By Spencer Seymour
The Lincolns (9-36-1-4) beat out the Lambton Shores Predators (8-38-1-3) for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Just making it into the playoffs is already an improvement over two of the past three seasons, however now they have to take on a Leamington Flyers team who lost just eight games all season. And now, the Lincolns have to find a way to beat that team four times.
No one is making any bones about it, St. Marys hockey fans could be in for a very tough few games to watch.
The opening game of that series took place last night in Leamington.
Tomorrow, the Flyers are heading back to St. Marys for game two. They will also visit the Pyramid Centre next Wednesday for game four.
St. Marys knows they have to play like they have never played before, and that they cannot leave goalie Emanuel Vella out to dry like has been the case for most of the season. It is not a rare occurrence for the Lincs starter and London Knights prospect to see 40 or even 50 pucks in a given night. And, considering how dynamic Leamington is, giving them that many chances is just asking for problems – particularly if St. Marys does so without getting as many shots on their opponent’s net.
Leamington does take a lot of penalties though, much more than the Lincolns usually take. This means that not only drawing penalties is crucial for St. Marys, but they have to capitalize on those man advantages. Graham Brulotte led the team all season with 10 power play goals, while Brent House and Nolan King were also great. House scored seven goals and had 13 assists on the power play. King scored four times and assisted on 16 power play goals.
Perhaps the Lincolns can use this as extra motivation to play like they have never played before: this season, the Lincs do not own a victory over the Leamington Flyers. Now, they look to earn four of them.