By Pat Payton
It’s worth repeating. St. Marys Lincolns achieved a 30-win season in 2019-20, the 10th time in the team’s storied history that the Lincs have finished with 30 wins or more in the regular schedule.
It’s also the first time in 10 full seasons that the Lincolns won 30 games in a season. After the team won 31 games back in the 2009-10 season, there were some lean years in the past decade.
It’s congratulations to coach Trent McClement and his staff, to Director of Hockey Operations/GM Greg Smale, assistant GM Steve McIver, director of player personnel Paul Gaudet, head scout Rick Smith and all the scouts for putting this hand-picked roster on the ice. A tremendous amount of hard work went into this team and they deserve a lot of credit.
Just a few statistical highlights this season are as follow:
Lincs’ 67 points are the seventh highest gained in a regular season. The team had 86 points in both the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons (in 52 games).
Lincolns had the third-best powerplay totals (46 goals) in the Western Conference, and eighth best in the GOJHL. In penalty-killing, Lincs also had the third-best numbers (38 goals against) in their conference and were ninth overall in the GOJHL.
The team also had the best goals-against record (2.78 per game) in something like 15 seasons.
–Lincs’ captain Cayse Ton finished fifth overall in the GOJHL in penalty minutes with 142. The hard-nosed, 20-year-old winger from New Liskeard also produced almost a point a game as he picked up 19 goals and 37 points in 40 games.
–A kid with a bright future is Lincolns’ rookie centre Ryan Burke. The Londoner, who turns 17 this month, had 13 goals and 41 points in 50 games. Burke, who is used a lot on the powerplay (seven goals), plays with a lot of poise for a youngster and earns every minute of ice that he gets.
–Ryan Brown’s dad Rich has been a scout for the NHL’s New York Rangers for about 20 years. A London resident, he scouts mainly the Ontario Hockey League for the Rangers.
For two seasons, Rich Brown once coached the St. John’s Maple Leafs, the American Hockey League farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also coached in the OHL with Niagara Falls Thunder and Sarnia Sting.
Ryan Brown, meanwhile, came to the Lincs in a trade with St. Thomas Stars in early December.
–London Nationals’ centre Cal Davis won the GOJHL scoring race this year. The 20-year-old Davis (30-70) reached the 100-point plateau in Nats’ 50th and final regular-season game. He scored in overtime, lifting Nationals to a 3-2 win over Chatham Maroons.
–Former Lincolns’ winger John Tripp, 42, is now coaching pro hockey in Serbia. The Kingston native was a member of the 1993-94 Lincs, who won the Western League title. Tripp went on to play in the OHL with Oshawa Generals, and 43 games in the NHL, before finishing his playing career in Europe.