By Pat Payton
The St. Marys Lincolns’ Alumni committee will honour three teams from the early 1970s on Friday, Oct. 21.
Those Lincoln teams are the 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1972-73 squads. The late Barry Hearn was the coach and Mike Brogden the GM and architect of all three teams. The 1971-72 Lincs were All-Ontario finalists.
Members of those teams–both players and executive members–have been asked to gather at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 236, where there will be a reception, introductions and a dinner. The teams will then be invited to attend the St. Marys-London GOJHL game at the PRC, which starts at 7:30 p.m.
Members of the three 1970 teams will also be introduced during the first and second-period intermission.
–New Lincolns’ forward Chase MacQueen-Spence has been inserted on a line with Luca Spagnolo and Jaden Lee. It should be fun for the fans to watch this fast, skilled trio weave their offensive magic.
–Veteran defenceman Josh Cornfield has missed the last four St. Marys games due to illness.
Lincolns also played Saturday’s game without their captain, Ethan Lamoureux. He served a one-game suspension for removing his helmet the previous night against Sarnia Legionnaries. After being high-sticked, a frustrated Lamoureux tossed his helmet into the St. Marys bench as he left the ice.
–Lincs are just 8-for-42 on the powerplay (a 19 per cent efficiency rate) to date this season. “It’s a little bit of a struggle right now,” Lamoureux admitted following last Friday’s game against Sarnia. “We have a lot of offensive players, but I think we need to work on our defence, too, and tighten up a little bit.”
–Although Sarnia has about 10 returnees from last season, the Legionnaires are still icing a young squad in 2022-23, says assistant coach Darren Rogers.
“We’ve got a young group, and we’re excited for the year ahead,” Rogers told the Independent before last Friday’s game against the Lincolns. “We’ve got a lot of good prospects in our line-up. In the last five years, we’ve typically had a lot of 17 and 18 year-old players. We like to be a development model and promote kids to other hockey opportunities.
“We have a good core leadership group, and the kids have bought into the program. I think we’re a little faster this year, and we play a quick transition game and force the puck quite a bit. And we have a lot more mobility on the back end.”
Rogers ran the Sarnia bench last Friday, filling in for head coach Derek DiMuzio who was unable to make the trip to St. Marys.
–A new Sarnia player is defenceman Tanner Winegard. He’s the son of former Lincoln Owen Lessard (1986-87). Legionnaires acquired the 6 ft., 6 inch Winegard from the LaSalle Vipers at the beginning of the season. Winegard, a Windsor OHL draft pick, spent all of last season with the Vipers.
–London Nationals (7-1-0-1) were dealt their first regulation-time loss last Thursday night, an 8-3 defeat to the Flyers in Leamington.
–Former Lincs’ centre Ryan Burke, a 19-year-old from London, is now a member of the Shreveport Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
Burke was just 16 when he played his one season in St. Marys (2019-20) and finished second in team scoring with 13 goals and 41 points in 50 games. Following the season, he was named to the all-rookie team in the Western Conference.
Last season (2021-22), Burke led the Navan Grads of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) in scoring. He collected 25 goals and 60 points in 55 games. Grads are a Tier II Jr. ‘A’ team based in the Ottawa area.
–St. Marys minor hockey product Curtis Topp is off to a strong start with the Thamesford Jr. ‘C’ Trojans. In seven games, the 20-year-old Kintore native has six goals and one assist.
Topp is starting his third full season with the Trojans.