By Pat Payton
OWEN SOUND – Kaleb Pearson has been red hot!
The St. Marys native and 19-year-old right winger with the Owen Sound Attack fired five goals last weekend in a pair of Ontario Hockey League victories.
Pearson picked up his first OHL career hat trick and was named the game’s first star in an 11-1 romp over the Niagara IceDogs, and then scored twice in a 4-3 victory over Erie Otters. In the last three games–all Owen Sound wins–the second-year Attack forward has collected eight points.
Pearson is now tied for the team lead in goals with 22. He also has 16 assists for 38 points in 50 games. He has four powerplay goals and two game winners, and is sixth overall in Attack scoring.
After weekend action, Owen Sound (25-19-3-3) is tied for sixth place in the Western Conference.
–After winning two of three tough games last week, St. Marys coach Trent McClement is confident that the Lincolns are heading in “the right direction” as the Western Conference playoffs are quickly approaching.
“We’ve got a few things to correct, like our 5-ond-3 powerplays haven’t been too good lately,” McClement said after last Friday’s 3-1 win over Sarnia. “We have a lot of practices coming up and we’re going to put in the work and fix those things.
“In Junior hockey, you want to be rolling going into the playoffs. It’s more about playing the right way and the wins will happen if we play our way.”
Lincs have five regular-season games remaining.
–Lincolns injury report. Forwards Josh Martin and Ryan Brown (upper-body injuries) are both expected to be out of the St. Marys line-up until the first round of playoffs.
–Lincs will hold their annual ‘Fill the Rink Night’ on Friday, Feb. 21, the team’s final regular-season home game against Strathroy Rockets. It should be a playoff preview.
–Sarnia coach Derek DiMuzio says the eighth-place Legionnaires have been plagued with injuries all season long.
“This is the first time we’ve dressed 20 players in a long time,” DiMuzio said during a recent stop in St. Marys. “We’ve been decimated with injuries. We’re staying in games for long stretches, but when you’re playing shorthanded all the time it’s difficult to keep rolling lines and keep guys fresh.
“We’re happy with our group and we work hard. We just have to get everybody back before playoffs and hit our stride.”
Going into the playoffs, Legionnaires will be “the underdog” and DiMuzio likes that. “I’m fine with that; the pressure is going to be on the team that finished higher than us.”
–GOJHL scoring leader Cal Davis has four home games to try and collect 10 points to reach the 100-point plateau this season. The London Nationals’ centre has 27 goals, 63 assists and 90 points to date.
Davis, a 20-year-old Peterborough native, was named Western Conference player-of-the-year last season.