By Scott Maxwell
The Lincolns haven’t got off to the start in this new year that they were hoping for, as they have dropped their last three games in a row, including a 6-2 loss to the LaSalle Vipers (18-12-3-2) on Wednesday.
The Lincolns couldn’t contain Nathan Savage, as he had a four-point game, while his teammate Nikko Sablone also had a three-point effort, and LaSalle’s Daniel Beaudoin has a three-assist night.
Paul Town stopped 40 of 46 shots in a losing effort, while Eli Billing stopped 17 of 19 shots in the win.
The first period was played very tightly, as there were very few scoring opportunities. However, 12 minutes in, La Salle got on the board, with Nathan Veres getting the goal. However, Mike Tuffin responded before the end of the period, scoring with just 2:16 left to tie the game at 1-1. The shots in the period were 12-6 in favour of the Vipers.
The Lincolns struck quickly in the second period, as Brody Smith gave them a lead 2:53 into the frame, with assists from Colin Capstick and Jeff Schrattner. But it was all LaSalle after that, as Savage scored at the 9:03 mark to tie it, and Liam MacDougall followed suit with a goal at the 16:49 mark to give the Vipers the lead. The shots were 22-6 in favour of LaSalle in the second.
St. Marys came out of the gate in the third looking for the tying goal, but Nolan Gardiner’s tally 1:55 in made the Vipers feel a little bit safer. They did a good job of containing the Lincolns in the third, outshooting them 12-6 in the period. At the 7:31 mark, Sablone scored to put the game out of reach, with Matthew Doucette’s goal four minutes later, representing a second nail in the coffin. It gave the Vipers a 6-2 lead, which would hold as the final score.
The Lincolns’ first game of the year came against the first place Leamington Flyers (27-4-1-0), in which they suffered a 3-1 loss. However, the Lincolns did a good job of keeping themselves in the game, as no one got on the board until there was just 3:08 left in the second. The Flyers broke out after that going up 3-0 before a late power play goal from Ryan Martin (assisted by Brent House and Nolan King) put St. Marys back in it. Emanuel Vella stopped 36 of 39 shots in the loss.
The following night didn’t go as well, as St. Marys lost 7-1 to the Chatham Maroons (21-12-1-1). Three-point nights from Connor Koviak and Teddy McGeen led to the blowout, despite the Lincolns scoring the opening goal, coming from Brennan Stapleton (assisted by Phillip Buque and Matt Granger). Vella stopped 29 of 36 shots in the loss.
The Lincolns will look to avenge their loss to LaSalle tonight, as they finish their home-and-home with the Vipers at the Pyramid Recreation Centre at 7:30 pm.