Two-goal lead for St. Marys slips away in third at St. Thomas
By Pat Payton
ST. THOMAS – It could have been two points, but St. Marys Lincolns will settle for one on the road.
Lincs earned the big point here Sunday night at Joe Thornton Community Centre in a 3-3 overtime tie with the Stars.
Lincolns went into the GOJHL game on a five-game losing streak and pointless in almost a month. Their last win was Nov. 11 when they defeated the Maroons 7-3 in Chatham.
After weekend action, St. Marys (7-17-1-1) trails Komoka Kings (10-14-1-0) by five points and is six behind Strathroy Rockets (11-15-0-0) in the battle for playoff spots in the Western Conference. St. Thomas (11-11-2-2) sits in sixth place.
It could have been two points Sunday because Lincs held a 3-1 lead early in the third period and were up 3-2 with two minutes left in regulation time.
“Things are going in the right direction, we just need a little puck luck right now,” Lincolns’ assistant GM Greg Smale said. “But we’re not scoring on the powerplay, and it’s really killing us.”
Jake Robinson scored the only goal of the first period at the 14:20 mark, giving Stars a 1-0 lead.
At 6:19 of the middle frame, Lincs’ Carter Schoonderwoerd tied it from Mason Goldie and defenceman Reid Ramseyer. Schoonderwoerd had missed the previous six weeks with an upper-body injury.
Austin Maietta put St. Marys ahead 2-1 with just 43 seconds remaining in the period from Quinton Pepper and defenceman Brett Whitehead. Lincolns out-shot the home team 17-9 in the period.
Tanner Hertel (his 7th) put Lincs up 3-1 at 3:21 of the third from captain Blair Butchart and Justin McIntyre. The visitors appeared to be in good shape at that point, but Sean McGurn pulled St. Thomas to within a goal on a powerplay just under three minutes later.
Stars’ defenceman Eric Langridge forced extra time when he scored shorthanded at the 18:02 mark.
“It was kind of a flukey breakdown behind our net,” assistant GM Smale reported. “The puck just squeaked out in front of our net and their defenceman came in and just one-timed it into the top corner.
“Then we had a great chance with 10 seconds left, and their goalie (Anthony Hurtubise) made an unbelievable save on Goldie’s one-timer.”
Ten minutes of overtime went scoreless.
“We also had three or four really good chances in overtime, and their goalie made some pretty big stops,” Smale noted. “And we hit a crossbar, too.”
Overall, St. Marys out-shot St. Thomas 49-41, including 6-4 in OT. Kyle Curtin went the distance for the Lincs, making 38 saves.
Future games: Lincolns have a busy weekend ahead. They travel to Sarnia Thursday to meet the fourth-place Legionnaires (12-8-0-4) at 7:10 p.m. On Friday night, the first-place London Nationals (19-6-0-2) come to town for a 7:30 p.m. face-off. Nats had lost their last four games going into a home game against Sarnia on Wednesday of this week.
On Sunday, Lincs play their third game in four days when they head to Chatham at meet the Maroons at 4 p.m. Maroons (15-7-0-3) were tied for second with Leamington Flyers (15-6-1-2) following the weekend.