Minor Midget Record: 6-24-3 (11th Place)
Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns
Major Bantam Record: 8-19-5 (11th Place)
Major Bantam Result: Lost in first round to Sun County in 5 games
After a season that saw the team basically start from scratch, the Lambton Jr. Sting will try and bring the program back to prominance and back to the postseason.
The 2016/17 season was quite the anomaly for the Lambton Jr. Sting. After having their bantam season cancelled the year prior, the Jr. Sting gathered a collection of players who played all levels from AAA to MD the year before. There were some standouts, such as forward Nolan DeGurse and goaltender Andrew MacLean, but the team struggled for the entirety of the season.
Major Bantam was a season that was bookended by some success with some disappointment stuck in the middle. The team started off with a strong showing at the Little Caesars Earlybird Tournament and had some good showings in their playoff round against Windsor. Throughout the season, the Jr. Sting just couldn’t find their stride for any sustained period of time.
Heading into the new season, the core group from Bantam will be back for the Lambton Jr. Sting. The name most heavily associated with the Jr. Sting this season will be forward Blake Butler. Butler has the size and skill to be a top point producer in the Alliance this season. Butler will be joined by Kaden Babcock up front and the speed of Wil O’Leary DiLosa should really open up the ice.
The defense will need to improve after allowing 108 goals last season, second worst mark in the Alliance. Darren Beattie will be one defender who will be counted on to shut down the opposition and has looked good in early exhibition play. The development of returning goaltenders Adam Mino and Niall Heatherington will be another key to success for the Jr. Sting.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that this Lambton squad will be much improved when compared to both the Minor Midget and Major Bantam squads of last year. Butler will be a treat to watch for this team and Lambton should be there fighting for a playdown spot come the end of January.