Hockey briefs: Garcia, LeMaire, Matheson, Maroons, GOJHL

Former Chatham Maroons defenceman Dawson Garcia has committed to Westfield State University, an NCAA Division III school in Westfield, Mass.

Chatham Maroons' Dawson Garcia (47) battles St. Thomas Stars' Jordan Hurtubise (3) in the third period at Chatham Memorial Arena in Chatham, Ont., on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

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Ex-Maroon Garcia to play in NCAA

Former Chatham Maroons defenceman Dawson Garcia has committed to Westfield State University, an NCAA Division III school in Westfield, Mass.

The 21-year-old from Oakville played 1½ seasons with the Maroons from 2017-19, picking up four goals and 20 assists in 67 regular-season games.

He played for the Kitchener Dutchmen last season and tied for 10th in scoring among defencemen in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with a career-high 39 points in 48 games.

The Westfield State Owls play in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, which has cancelled its fall sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ex-Maroon LeMaire passes away

Ex-Maroons forward Eddy LeMaire died at 53 years old on July 11 in his native Connecticut.

LeMaire played with the Maroons in the 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons. He skated in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves in 1985-86.

He also played professionally in France and once led the country’s Division 2 in scoring.

Lemaire was the head coach of the St. Joseph High School boys’ hockey team in Trumbull, Conn. He was also a longtime youth coach.

“He was not only, I thought, one of the best hockey coaches and players I saw, he was a good all-around guy,” former St. Joseph coach Marty Crouse said to “A lot of kids looked up to him. He was great to the kids.”

LeMaire reportedly died of a heart attack.

“He made a tremendous impact on literally thousands of players, from their first touch of the ice, to their last taste of competitive hockey,” said a message on a GoFundMe account raising money for his memorial and funeral service. “People were drawn to his deep caring for the well-being of the players, driving the balanced message of skills, fun and camaraderie.”


Matheson signs with German team

Veteran forward Cheyne Matheson of Wheatley has signed with the EG Diez-Limburg Rockets in Germany for the coming hockey season.

Matheson, 28, is going into his fifth pro campaign.

“Exactly the centre we were looking for,” Rockets coach Arno Lorsch said in a statement. “… An absolutely smart player.”

Matheson played three seasons in Belgium with the Liege Bulldogs before posting 33 points in 26 games last season in Sweden with Kiruna AIF.

Matheson played junior hockey with the Wheatley Sharks and Leamington Flyers before going to New England College.


Rockets hire Williams as coach

The Strathroy Rockets have hired Stanley Cup champion Jason Williams as their new head coach.

Williams played 455 regular-season games during parts of 11 NHL seasons with Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas and Pittsburgh. He won the 2002 Stanley Cup with the Red Wings.

He also played overseas during a 17-year pro career that ended in 2017.

Williams coached the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs to the Alliance minor midget AAA championship last season.

“Jason will provide a lot of valuable experience to our players as we continue our focus on player development within our organization,” Rockets general manager Kent Coleman said in a statement. “Any time that you can add someone with Jason’s resume, work ethic and attention to detail whose values and beliefs are in line with what we are trying to do here in Strathroy, you try to make it happen.”