By Dan Rankin
Goaltender Tristan Lewis turned away all 40 shots he faced on Sunday night and also picked up an assist on Caleb Adrian’s empty-netter late in the third as St. Marys beat Leamington 3-0. It was the first shutout win of the season for the Lincolns (7-15-0-0), and was all the more sweet due to who it came against. The Flyers (13-7-0-5) had won both of their previous meetings against the Lincolns this season, shutting them out both times (4-0 on Sept. 30 and 8-0 on Oct. 27). Last season, St. Marys lost all six of its matchups against Leamington before being swept from the playoffs by them in the opening round. The Lincolns hadn’t won a contest against the Flyers since Oct. 26, 2012, and were also on the losing end of a four-game sweep by the Flyers in the opening round of the 2014 playoffs.
This payback win was Lewis’ sixth of the season and the first shutout of his GOJHL career, which began last season in Brantford. Sunday was also the first time this season St. Marys won a game in which they scored fewer than five goals.
Adrian opened the scoring in the second period with an even strength goal assisted by team points leader Brandon Glover and Tyson Kielt. It was Glover’s 17th assist in 22 games played. Kielt, who finished with a pair of assists, has four points in his last four games.
The Lincolns took a 1-0 lead into the third period, holding onto it until Clayton Lewis capitalized with a power play goal midway through the frame to put the Lincolns up 2-0. The 17-year-old Stratford native has been heating up lately, with all four of the goals that he has scored this season coming in the month of November. Now on a three-game goal scoring streak, he also had a power play marker the previous night in Strathroy, but a four-goal second period for the Rockets proved too much to overcome as the Lincolns fell 5-2.
Brody Smith, who chipped in with a goal and an assist for the second time in as many nights, notched the Lincolns’ only other goal. Blueliner Dylan Nafziger of Mitchell contributed a pair of assists, while Tristan Lewis made 44 saves in the loss.
St. Marys currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference with 14 points, though, prior to last night’s game in Sarnia, the Lincolns had played fewer games than either the seventh or eighth place teams (St. Thomas and Lambton Shores, respectively) who are both at 15 points. Neither the Stars or Predators have won more games than the Lincolns – Lambton Shores (6-16-0-3) actually has one fewer win. Instead, they have managed to bank points in the form of ties or overtime losses. The Lincolns have yet to play an extra period this season, with all of their wins and losses coming in regulation.
Tonight, the Lincolns host the London Nationals (17-5-1-0) for Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Night at the Pyramid Centre, with the puck drop set for 7:30 pm. Sunday night, the Lincolns are in Chatham to face the Maroons (14-6-0-1).
Photo by Capturing Daze Photography