Lincs fall in Leamington Thursday, beat Sarnia on Family Day
By Spencer Seymour
It is now official; the St. Marys Lincolns will finish this year six spots higher than they did last season.
With their win over the LaSalle Vipers on Friday night, the Lincolns clinched third place in the Western Conference, finishing behind only the London Nationals and Leamington Flyers. They built on their Friday victory on Monday afternoon, with a Family Day win over the Sarnia Legionnaires, giving the Lincs six wins in their last eight games.
Five-goal period leads Lincs past Sarnia
This past Monday, the Lincolns played an afternoon contest against the visiting Sarnia Legionnaires at the Pyramid Recreation Center. The Lincs scored five goals in the third period, including an empty-netter, en route to knocking off the Legionnaires 7-2.
Captain Cayse Ton opened the scoring for St. Marys just over four and a half minutes into the first period while on the powerplay after tipping in a Riley Coome shot from the blueline. They held the 1-0 lead for much of the first frame until Tristen Konrad tapped in an opportune bounce to tie the game at 1-1.
Kyle Kuznik scored the lone goal of the second just one minute into the period while shorthanded, giving the Lincs the 2-1 lead going into the final period. Kuznik also tallied the empty-net goal for the Lincs, also while the Lincolns were killing a penalty. Riley Coome, Ryan Burke, Jacob Bloomfield, and Jake Robinson all scored as well for St. Marys in the third to propel the team to a 7-2 win in the final game against the Legionnaires of the season. 16-year old London-native Diego Sabino also recorded his first GOJHL point, with an assist on Robinson’s goal. Kyle Curtin earned the win in net for St. Marys with 33 saves.
Head coach Trent McClement’s team was almost perfect on the penalty kill in the game, successfully killing nine of 10 Sarnia powerplays. Talking about what made the shorthanded units successful, McClement said, “We had a lot of speed. We tried to force them more on our penalty kill. I thought lately our penalty kill hasn’t been the best so tonight we forced the puck and didn’t give them many open chances.” McClement also said it was “huge” for the team to start gaining momentum with the playoffs right around the corner and a probable playoff preview coming up on Friday night.
Lincs bounce back, beat Vipers on Friday night
After a disappointing showing on Thursday night in Leamington, the Lincolns responded with a much better performance back on home ice last Friday.
In a stingy, defensive affair, the Lincolns locked themselves into third place, defeating the fourth-place LaSalle Vipers 3-1. All four goals of the game were scored in the third period and neither team scored a powerplay goal. Brock Trichilo scored the game’s first goal just under six and a half minutes into the third frame. Ton and Thomas McLatchie also scored for the Lincs, while Spencer Paradis had the lone LaSalle goal. Goaltender Curtin also raised eyebrows with an incredible highlight-reel save on a Ray Hamlin breakaway, one of 22 he made in the win.
Coach McClement acknowledged that the compete level of his team was better from the night before in Leamington. He was much happier with the physicality the team displayed with the playoffs right around the corner, as well as the structure the team played with.
McClement also slightly altered his line combinations, playing an uncommon line of Ton, Robinson, and Trichilo in the first and last minutes of each period. Speaking about the interesting line alteration, McClement said, “I just thought it was something to get a little energy going. I thought a couple 20-year olds (on the line), something different to start the game would spark the team.”
Flyers stomp Lincs 6-3
The Lincolns were severely outshot and outplayed on Thursday night in Leamington as the Flyers doubled up the visiting Lincs, 6-3.
Leamington’s powerplay was perfect in the game, scoring on both of the opportunities it had, en route to the win. Leamington also outshot St. Marys 34-19 and chased goalie Cyrus Martin from the net just under five and a half minutes into the third period after Martin allowed six goals on 26 shots. Curtin came in goal in relief of Martin and stopped all eight shots that he faced. Trichilo scored twice while Burke added a goal for the Lincs in the loss. The Lincolns’ powerplay had one goal on six attempts and gave up a short-handed goal in the second period. The Lincolns were down three forwards, with Ryan Brown and Josh Martin still injured and Thomas McLatchie having prior school commitments. Brown and Martin missed the games against LaSalle and Sarnia as well, while defenseman Max Mulder didn’t play against the Legionnaires on Family Day.
The Lincolns play their final home game of the regular season this Friday night against their likely playoff opponents, the Strathroy Rockets, on what is also ‘Fill the Rink’ night at the PRC. They play their final game of the season this Sunday when they go on the road to Chatham to face the Maroons. Both games can be heard on stmarysradio.com.