Caledonia Corvairs take one-year leave of absence
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns recently announced that they have hired another new assistant coach.
He’s Jim Blais, a London resident and experienced coach who has worked in the Jr. ‘C’ ranks with Port Stanley and with London Lakers, a team in the outlaw Greater Metro Jr. ‘A’ League.
Blais is the second assistant coach Lincs have hired this off-season.
The other new assistant is former Western Conference standout Tyler Duarte, who played five seasons in the GOJHL–including four with Strathroy Rockets. The 24-year-old is a West Lorne native. The last couple of years, Duarte was an assistant coach with Exeter Hawks and Mt. Brydges Bulldogs, both Jr. ‘C’ teams.
Assistant coach Rick O’Donnell, of St. Marys, is also back with the Lincolns.
Blais, Duarte and O’Donnell will work with new head coach Trent McClement, who guided Mount Forest Patriots to back-to-back Jr. ‘C’ conference titles the past two seasons.
“We gave Trent full autonomy to hire his own staff, and we okayed it,” Lincs’ Director of Hockey Operations Jim MacEachern said. “We let him pick his assistants; he’s the one who has to work with them throughout the year.”
Lincolns have also hired a new goalie coach, Sebastian Molette, 24, from London. He has college playing experience at a Division 2 school in Cincinnati.
Junior hockey notebook:
–GOJHL powerhouse Caledonia Corvairs are taking a leave of absence for the 2018-19 season, with expectations to return to the league for the 2019-20 season.
“We’re just taking a year off; I don’t know who came up with the rumour of us folding,” Corvairs’ GM Brian Rizzetto said in a press release. “The (Ontario Hockey Association) has a thing in their constitution that allows teams to take a one-year leave of absence. We’ve got a bunch of stuff on the go away from the rink. We’ve played deep into every year (of playoffs); we feel like we all need a break for a bit and we’ll be back for 2019.”
Corvairs, who were Sutherland Cup finalists this past season, have recently sold off players to both Chatham and London.
–Orangeville, of the OJHL, has moved to Brampton. Apparently, both Jr. ‘A’ and Jr. ‘B’ teams will be based in Brampton this coming season. Brampton Bombers are a member of the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference.
–Former Lincs’ centre Bob Summers recently donated his 1975-76 green leather hockey jacket to the Lincs’ artifacts committee.
One of the team’s leading scorers, Summers played a key role in Lincolns’ march to the All-Ontario championship in the spring of 1976. Some of Summers’ teammates included Terry Warboys, Gerry Seguin, Doug Kennedy, Brian Dundas, Dave Stacey and Dennis Thorpe.
–Detroit Red Wings have hired former Lincs’ forward Dan Bylsma as an assistant coach. The 47-year-old Bylsma, a Grand Haven. Mich., native, worked as an assistant alongside Red Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill at this year’s World championship in Denmark, helping the United States to a bronze medal.
Bylsma, who played in St. Marys from 1986-88 and led the team in scoring his second year, was previously an NHL head coach in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
Lincolns’ AGM notebook . . .
By Pat Payton
New St. Marys Lincolns’ directors elected at the AGM are Jamie McFadden, Scott Dickson, George Cifa and Dave Grant.
The other 11 team directors are as follows: Ed Parkinson, Rob Mossey, Norm Penney, Dan Murrell, Dan Schiedel, Tyler McCurdy, Christine Palmer, Bob Daykin, Ron Cummings, Mike Morning and Pat Payton.
–The following directors are holding these positions: Christine Palmer (director of billeting), Dan Schiedel (director of alumni), Bob Daykin (director of sponsorship), Jamie McFadden (director of marketing), Dan Murrell (director of golf), Dave Grant (director of game-day operations), and Pat Payton (director of news). The director of fundraising is still open.
–Executive members returning for 2018-19 are: president Brandon Boyd, vice-president Bill Lowe, secretary Pete Frehner, and treasurer Stewart Grant. “The quality of people in this room has kept this team going,” Boyd said in his remarks. “I think we’re in good hands with the new hockey operations group. There is so much we want to accomplish in the next three years and beyond.”
–At the AGM, it was reported that this year’s Lincs Golf Day in late May made a nice profit of $12,000. Two years ago, the tourney made just $2,000. Golf director Murrell thanked all the volunteers who helped out at this year’s event. “It was a great day and (former St. Marys goalie) Matt Dalton did a great job as guest speaker,” Murrell said.
–The Lincolns’ AGM will be held in May (the second Monday of the month), starting next year.
–The Lincs are going back to predominantly green! The team will have green helmets, gloves and pants this coming season, Jim MacEachern reports.
–Lincolns are scheduled to play five exhibition games in August–home and home with Cambridge Redhawks and Stratford Warriors, and a road game in Waterloo against the Siskins.