Team looking for two forwards, two defencemen as training camp starts Thursday
By Pat Payton
Jim MacEachern is making no secret of it.
The St. Marys Lincolns’ Director of Hockey Operations says the GOJHL team has only four roster spots open going into training camp, which begins tonight (Aug. 16) at the PRC. Lincs currently have 18 players signed, and MacEachern says the team is looking for just two more forwards and two more defencemen.
It won’t be a big camp in terms of numbers, with about 30 players hitting the ice for workouts Thursday and Friday, starting at 6:15 p.m.
“We’re a young team, with a new head coach (Trent McClement), and the majority of these kids haven’t played together,” MacEachern says. “We’re going to take advantage of our time to put our systems in place, and we’re going to try and put a cohesive unit together. We want to start the season firing on all cylinders.”
MacEachern says he’s looking forward to seeing McClement take the reins of the team. The Palmerston native guided Mt. Forest Patriots to back-to-back Jr. ‘C’ titles the last two seasons.
“Trent’s a quality person, and I’m really looking to see him have success here,” the Director of Hockey Operations says.
McClement will be working with new assistant coaches Tyler Duarte and Jim Blais, and returning assistant Rick O’Donnell.
First pre-season game Saturday
Lincolns’ first pre-season game is Saturday when Cambridge Redhawks (formerly the Guelph Hurricanes) come to town for a 2:45 p.m. face-off. Next week, Lincs and Stratford Warriors will play on back-to-back nights. The teams play Thursday. Aug. 23 in St. Marys at 5:15 p.m., and the following night at the Rotary Complex in Stratford at 7 p.m.
MacEachern says the management staff is “extremely excited” going into camp.
“But we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves; we have to keep our noses to the grindstone,” he points out. “This year is about changing the culture and learning how to compete properly.
“We want to take some baby steps this year, and I think we’ve added some real quality players. But we’re young, and we’re going to have some good nights and we’re going to have some bad nights.
“And I’m okay with that as long as we continue to go forward. That’s the message we’re going to send to the team. The collective goal is to move forward and build in the process.”
Jr. hockey notebook:
–Former Lincolns’ goalie Tristan Lewis is now a member of the Chatham Maroons. Maroons recently acquired the 20-year-old Port Elgin native from the Lincs, who received cash in return.
“We have been interested in Tristan since last year’s trade deadline and coming into this season he was our number one target as our veteran goaltender,” GM Kevin Fisher said on the Maroons’ website.
Lewis joined the Lincolns at the start of the 2016-17 season. During his time in St. Marys, he played 80 games, compiling an overall record of 24-51-1 with two shutouts. Requesting a trade, Lewis left the Lincs at the Christmas break last season after playing 25 games.
–Lincolns go into camp this week with two goalies signed, Justin Richer and Kyle Curtin.
Richer was obtained in a trade with the OJHL’s Burlington Cougars. A 19-year-old from the Sudbury area, he did most of the puck-stopping for the Cougars last season, starting 37 games. He posted a 10-20-1 record, with a 3.49 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. The 5 ft., 11 inch., 180 lb. netminder earned one shutout.
Curtin, 17, played for the Brantford ‘AAA’ Major Midgets last season. He’s a draft pick of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes.
From St. George, Curtin is listed at 6 ft., 2 inches and 160 lbs.