Cam Symons rooted for the Chatham Maroons long before he began playing for them.
The 17-year-old rookie forward from Kingsville was acquired last week in a trade with the Leamington Flyers.
He cheered for the Maroons when his father, Garry, was an assistant coach under current bench boss and general manager Tyler Roeszler in the 2015-16 season.
“I loved watching,” Symons said. “That’s when I was playing for the (Chatham-Kent ‘AAA’) Cyclones. Every once in awhile I’d stay after practice and watch a game.”
His cousin, Ian Faubert, was also the Maroons captain in 2015-16.
“I was looking up to these guys,” Symons said.
The trade with the Flyers brought him back to Chatham Memorial Arena, his home rink before he made the jump to junior ‘C’ last season with the Blenheim Blades.
He was held off the scoresheet in his home debut Sunday as the St. Marys Lincolns scored five third-period goals in a 6-1 win before 602 fans.
Lucas Fancy, who was also acquired from the Flyers last week, scored a tying goal for the Maroons in the second period.
“I grew up playing on this rink with the Cyclones,” Symons said. “It’s a long drive, but I’m used to it. Pretty much did it all growing up.”
The introductions were easy when he arrived in Chatham last week for his first practice.
“It’s not that bad because I grew up playing with half these guys or against them,” he said. “Most of these guys are my age.”
The five-foot-11, 170-pound Symons said there’s pressure playing for his father’s former team, but it’s pressure he’s putting on himself.
While Fancy expected the deals that brought the duo to Chatham in exchange for assistant captain Maddux Rychel and captain Griffin Robinson, Symons was caught off-guard.
“I was surprised, but I’ll probably get more opportunities here than I would in Leamington,” he said. “It’s not a bad thing, I’d say.”
Symons had 20 goals and 10 assists in 31 games as a Blades rookie last season.
He has six goals and 11 assists in 28 games this season, so he wants to start filling the net like he did in junior ‘C’.
“Score more, for sure,” he said about his goals. “… Try to catch up to where I was in Blenheim.”
His first game with the Maroons was cut short Saturday when he received a game misconduct for checking from behind early in the first period of a 6-2 win in Komoka.
On Sunday, forward Dallas Maurovic wore the ‘C’ for the first time as Robinson’s replacement at captain.
Assistant captains Brett Fisher and Kyle Fisher will now wear an ‘A’ in all games. Brett had been wearing the letter at home and Kyle on the road.
Maroons goalie Kevin Linker made 26 saves. Kyle Curtin stopped 33 shots for the Lincolns.
Ethan Lamoureux scored the winning goal at 3:21 of the third period. Brayden Hislop followed with a power-play goal at 5:31 and Cayse Ton scored at 9:48 for a 4-1 lead.
“I felt like we dominated during the first and second,” Maroons forward Blake Boudreau said, “but then in the third we started having doubts of ourselves (after falling behind). …
“But we’ll come back strong next game and we’ll hopefully keep going and keep getting the wins and get in that top three.”
After the Maroons failed to score on a late four-minute power play, Ryan Brown potted the Lincolns’ final two goals.
Joe Mazur scored early in the second period.
The Lincolns (20-7-1-3) are in third place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Western Conference. They ended the first-place London Nationals’ 14-game winning streak Friday.
The fifth-place Maroons (13-11-1-5) will visit the Strathroy Rockets on Saturday and host the St. Thomas Stars at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Maroons are 2-9-0-3 against the conference’s top four teams (London, Leamington, St. Marys and LaSalle), but they’ve earned points in four of the past seven games against them.