Flyers Prevail Over Lincolns – by C. Scott Holland
After an extended Christmas break, the St. Marys Lincolns and the Leamington Flyers resumed GOJHL West Conference action in Leamington on Thurs., Jan. 7th with 642 fans attending.
The first-place Leamington Flyers used their puck control skill to out-manoevre the Lincolns and win 3-1. Full credit must be given to the Lincolns for battling hard against the Flyers throughout the contest and starting goalie Emmanuel Vella had his work cut out for him as the Flyers put 39 shots on him. Flyers’ rookie netminder Tyler Wall had an easy first 20 minutes by handling only a single shot, but then was tested six times in the second and another nine times in the final frame. In the end only one puck got past Wall as he recorded his 17th victory of the season and remains unbeaten.
Both teams looked somewhat sluggish in the opening frame and the Flyers shots were mostly long ones which Vella really didn’t have any problems with.
The Flyers’ defensive units just kept puck control and the Lincs were barely able to penetrate the zone for the first 20 minutes.
The game’s roughness increased slightly In the second as the Flyers fired 14 times at Vella and finally got rewarded to break the scoreless draw. At 16:52 Mitchel Crevatin and Scott Emerson laid the groundwork for Jacob McGhee who collected a loose puck while standing near the left post and got it past Vella.
As the end of the second sounded St. Marys’ Jeff Schrattner was handed a two minute minor for high sticking which proved costly. On the subsequent powerplay, the Flyers wasted very little time in winning the opening faceoff and entering the Lincs’ zone where McGhee’s rebound skipped off Vella and right onto Thomas Virban’s stick. Virban batted it in off of Vella for a powerplay marker and 2-0 Leamington margin.
With Flyers’ forward Scot Florence serving an interference infraction, the prettiest play of the night developed. Liam Hogan and Scott Florence zipped down the ice on a two-on-one breakaway with a right to left pass and Elliott drilled the Flyers’ third tally from the right lane.
The Lincs broke Wall’s shutout bid while on a powerplay at 14:37 when Nolan King set up Brent House’s blueline blast which was deflected by Ryan Martin past Wall.
NOTES: Not in the lineup for Leamington were Mitchell Amante and Colin Moore while the Lincolns were without Graham Brulotte, Josh Zlatinszky, Jack Wieringa, Brandon Glover and Mike Tuffin. The Lincolns had Curtis Abbott in the lineup as an APM …The Flyers will have two off-night games coming up as they host the Sarnia Legionnaires for the first time this season on Sun. Jan. 10 at 4:10 pm and then again a week later (Jan. 17) they host Sarnia once more with a 6:10 pm contest.
(photo – Tyler Wall – Dan Hickling Images),