Jake Weston requests trade, dealt to Exeter Jr. ‘C’ Hawks
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns are looking for a new defencemen coach after the Jr. ‘B’ team and assistant Jim Blais parted ways early last week.
“We’re actively looking for a defensive coach with a strong background in that position,” Lincs’ Director of Hockey Operations Jim MacEachern told the Independent. “I want an experienced assistant coach with a strong defensive background; we need someone to teach these kids.
“We can score goals with pretty well everybody in the conference; we just need to keep the puck out of our net.”
To date, Lincolns have allowed the most goals (116) in the nine-team Western Conference.
“(Assistant GM) Greg Smale is going to stay on the bench for now,” MacEachern noted. Smale has been helping out in recent games, joining head coach Trent McClement and assistants Tyler Duarte and Rick O’Donnell behind the bench.
Blais, meanwhile, was in his first season with the Lincs. The London resident had previously worked in the Jr. ‘C’ ranks with Port Stanley and with London Lakers, a team in the outlaw Greater Metro Jr. ‘A’ League.
–Defenceman/forward Jake Weston has been traded to Exeter Jr. ‘C’ Hawks in a straight cash deal. Apparently unhappy with ice time, Weston informed team officials on Sunday, Nov. 25 that he wanted to be moved. The 17-year-old Thorndale area native was not in the Lincolns’ line-up last Friday when they hosted Leamington Flyers.
Weston, who was named Lincs’ top defenceman last season, had played most of this season at forward. He had three goals and eight points in 22 games.
“We want kids who want to be here,” assistant GM Greg Smale told the Independent last week.
–It was United Way Night at the rink last Friday, and prior to the game St. Marys native Darcy Scheuerman (stage name Darcy John) sang the national anthem.
The recording artist has lived the last seven years in Nashville. His debut single, titled ‘Hunt’, continues to climb the music charts.
–In other Junior hockey news, London Nationals have traded defenceman Tyson Kielt to Stratford Warriors. Kielt, who spent a year and a half in St. Marys, started last season as captain of the Lincolns and was dealt to the Nats at the Jan. 10 trading deadline.
Kielt, a 20-year-old from Ingersoll, started his Junior career in Stratford in 2015-16.
–Inconsistent play has hurt the LaSalle Vipers (11-12-1-1) this season, head coach John Nelson says.
“I think it’s been a consistency issue with us,” Nelson said during a recent stop in St. Marys. “We’ve actually played very good hockey, but we’ve been having trouble putting the whole package together.
“Having a young team is always part of it. We’re close, it’s just a matter of turning the corner. We believe in the players; now it’s time for them to believe in each other.”
Vipers have a strong core of 11 returnees, plus they traded for two experienced Junior players at the beginning of the season.
“I love it,” Nelson replied when reminded how close the Western Conference standings are. “You have to be prepared for every game, and I think it increases the development of all players in the league.”
–Denis William ‘Dinny’ Flanagan, the architect of several Sutherland Cup championship teams in Stratford and one of the city’s most decorated sports figures, passed away Sunday, Nov. 25 at the age of 88. The funeral was Saturday.
Flanagan was the patriarch of the Stratford Cullitons’ storied dynasty. He was the Cullitons’ first General Manager in 1975 — a position he held for 21 years. Cullitons finished first 15 times in 21 seasons, capturing 10 league titles and five Sutherland Cups.
Flanagan was the recipient of the OHA Gold Stick, awarded for outstanding service to the game of hockey. In 2011, he was also inducted into the inaugural Stratford Sports Wall of Fame in the Builder of Sport category.
–The Taylor twins got their first taste of Junior hockey recently with Exeter Jr. ‘C’ Hawks of the PJHL. Forwards Eric and Lake Taylor, both 16 and members of the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets, played for the Hawks Nov. 23 in Thamesford. Trojans won 5-2. Eric and Lake weren’t on the ice for any Exeter goals, but they weren’t on for any against, either.
A full-time member of the Hawks is St. Marys minor hockey product Owen Hartman, a defenceman. Hartman and the Taylor twins played for the Legion Minor Midgets a year ago.