By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns’ St. Marys Buick GMC player-of-the-month for November is forward Joe Mazur. The 17-year-old Sudbury native had four goals and six assists for a 10-point month.
Overall, the big centre sits tied for second in Lincs’ scoring with a team-leading 10 goals and 19 points in 26 games. Mazur also has a team-leading four powerplay goals.
–Alessio Luciani (2016-17), former Lincolns’ leading scorer and MVP, is currently leading the OJHL’s Markham Royals in scoring.
Following games this past weekend, the talented forward has 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points in 30 games. The 20-year-old, who hails from Woodbridge, has a team-leading four shorthanded markers.
Royals (13-11-2-4) are currently in second place in the OJHL’s North Division.
–Dalton Bancroft, who led the Lincs in scoring last season, is now with Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL. The 17-year-old Madoc native started the year with Wellington Dukes. In 30 games combined, Bancroft has four goals and 11 points.
Last season in St. Marys, as a 16-year-old, the 6 ft. 2 inch, 200 lb. winger had 21 goals and 39 points in 42 games.
–Lincolns’ captain Blair Butchart continues to lead the team in scoring with five goals and 34 assists for 39 points in 26 games. The 19-year-old centre, from Palmerston, also has the fourth most assists in the entire GOJHL.
–St. Marys native April Clark is having another great season with the Western Mustangs’ women’s hockey team.
In 12 games to date, Clark leads the OUA in points (with 17) and in goals (with 11). The hard-working forward, now in her fourth year with the Mustangs, has three powerplay goals and two game winners.
Western, meanwhile, has a 7-2-0-3 record at the holiday break.
–There’s been a lot of changes in Leamington (including a new ownership group), but the Flyers continue to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference. They have sat in either second or third place most of the season.
“Any time you bring in a new coaching staff, there’s going to be some struggles at the start,” said Flyers’ head coach Cam Crowder, son of former NHLer Keith Crowder. “But we’re pretty happy where we’re at right now.”
Flyers and Chatham Maroons recently raised some eyebrows with a four-player swap. “It wasn’t about getting younger; it was more about changing our culture,” Crowder said about the trade. “We wanted to be more difficult to play against, that’s the way we need to play to be successful, and we’ve started playing that way lately.”
During a recent stop in St. Marys, Crowder says the Flyers also possess a lot of speed and skill.
“We’re very fast and skilled, and we’re young,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who are hungry to move up to higher levels of hockey. We take a lot of pride in being good defensively, too.
“We went out and recruited kids who want to be hockey players,” the coach added. “We wanted to bring in guys who want to move on to higher levels of hockey, the OHL or NCAA. Winning is really important and we want to develop players.”