Director of Hockey Operations says Lincs also looking for defencemen
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns have now completed one-third of their Western Conference regular schedule.
After 16 games, Lincs have allowed 75 goals — the most in the conference. That’s an average of 4.7 goals per night.
Management says priority No. 1 right now is getting stronger in their own end of the ice.
“We’re aggressively looking at defence right now, no question,” Lincolns’ Director of Hockey Operations Jim MacEachern told the Independent before last Friday’s game against Chatham Maroons.
“When you look at the standings and our goals-against, that’s been a problem for us. We knew that could be a concern because we are young.
Offensively, MacEachern says Lincs can compete with most teams in the division.
“But we have to be better defensively as a hockey team,” he stressed. “We are absolutely looking for some defencemen right now… If that’s one, two or three (defencemen), we’ll do what we have to do to make the team better.”
–The Independent learned on Tuesday that veteran centre Austin Maietta is returning to the Lincolns and is expected to be in their line-up this week.
Maietta, a 19-year-old from Markham, started this season with Brantford 99ers (formerly the Milton Icehawks) of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). He had two goals and five points in nine games with the 99ers.
Maietta joined the Lincs late last season, and clicked for five goals and 15 points in the team’s final 17 games. He also had 24 penalty minutes.
–Last Friday night’s promotion was ‘Rock the Rink’, with St. Marys minor hockey. Four Senior IP teams from the SMMHA entertained Lincolns’ biggest home crowd of the season to date between the first and second periods.
–The St. Marys minor hockey Elimination draw will be held this Friday, Nov. 2 in the PRC’s End Zone room from 7 to 11 p.m. The grand prize (the final ticket drawn) is worth $15,000 in cash.
–Former Lincoln Jared Frayne is a new assistant coach with Mitchell Jr. ‘C’ Hawks.
Last season, Frayne was a member of the Dunny’s Sports A-E Atoms coach staff. That team won the OMHA championship.
–St. Thomas has lost some scoring punch from a year ago, but the Stars still have some veteran presence. Five of the St. Thomas players are 20-year-olds, including two defencemen and a goaltender.
“We’ve had a lot of turnover from last season, probably half the team,” Stars’ coach Darren Kelly said during a recent stop in St. Marys. “Right now, we’re trying to develop the young kids. This year, it’s going to be about finding ways to win and playing as a team.”
Six of the Stars are 17-year-olds.
–St. Marys native Kaleb Pearson has two goals, eight points and two penalty minutes in 14 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack.
The Attack are currently in third place in the OHL’s Western Conference with an 8-6-0-1 record, good for 17 points.
The 18-year-old Pearson joined the Attack this season after playing for Stratford Warriors last season. With the Warriors, the right winger had 39 goals and 67 points in 49 games, and was named the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference Rookie-of-the-Year.
–St. Marys minor hockey product Lucas Spence is starting his second season with Dresden Jr. ‘C’ Kings of the PJHL.
The 21-year-old defenceman, who attends post-secondary school in the area, has three goals and 14 points in 15 games to date. Dresden is currently in first place in the nine-team West Stobbs Division with a 13-1-0-1 record.
Previously in his Junior career, Spence played with the Mitchell and Wellesley Jr. ‘C’ teams.
–Former Lincolns’ sniper Seth Griffith (2009-10) has two goals, four points and four penalty minutes in eight games with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose. The Moose are affiliated with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
The 25-year-old Wallaceburg native spent most of last season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, where he had 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games.
The former London Knights’ star was originally drafted in the fifth round by Boston Bruins in 2012.