Team high on local defenceman Jack Lucas
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns are staying true to their word . . . and going young.
At a players’ signing session on June 2, Lincs inked their first seven players for the 2018-19 GOJHL season. Forwards Griffin Wilson, Josh Martin and Mason Goldie are 17 years old, and forward Quinton Pepper and defenceman Jack Lucas are both 16. The other two players who put their names on cards that day are 18-year-old Justin McIntyre and 19-year-old Blair Butchart, both forwards.
Director of Hockey Operations Jim MacEachern also announced on June 2 that Lincolns have committed to two other skaters, forward Joe Mazur and defenceman Reid Ramseyer, both 17. Lincs committed to another 17-year-old as well, defenceman Riley Pinkney, but he changed his mind and has decided not to join St. Marys. Pinkney played for Hagersville Jr. ‘C’ Hawks last season.
“We’re staying the course and going young . . . that’s how we’re building it,” MacEachern told the Independent. “We’re still working and have some pokers in the fire. I don’t plan on building a championship team in three weeks, it’s going to take some time.”
‘Want good kids’
As the new Lincs’ management rebuilds, they continue to look for the right type of player, the Director of Hockey Operations stresses.
“We want people who want to be in St. Marys, that’s the big thing,” MacEachern said. “We want people who want to be St. Marys Lincolns and we want to go after extremely good kids. We want the right players. That’s the culture we’re trying to build here.
“And we will play all four lines this season. If we sit kids out, we’re not developing them,” he added.
One youngster the Lincs’ management is very high on is defenceman Lucas, a St. Marys minor hockey product. The Stonetown native, who doesn’t turn 17 until November, was captain of the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets last season and he also played in nine games with Lincolns as an affiliate player.
At minor hockey’s year-end awards banquet, Lucas was named the most outstanding male player in the association. He also played well at Lincs’ Spring Prospects camp in late April.
“Jack is a young, raw talent,” assistant GM Greg Smale said. “He’s developed so well. We think he’s going to be a diamond in the rough, one of those kids who can end up in your top four (among defencemen).
“He’s one of those kids who will work to improve, so he has a huge upside.”
Big forward signs
This week, Lincolns were also very excited to announce the signing of 6 ft., 4 inch forward Carter Schoonderwoerd, of Mitchell.
The 16-year-old Peterborough Petes’ draft pick led the Huron-Perth ‘AAA’ Minor Midgets in scoring last season. “He’s another local, high-end kid,” Smale said.
Junior hockey notebook:
–A 6 ft. by 6 ft. carpet is in the plans for the middle of the Lincolns’ dressing room. “We want to be proud of our room and carry it onto the ice,” Greg Smale said.
–Lincs will also wear green helmets, instead of blue, this season.
–Members of the Lincolns were at Tim Hortons last week, helping with their ‘Camp Day’ promotion.
–Lincs are also holding a fundraising barbecue on Friday, June 22 at McDonald’s Independent Grocer from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the barbecue will go to refurbishing the team’s dressing room this month.
–MacEachern reports that Austin Maietta has signed with Milton Icehawks of the OJHL. The 19-year-old centre from Vaughan joined the Lincolns late last season, and had 15 points (5-10) in 17 games.
In Milton, Maietta joins former St. Marys coach Scott Thompson (2016-18), who recently signed on with the Icehawks as an assistant coach.
–Dalton Bancroft, Lincs’ rookie-of-the-year and leading scorer last season, is apparently signing with Wellington Dukes of the OJHL. The 17-year-old winger hails from Eastern Ontario.
–In other Junior hockey news, the GOJHL’s Guelph Hurricanes recently announced that they are moving the team to Cambridge.
Cambridge didn’t have a Junior team last season after the Winter Hawks’ owners pulled the team after a dispute with the OHA. The new team in Cambridge will be called the Redhawks, and play out of the Galt Arena Gardens.