By Dan Rankin
The St. Marys Lincolns (5-12-0-0) looked pretty sharp last Friday in their special pink jerseys, which were auctioned off after the game to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. They looked equally sharp in the first period against Chatham (12-4-0-0), their opponents for the ‘Pink in the Rink’ night, as some crisp passing plays saw St. Marys take an early 3-0 lead, fuelled by a goal and an assist by captain Chad Heffernan, a power play goal by Alessio Luciani, and another at even strength off the stick of Tanner Hertel.
The goal was extra special for Hertel, whose grandmother Sharon Twamley was one of two cancer survivors to take part in the ceremonial puck drop before the game, along with Lincolns billet mom Sheila Coulthard.
Two men from each team were in the sin bin when Luciani completed a pretty tic-tac-toe play for his fourth goal (and seventh point) in five games. Before the end of the period, there were five Lincolns crowded into the box at once as the officials were kept on their toes.
After the first period though, St. Marys looked decidedly less sharp. The Maroons scored four unanswered goals to claim the lead in the second, outshooting the Lincolns 12-6 in a period marred by penalties. Chatham scored two power play goals in the second period, and went 2-7 overall with the man advantage Friday. Though they had plenty of opportunities, including a lengthy stretch of 5-on-3, St. Marys could only manage one power play goal in 10 chances.
Heffernan’s second of the game, assisted by Brandon Glover for his second point of the night, left the score knotted at four-apiece with just over 14 minutes left in the third period. It would be the only shot the Lincolns registered in the final frame however, as Chatham potted a go-ahead goal to take the lead and an empty-netter in the dying seconds to claim a hard-fought 6-4 win.
Lincolns netminder Tristan Lewis took the loss, making 23 saves on 28 shots.
There were less positives to take away from St. Marys’ 8-0 loss in Leamington last Thursday. The Lincolns went 0-6 on the power play and were outshot 51-29 by the third-place Flyers (11-3-0-3).
Seven different players scored for Leamington, with Dallas Maurovic (1 G, 3 A), Griffin Robinson (1 G, 2 A) and Brett Vorshuk (2 G) leading the way.
Lewis took the loss in net, making 21 saves on 25 shots, while Kyle Morning made 22 saves on 26 shots in relief. In 14 games played, Lewis has a record of 5-9-0-0, with 53 goals allowed and a goals against average of 4.09. Lewis has made more saves than all but six other goalies in the GOJHL, turning away 403 shots. That means he’s facing an average of over 32 shots per appearance in net. Morning is 0-3-0-0 with 25 goals allowed in five games played. He has a GAA of 6.36.
A lull in the schedule for St. Marys continues tonight, as they are taking the night off from their usual Friday night home game. They are on the road tomorrow night for a game against Lambton Shores (4-10-0-2), but that’s the Lincolns’ only contest until they host the Sarnia Legionnaires (9-7-0-0) at the Pyramid Centre on Remembrance Day (Nov. 11, 7:30 pm).