The losses continue to mount for St. Marys Lincolns, and now the beleaguered Western Conference team will have to try and win GOJHL games with two new goalies.
Lincs used two goalies from their affiliate, the Lucan Irish, in games last week after Nik Dampier and Quentin Prokopetz were both ‘reassigned’ to area Jr. ‘C’ teams -- Dampier to Dorchester Dolphins and Prokopetz to Lucan.
New goalie from Dorchester
In exchange for Dampier, Lincolns are getting 6 ft., 3 inch, 210 lb. goaltender Connor Hughes from the Dolphins.
“We’re in between goalies right now,” coach Mike Crespeigne said following a 9-3 loss to Strathroy Rockets in front of about 275 spectators last Friday night at the Pyramid Rec. Centre.
“We thought we were going to have Connor in our line-up tonight, but the deal didn’t go through at the 12th hour. He’s a great goalie; a 17-year-old out of London. He’s been lights out in Dorchester.
“He’s a big kid and we’re excited about getting him. With the amount of goals we’re allowing, we’re looking forward to getting him in there. We’re scoring goals, but we’ve had trouble keeping them out of the back of our net right now.”
Lincs have allowed 38 goals in their last four games.
With Dorchester, Hughes was 5-1, with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.
“We’re looking forward to getting Connor in a Lincolns’ jersey, and he’s looking forward to being in a Lincolns’ jersey,” Crespeigne said. “We’ll get him stopping pucks, and we’ll get this thing turned around.”
He says the team is also in the process of adding a second goalie. “We have a decision to make who we’re going to sign as a back-up,” Crespeigne said. “We’ll make that decision over the next couple of days.”
Lincolns had just one goalie available, Andrew Ganter of the Irish, for Friday’s game against the Rockets. He faced 42 shots.
Lincs are now 0-8-1 in their last nine games and 1-15-1 overall. After weekend action, they sit in last place, six points behind Lambton Shores Predators (4-13-1) who currently own the eighth and final playoff spot.
In Friday’s game, Rockets built period leads of 2-0 and 6-1.
Chase Thornton, Brett Dalton, Tyler Duarte and Dan Chapman each had two goals for third-place Strathroy (10-7-1). Kirk Dorman added the single.
Cody Filson, Rai DiLoreto (powerplay) and Garrett James replied for St. Marys, which played the game with just 17 skaters. The hard-working DiLoreto and James lead the team in goals scored with seven apiece.
Overall, Rockets out-shot the Lincolns 42-30, including 31-17 over the first 40 minutes.
In addition to Ganter, St. Marys used two other affiliate players—forwards Braiden Weston and Bayley Boyes from the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets. Weston has now played five games for the Lincs and picked up two assists.
Legionnaires 15 – Lincolns 5
At the Sarnia Arena Thursday night, the home-town Legionnaires out-scored Lincolns 12-3 over the final 40 minutes en route to a 15-5 victory in front of approximately 1,000 fans.
Sarnia jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Lincs closed the gap to 3-2 before the end of the first period and then tied it 3-3 at 1:27 of the middle frame.
However, it was all Legionnaires after that as they pumped in seven in a row (including one a penalty shot) to take a commanding 10-3 lead.
Late in the second, goals by Lincolns’ Braydon Blight and Rai DiLoreto narrowed the margin to 10-5, but the home team completed the rout with five unanswered tallies in the final 20 minutes.
Riley Babkirk and Ryan Vendramin each had hat tricks for Sarnia, which improved to 9-8 with the win. Babkirk also collected three assists for a six-point night.
DiLoreto had a pair of goals for St. Marys, with Colin Nancekivell, Ben Kirwin and Braydon Blight adding the singles. Kirwin also picked up two assists. DiLoreto and Blight both connected on powerplays.
Legionnaires scored five times with the man advantage, and out-shot the visitors 39-21.
Lincs used two goalies—Tyler Beattie and Andrew Ganter—from their Jr. ‘C’ affiliate, the Lucan Irish. Two other members of the Irish, Nathan Marcil and Nik Petrie, and Cement Midgets’ forward Braiden Weston also played for St. Marys.
Lincolns’ forward Colin Nancekivell picked up an instigator in a third-period fight and will sit the next two games.
Upcoming: This week, Lincs travel to Leamington Thursday to play the second-place Flyers at 7:10 p.m.
Lincolns then meet Chatham Maroons for the first time this season on Friday. It’s ‘Veterans Night’ and game time at the PRC is 7:30 p.m.