By Pat Payton
At St. Marys Lincolns’ recent December general membership meeting, GM Greg Smale reported that his phone has been “ringing off the wall.” As the Jan. 10 trade deadline approaches, GOJHL teams are trying to upgrade their rosters if they can before playoffs.
Last Tuesday, Dec. 10, Lincs added another new forward when they obtained Ryan Brown from St. Thomas Stars in a straight cash deal. Brown has made an immediate impact, scoring four goals in his first three games with St. Marys.
“The biggest thing, we wanted to acquire a veteran presence in the dressing room, someone who has played in the league and played playoff games,” Smale told the Independent. “That’s one of the most important things Ryan brings to us.
“He’s a good offensive player, who works hard, and he’s a great kid. He’s been in the wars and played playoff hockey. We only have (Riley) Coome and (Thomas) McLatchie who have played in the playoffs. We want to be in the playoffs and go deep this year.”
Brown, a 20-year-old from London, is the third forward Lincolns have added in the last few weeks. Kyle Kuznik (Stratford) and Griffin Sinden (London) are the others. Both are 18.
Brown, meanwhile, had 10 goals, 20 points and 34 penalty minutes in 25 games with St. Thomas. He is listed at 6 ft., 1 inch and 170 lbs.
“We’re competitive, and good players want to come here (to St. Marys),” Smale said at the Dec. 9 Lincs’ meeting.
The GM said it’s also important that the Lincolns don’t trade away their younger players, who are the future of the hockey club.
“We won’t have nine 20-year-olds (the maximum number teams can sign) at the end of the season,” Smale noted. “We’re going to stay the course and be competitive doing it. We’re trying to build this thing and get better.”
The addition of Brown gives Lincs four 20-year-olds. Captain Cayse Ton, McLatchie and defenceman Coome are the others.
–The Lincolns’ bench staff of head coach Trent McClement and assistants Tyler Duarte and Cole Stewart, and trainers Darren Smale and Andrew Thompson have been selected to participate in the GOJHL’s Future Stars and Top Prospects games Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Waterloo Memorial Rec. Complex.
The Future Stars’ game, featuring the best 16-year-olds in the league, will start at 12 noon. Also representing St. Marys are forward Ryan Burke and defenceman Brayden Hislop.
The Top Prospects game, showcasing the top 17 and 18 year-olds in the GOJHL, is slated for 3 p.m. Players representing the Lincs are: goalie Kyle Curtin, defenceman Nathan Small, and forward Mason Mantzavrakos, the team’s leading scorer.
–Prior to last Friday night’s game against London, Lincolns honoured Joe Mazur as their St. Marys Buick GMC player-of-the-month for November. The 18-year-old centreman from Sudbury had three goals and eight points in nine games last month. He has also been a strong penalty-killer.
Mazur received a gift from Lincs’ vice-president Bill Lowe.
–St. Marys native Sam Sedley, 16, scored his first OHL goal last Friday night for the Owen Sound Attack in a 4-2 loss to the Soo Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie. The defenceman was a fourth-round pick of the Attack last summer.
–On Friday, Jan. 3, Lincolns will hold a promotion called ‘Girls Rock the Rink.’ There will be a Dixies’ display at that game, including a history of that women’s hockey team. Five girls teams from the SMMHA–Novice to Midget–have also been invited.
–The St. Marys Jr. ‘B’ team will honour former Lincolns’ great Paul Vanderspank (1972-77) on Friday, Jan. 10. The Belmont area native played five seasons with the Lincs, and was their captain when they won the All-Ontario championship in Collingwood in the spring of 1976.
The talented forward will receive a team jacket, be given a life-long membership to the Lincolns’ Alumni group, and drop the ceremonial first puck prior to the St. Marys-London game.
A banner, with his name on it, will also hang on the Lincs’ Wall of Fame in the Rock arena.
–The Lincolns’ team logo is now on all four Town Service signs coming into St. Marys. The Lincs’ logos–which are 18 inches by 18 inches–were put on Dec. 4. Kudos to Lincolns’ executive member Jamie McFadden for all his hard work on this project.
–A couple of big deals were made between Leamington Flyers and Chatham Maroons last Thursday. Maroons traded their top two scorers, forwards Maddux Rychel (53 points) and captain Griffin Robinson (41 points), back to the Flyers in separate deals. Both players requested the trades. Leamington sent forwards Cam Symons and Lucas Fancy to Chatham.
Rychel and Robinson, both 20, were acquired from the Flyers just over one year ago in a four-player swap.