By Pat Payton
STRATFORD – The St. Marys Lincolns were involved in a couple of low-scoring affairs here last Friday night at the Allman Arena.
The home-town Warriors won both exhibition games, 2-0 and 3-1.
Both games were 55-minutes and straight time, with no-body contact. After playing 4-on-4 the previous week, the teams played 5-on-5 this past Friday. Again, due to Covid-19 restrictions, only players and team officials were allowed in the building.
“Both were really good games,” Lincs’ GM Greg Smale told the Independent. “We’re just having a little trouble scoring right now.
“The hard part is, we’re playing in Stratford’s rink and it’s a small ice surface at the Allman and it’s something that takes a while to get used to. Your time and space isn’t really there in that small rink. You have to make sure you capitalize on your opportunities.”
Smale admits that it takes time for a young squad like the Lincolns to gel–especially when they’re playing a veteran team like the Warriors who are used to the confines of their own rink.
“We haven’t been a team for very long, just three or four months, and we haven’t been playing games,” he said. “When we get in these games against veteran teams like Stratford, who have something like 15 returnees, the little things really stand out. (Warriors) are doing those little things well, and we haven’t adopted them into our game yet.
“I’m not upset about it, I thought we played two good games and we have something to build on. They’re just used to their own rink. But I’m pleased that we’re playing there because in the long run it will help us with our time and space. I think playing in a small rink like Stratford’s will benefit us in the long run.”
Goalie Ryan Wheeler played the first game for St. Marys, and Sean Andrus was in net for the second contest. Owen Van Steensel scored for the Lincolns, from Ethan Lamoureux, in the second game.
Van Steensel, Lamoureux and Cole Schnittker were among the Lincs who played well in both games. Schnittker was acquired in the off-season from the St. Thomas Stars. The 18-year-old forward hails from London.
The Lincolns and Warriors are scheduled to play a pair of mini-games again this Friday, Dec. 18 at the Allman.
Note: The Lincolns are sponsoring a Christmas colouring contest. Download the form at www.lincs.ca and submit by Dec. 21 for a Lincs prize package, including a customized Lincolns blanket, t-shirt, hat and more.
By Pat Payton