Tonight is final Lincolns home game of 2016
By Dan Rankin
For the first time since Nov. 13-20, the Lincolns have won two out of three games, as they trounced the last-place Lambton Shores Predators 5-2 at the Pyramid Centre last Friday night.
It was the sixth home win of the season for St. Marys, and the eighth win for Lincolns goaltender Tristan Lewis, who made 29 saves on 31 shots.
Four Lincolns skaters had multi-point nights, including Brody Smith who potted the go-ahead game-winning power play goal at 14:40 of the first period and finished with two goals and an assist. Smith has three goals and two assists during a three-game point streak.
Alessio Luciani and Andrew Bogdon both added a goal and an assist, while Bill Moskal had a pair of helpers.
Luciani is now the team’s leading scorer since the trade of Brandon Glover Tuesday to the Nationals. In return for Glover, St. Marys received cash as well as forward Kenny Chisholm, 17, of Granton, and blueliner Riley Coome.
Clayton Lewis’ power play goal midway through the third period solidified the Lincolns’ lead, making it 5-2, which stood as the final.
The Lincolns’ special teams had a great night, going 3-for-7 with the man advantage while giving up nothing on five Lambton Shores power plays.
St. Marys took an early lead, with Bogdon’s even strength goal getting past the Predators’ Tynan Lauziere at 2:20 in the first period, assisted by Justin Vandendool and Paul Lee. Lambton Shores responded with two quick goals around the mid-point of the first frame to take a brief 2-1 lead. The next two minutes were the only ones St. Marys trailed for the entirety of the game, as Luciani’s power play goal tied it at 12:19, before Smith gave the Lincolns a lead they would not relinquish.
In a mere 28 games, St. Marys (9-18-0-1) has already tied its points total from 2013-2014, as well as winning the same number of games as they did in the full ’13-’14 and ’15-’16 campaigns. They have also easily surpassed the eight points they collected in all of 2014-2015. Picking up five more points over their next 22 games would surpass their point total from last season (9-36-1-4), while an entirely feasible 18 more points would make this the most successful Lincolns season in five years, passing the 36 points they accumulated in 2012-2013 (17-32-0-2). The 2012-2013 season, when St. Marys failed to qualify for the playoffs, was the last time the Lincolns won at least 10 games.
St. Marys has four games left in December, with three (including tonight’s match up at the Pyramid Centre) coming against teams who also have losing records. The Lincolns host the sixth-place Strathroy Rockets (9-16-2-3) tonight at 7:30 pm for their last home game of the year. Next week is a busy one, with St. Marys hitting the road for a rematch against the Predators (6-20-0-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 20. On Thursday, they’re down in Leamington to face the fourth-place Flyers (17-8-1-5), before taking on the Stars (9-18-1-2) in St. Thomas for their last game of the year on Friday, Dec. 23. They’ll look to improve their road record, where they have just three wins in 13 games this season.