By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns kick off their four-game, pre-season schedule this weekend with a pair of home games against Midwestern Conference opponents.
Lincs host Cambridge Redhawks on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and Stratford Warriors on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Lincolns’ final two pre-season games are the following weekend on the road. They are in Stratford on Friday, Aug. 23 for a 7:30 p.m. face-off at the Rotary complex, then travel to Hespeler the following day to play the Redhawks at 7 p.m.
Showcase Weekend Sept. 6-8
Lincs’ first two regular-season games are at the GOJHL Showcase in Pelham on the Sept. 6-8 weekend. Lincolns play Brampton Bombers, of the Midwestern loop, on Friday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m., and Fort Erie Meteors, of the Golden Horseshoe Conference, on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8 a.m. Both games count in the standings.
The 2019 Showcase is being held at the Meridian Community Centre.
With the return of Caledonia Corvairs after a one-year absence, the league once again consists of 26 teams split into three conferences; Western (nine teams), Midwestern (eight) and Golden Horseshoe (nine).
Other changes include the Lockport Regals renamed as the Buffalo Regals, and Brantford 99ers now known as Brantford Bandits.
New assistant GM, assistant coach
Lincolns recently announced that they have hired a new assistant GM and a new assistant coach.
Steve McIver, who has a long resume in hockey, is the new assistant GM. McIver, who is originally from Owen Sound, lived in Stratford for 17 years, and is now a Guelph resident. His son Nicolas once played a handful of games with the Lincs one season.
Prior to joining the Lincolns’ management staff, McIver was a scout with the team for the last year and a half.
He scouted for the now-defunct Owen Sound Jr. ‘B’ team in 2011-12, then became the Greys’ GM in 2012-13. After that, he ran the Huron-Perth Lakers ‘AAA’ Major Midget program for two years.
In 2014-15, McIver was the chair of Ontario ‘AAA’ Bantam championships that were hosted by the Lakers and held at Stratford’s Allman Arena. That same season, he also took the Huron-Perth Major Midgets to a World Invitational tournament in Calgary.
McIver looks forward to working with GM Greg Smale, head coach Trent McClement and the rest of the Lincs’ staff and putting a winner on the ice in St. Marys.
“When you sit down and talk to these guys, they all share the same vision,” McIver said. “They all know exactly what needs to be done to put a winning team on the ice. Everybody wants to see the team be competitive.
“The fact that everybody is there for the kids is why I want to be involved,” he added.
The new Lincs’ assistant coach is Cole Stewart. Last season, the St. Marys resident helped coach the SMMHA’s Legion Minor Midgets. Prior to that, Stewart was a coach with the Mitchell Jr. ‘C’ Hawks.