By Pat Payton
Last season may have been a Covid hockey year, but it still ended up being a successful one for former St. Marys Lincolns’ coach Dave MacQueen (1991-93).
MacQueen led the Brasov Wolves to their most successful season in team history last spring. In his first full season with the team, the 62-year-old Woodstock native guided Brasov to the Romanian Cup. Wolves are one of three Romanian teams in the 10-team Hungarian pro hockey league.
Previous to joining Brasov, MacQueen coached Dornbirn Bulldogs in the Austrian League for seven years. Brasov, meanwhile, has a population of just over 250,000 in Romania, and is located in the central part of the country.
MacQueen once coached on Terry Crisp’s staff, with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. He also coached several years in the OHL, with Peterborough, Erie and Sarnia. While in Erie, he was selected OHL coach-of-the-year in 2000-01.
–London Nationals have eight 20-year-olds, but have just one player back from the 2019-20 team that finished in first place.
“We’re an older team, and hopefully the veteran leadership will lead the way,” new head coach Colin Martin, 30, told the Independent last Friday. “We’re a team that’s still coming together. We’re working hard every day to get better, but that’s the same with every team in this league.”
A key acquisition for the Nats has been Zach Power. The 20-year-old centre from Glencoe had 50 points (20-30) in 50 games with Chatham Maroons two seasons ago (2019-20). He currently has a conference-leading five goals.
“We’re a hard-working team, but we have some skill, too,” Martin continued. “Some of these guys have never had 400 to 500 days off, so it’s a learning adjustment for them. I want these kids to come to the rink every day with their hard hat and work boots on.
“It’s a privilege to play Junior hockey, and not many kids get to do it. I feel it’s an honour to coach this (Nationals) team, which has a winning history. This team has had some great people before me, guys like Pat Powers and Kelly Thomson, who were great coaches. I’m honoured, and now the pressure is on to win.”
Colin Martin, meanwhile, was a member of the Lincs (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.
–Last week, Lincolns’ Director of Hockey Operations/GM Greg Smale traded the rights to Mason Mantzavrokos to Caledonia Corvairs in a straight cash deal. Mantzavrokos, a 19-year-old forward from London, led the Lincs in scoring with 52 points (21-31) in 45 games in 2019-20.
Over the past year, Mantzavrakos tried out for several Jr. ‘A’ teams, before signing with Nassjo HC, a Second Division team in Sweden. However, that trek overseas was short-lived, and he returned to Ontario.
–The Huron-Perth Lakers organization hosted the 2021 U18 ‘AAA’ Face-Off this past weekend, Oct. 1-3, at the PRC.
Nine teams competed, playing a total of 18 games over three days. In addition to the Lakers, other ‘AAA’ teams were: Brantford 99ers, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs, Hamilton Huskies, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, Lambton Jr. Sting, London Jr. Knights, Waterloo Wolves and Windsor Jr. Spitfires.