History of girls hockey celebrated last Friday night in St. Marys
By Pat Payton
The St. Marys Lincolns’ Alumni Group is honouring a five-year Lincoln this Friday, Jan. 10, just prior to the St. Marys-London game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Paul Vanderspank played for the Lincolns for five seasons (1972-77) and served as their team captain from 1974-76.
In his Lincs’ career, the talented left winger scored 101 goals and earned 145 assists for 246 regular-season points. He added 34 goals and 59 assists for 93 points in 58 playoff games.
St. Marys teams that Vanderspank played on never missed the playoffs. He was a member of Lincolns teams that won a silver medal at the Ontario Games in Thunder Bay, and captured the OHA Sutherland Cup championship in Collingwood in the spring of 1976.
For several years, the Belmont area native played with linemates Brian Dundas and Doug Kennedy, and the trio formed a dangerous line.
Vanderspank will receive a team jacket, be given a life-long membership to the Lincs’ Alumni group, and drop the ceremonial first puck prior to the game. A banner, with Vanderspank’s name on it, will also be placed on the Lincolns’ Wall of Fame.
–‘Girls Rock the Rink,’ celebrating girls hockey in St. Marys, was a big hit last Friday night at the Lincolns-Maroons game. The five SMMHA girls teams and their coaching staffs were given free tickets as guests of the Lincs.
Four women dropped the ceremonial first pucks just prior to the game. They were Emily Woodhouse, April Clark, Janet Edye and Jane Rolston. Woodhouse (a fourth-year forward with Laurier Golden Hawks) and Clark (a fifth-year co-captain with Western Mustangs) are current university players.
Edye was a long-time player with the St. Marys Dixies, who were sponsored by Dixie Lee Fried Chicken starting in 1971-72. Rolston was a member of the first women’s team in St. Marys, called the Arenaettes, which formed in 1969.
About 20 former Dixies players attended last Friday’s game. Team memorabilia was also on display in the arena lobby. Dixies continued playing as a tournament team until 2006.
Members of the Cascades Peewee girls team also sang the national anthem prior to last Friday’s Jr. ‘B’ game.
–Going into the New Year, the Lincolns’ leading scorer Mason Mantzavrakos is tied for sixth place in points in the Western Conference. The Londoner, who turns 18 this month, has 19 goals and 46 points in 32 games. The right winger has seven powerplay goals and four game winners to date.
–Lincs’ Kyle Curtin is tied for third place among GOJHL goalies with a .922 save percentage. Coach Trent McClement has stated several times that he thinks the 18-year-old from St. George could be the best netminder in the entire league. Curtin (14-7-2) has a 2.39 goals-against average.
–The Lincolns are fifth (31) in powerplay goals and second overall in penalty-kill percentage (85.54) in the Western Conference. The Leamington Flyers are first with a 86.55 success rate while shorthanded.