 scholarship at Colgate University in upstate New York.
–Rob and Don Elliston, of London, owned the winning ticket in the St. Marys Minor Hockey Association’s Early Bird draw held last Friday night during the Lincs-Nationals game. The prize was $1,000.
The main draw is Friday, Dec. 16 at the PRC.
–Former Lincolns’ forward-defenceman Sean Aitken (2021-22) has been acquired by the Komoka Kings for cash. The 20-year-old Londoner played his first game with the Kings Saturday against St. Marys.
–Prior to last Friday’s game at the PRC, London coach David Matsos was asked why his team is off to such a great start (12-1-0-1) this season.
“The guys are buying in,” Matsos replied. “We’re a possession team that likes to go east and west, just like St. Marys does. And our special teams have been off the charts. Our penalty-killing is at 82 percent and our powerplay is 34 or 35 percent. That’s been a huge part of it.
“But there is no night off in this league. You have to stay engaged and be focused. Peaks and turbulence are going to happen in this league . . . you’re not going to have a perfect run all the time.”
–In a recent stop in St. Marys, LaSalle coach Matt Beaudoin says he has about 15 players back from last year’s Vipers team.
“We have a stable full,” Beaudoin said. “Having a lot of familiarity in the room helps keep our culture consistent, but there’s new challenges every year. For me, I’m happy to see some of our systems come together. The puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place, and we’re starting to see what our team is made of 10-12 games into the season.”
The coach says his team has the same hard-working mentality that it had a year ago.
“We pride ourselves on being a team that’s hard to play against,” Beaudoin said. “I think we also might be a little faster than we were last year, with the players we’ve picked up. And we’re a team that concentrates on the defensive zone first. Hockey is a game full of little details; details matter. We continually stress those things.”
–After weekend action, goalie Carter McDougall has a 5-3 won-loss record, with a 3.55 goals-against average for the GOJHL’s Listowel Cyclones.
McDougall, an 18-year-old St. Marys native, is starting his second full season with the Midwestern Conference Cyclones.