By Dan Rankin
Bill Moskal had two goals and an assist Sunday, while Dan Cloutier and Brody Smith each chipped in a goal and an assist, as St. Marys beat St. Thomas 6-3 and improved to 3-0 against the Stars this season.
Goaltender Kyle Morning picked up his first win of the season for the Lincolns, stopping 27 of the 30 shots he faced. The St. Marys native had to be feeling a little pressure when, after he took a Delay of Game penalty midway through the second period, St. Thomas’ Kevin Hu scored a power play goal to tie the game at 3-3. But Morning, who was making his fourth start of the season, collected himself and turned away everything else the Stars threw at him Sunday. His teammates did the rest, pouring in three goals during the third period to lock down the victory. It was the first Lincolns win since Oct. 21, and also the first time since that date that St. Marys scored more than four goals.
The 2016-2017 Lincolns (6-14-0-0) have yet to win a game in which they score fewer than five goals. They’re just 1-9-0-0 when opponents score five or more. On the other hand, when the Lincolns give up four or fewer goals, they have a winning percentage of .500 (5-5-0-0).
When Moskal buried the game-winner just over two minutes into the third period Sunday, he surpassed Alessio Luciani to stand alone in second place on the team with 10 goals scored (behind Brandon Glover’s 12 goals and 28 points). Moskal has 19 points in only 14 games played, including 13 in his last eight contests. Captain Chad Heffernan followed that up with his fourth goal in four games, assisted by Tanner Hertel, to make it 5-3. With just over a minute left, Smith’s empty-netter made it 6-3.
Two nights earlier on Remembrance Day at the Pyramid Centre, the Sarnia Legionnaires (13-8-0-0) edged out St. Marys 3-1 in a close game. Each side finished with 31 shots on net, and neither could take the advantage in a scoreless first period. Luciani was the lone goal scorer for the Lincolns Friday, giving his team a brief 1-0 lead in the second period with an unassisted tally. But it was the 30-second lapse that followed, during which Sarnia’s Joey Zappa scored twice on consecutive plays, combined with costly penalties by the Lincolns, that proved to be the difference Friday night. The Legionnaires were given eight power play opportunities and managed to make one of them count, giving them a 3-1 lead midway through the final frame. St. Marys couldn’t score on five power play chances.
Tristan Lewis took the loss in net, stopping 28 of 31 shots. St. Marys will have a shot at redemption next Thursday, Nov. 24 when they face the Legionnaires in Sarnia.
The Lincolns take tonight off, but are busy the rest of the weekend, beginning with a trip to face the Rockets (6-12-2-3) in Strathroy tomorrow night, followed by a home matchup against Leamington (13-4-0-5) on Sunday, Nov. 20.