WOODSTOCK – Team officials from the Western and Midwestern Conferences attended a special meeting here last Monday, Nov. 3.
Representing St. Marys Lincolns were president Steve Stapleton, treasurer Bruce Graham and assistant GM Dustin Wenger.
Chuck Williams, 58, a retired school principal from Waterloo, was introduced as the new interim commissioner of the Western-Midwestern Conferences.
One of the main topics of discussion was the potential departure of the Golden Horseshoe Conference from the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL).
The eight-team Golden Horseshoe loop recently voted to leave the GOJHL. However, teams from the GH conference were apparently voting again on Monday of this week (Nov. 10). Following Monday’s vote, they were expected to sign a letter indicating their intentions, which will be forwarded to the OHA.
“If they leave, who is going to play them?,” Bruce Graham told the Journal Argus last week.
Last June, all 27 teams in the GOJHL voted unanimously to move ahead with a reclassification to Jr. ‘A’. “Twenty-seven teams were (very angry) at the OHA,” Graham said.
At the Nov. 3 meeting, Mark Tuck, of Chatham, a member of the GOJHL’s Transition Team, reported that he recently met for a hour with the Golden Horseshoe officials, but got no answer for why they were leaving, other than they are not satisfied with the agenda put forth by the OHA and the GOJHL.
Officials from the Western and Midwestern Conferences plan to meet again Dec. 13.
--Captain Rai DiLoreto and defenceman Cal Ruddock, both from London and second-year players with the team, left the Lincolns prior to their two weekend games against Lambton Shores.
“They want to be traded,” coach Merlin Malinowski acknowledged after last Friday’s home game. “We’ll make a deal, but we’re not going to give them away.
“They are two good hockey players and we want to get full value for them. It’s probably going to take some time, but we’re not giving them away.
“In life, you come across hard times and you can either quit or fight through it. They made their decision.”
When DiLoreto quit the Lincs, he had a team-leading seven goals and he was second in team scoring with 10 points.
--Last Wednesday night in London, Trent Dundas was called up from the Cement ‘BB’ Midgets and played his first Jr. ‘B’ game with the Lincolns this season.
Malinowski was impressed with the 17-year-old St. Marys native, who played defence that night for the Lincs.
“I’d like to see Trent play a few more games,” coach Malinowski said. “He’s a heads-up player; he doesn’t panic with the puck. He makes the first pass and he made a nice rush.
“I think he could be a nice puck-handling defenceman for us. He did a good job.”
Dundas, who is listed at 6 ft., 1 inch and 180 lbs., played all of last season with Mitchell Jr. ‘C’ Hawks.
“I am so pleased with the way he’s playing; he has so much poise,” Malinowski said following Friday’s game.
--Prior to last Friday night’s game against Lambton Shores, Lincolns held a ‘Ceremony of Remembrance’ to mark Remembrance Day.
Representing the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 236, were president Kelvin Chambers, Serg. At Arms Ted Montgomery, first vice-president Tom Jenkins and executive member Richard Oliver.
Representing the Canadian Armed Forces Peacekeepers and ANAF, Branch 265, was George Hayes. Also on hand from the ANAF were first vice-president Roy Maynard and Dave Ellis.
These seven men were all members of the Colour Party, which marched to centre ice.
Also taking part in the ceremony were Retired Brigadier General Gary O’Brien, who is the father of Lincs’ player Sean, and Mayor-elect Al Strathdee, and Lincs’ club president Steve Stapleton.
Trumpeter Alan Lounds played The Last Post and Reville.
Dropping the ceremonial first puck between the team captains were Chambers, Hayes, Strathdee and O’Brien.
--Lincolns also presented new Mayor Strathdee with a team jersey.
Defenceman Mitch Read made the presentation.
Defenceman Frasier Lewis returned to the Lincs’ line-up this past weekend, but forward Greg Swan is still out with an upper-body injury.
“It was a gutsy game by Frasier and he gave us the shifts we needed,” Malinowski said following Friday’s 4-2 win over Lambton Shores.
--St. Marys native Calvin Penney is tied for third in Western Jr. ‘C’ Hockey League scoring race.
Penney had 14 goals and 24 points in 13 games with the first-place Walkerton Hawks (12-1) going into this past weekend.
Penney, 21, has also been named to the Western Jr. ‘C’ all-star team, which will play the Georgian Bay League all-stars in Penetang this Saturday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.