The St. Marys Lincolns (6-13-1-2) crawled out of the basement and tied their season series with the Strathroy Rockets (7-15-1-1) thanks to a 5-3 win at the West Middlesex Memorial Centre on Saturday, November 18 in front of 327 fans.  The season series now stands at 2-2 with 2 games yet to be played. The Rockets have not lost a season series to the Lincolns in the past 14 years.

The Lincoln win moved them one point ahead of the Komoka Kings (5-15-3-1), who lost 5-1 to the St. Thomas Stars (15-8-0-1) the same night, and a single point behind the seventh place Rockets.  The top eight clubs qualify for the postseason in February.

Nick Jung paced the Lincoln attack with a three-goal performance.  Jung added an assist for a 4-point night.  Tristan Lewis (6-10) earned the win in goal for St. Marys while Zack Weir (7-12-1-0) was tabbed with the loss.  The Lincolns converted 1 of 4 powerplay opportunities while the Rockets managed to score once on 7 chances.  Special teams have continued to challenge the Rockets.  Their penalty killing is the lowest in the GOJHL while their powerplay in the lowest in their conference.

The Lincolns got off to a tremendous start when Jung tallied twice in the opening 4:13 to give St. Marys a very quick 2-0 lead.  Rocket underage standout Emmet Pierce cut the lead in half at 11:38.

Jung completed his hat trick at 8:02 of the second period sending the Lincolns into the third period with a 3-1 lead.

The Rockets battled back to tie the score at 3-3 on goals by Tristan Sedlak and TJ Harris at 2:59 and 8:14.

As the match was approaching overtime, Dalton Bancroft scored the game winner with 5:21 remaining and Daniel Cloutier added the important insurance marker just 76 seconds later.  Cloutier’s goal came while the Lincolns were playing shorthanded.

The Rockets’ Matthew Stevens and the Lincolns’ Eric Gibb delighted the fans with a second period bout.

The Rockets will travel to Komoka to play the Kings in a vital match on Friday, November 24 before hosting the hot St. Thomas Stars at the WMMC the following night.

TJ Harris (12-11-23) leads Spencer Allen (9-12-21) in Rocket scoring by two points.  Harris leads all Rockets in goals scored with 12 while Allen leads in assists with 12.  Rookie Emmet Pierce (7-7-14) sits third in team scoring and leads the Rockets in powerplay goals with three.  Noah Campbell leads in penalty minutes with 68.  Underager Liam Whittaker (3-8-11) leads all Rocket defensemen in scoring – Brady McDonald (2-8-10) is just a point back. Copa Di Gelato Strathroy were the corporate sponsor for the game.  The Strathroy Minor Hockey Bantam Rep Team were their guests.

The Strathroy Rockets’ added a new player to their roster in London native Adrian Franklin (10).  The hard-working winger came to the Rockets from the Jr. C North Middlesex Stars. Franklin earned his spot thanks to 7 impressive showings as a call-up this season.    (Photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography)

David Honsberger

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