A’Burg takes 2-0 series lead over Brampton

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars are just one win away from returning to the OMHA finals.

This past weekend the Star took a 2-0 series lead in their best-of-five semi-final series against the Brampton Battalion.

The Stars captured game one of the series Saturday night, with an impressive 6-1 win at the United Communities Credit Union Complex. Frank Desjardins scored a hat trick, scoring in all three periods, while Daniel Slipchuk, Mike Popel and Brandin Crosier each added a goal.

Stars captain Jordan Ryan, Zoran Popel and Slipchuk each recorded a pair of assists.

“It was definitely exciting,” said head coach Matt Fox after game one. “We used our speed and just outplayed them.”

Stars captain Jordan Ryan (white jersey) fights for poistion with Brampton defender.

The Stars out shot Brampton 33-17.

“We weren’t intimidated by their size,” said Desjardins. “We came out with lots of intensity and got on them early.”

Sunday afternoon’s tilt proved to be more difficult but managed to grab a pivotal 6-4 game two win.

The Stars received a boost to their lineup as Tyler Pope-Ferguson returned to the ice after serving a two game suspension.

Brampton would strike first, scoring just 2:13 into the opening period, however Ryan would tie the affair after banging in a rebound on the power play.

Brampton would regain the lead again in the second period, but the lead was short lived when Slipchuk found the back of the net with his second goal of the series.

Slipchuk’s goal opened the floodgates as the Stars exploded for three more goals in the second period, only four minutes apart.

Dan Bondy’s power play goal gave the Stars the lead, while Pope-Ferguson and Blaine Bechard gave Amherstburg a 5-2 lead after 30 minutes of play.

Brampton fought back, scoring two quick goals in just over 90 seconds apart in the beginning of the third period.

However, the Stars held off the Battalion comeback as Zoran Popel scored an empty net goal, seconds after Brampton rang a puck off of Amherstburg’s goal post.

“We didn’t play the way we wanted but we still came out with two points,” said Fox after game two.

The first year coach commended the goaltending of Mark Fenty and Nick Keeler, who both made crucial saves at critical times in games one and two.

Fox said the Stars took their foot off the accelerator in the third period, allowing Brampton to gain some momentum.

“We seemed to have lost a little bit of focus and we battled hard and finished it out,” he said.

Fox gave Brampton credit for not giving up while down three goals in the third period.

“We’re feeling great. Having a 2-0 lead is huge heading into game three,” said Dan Bondy.

Bondy said the Stars will have to avoid a sluggish third period that plagued them in game two.

“We let up on them and that gave them life,” said Bondy. “We can’t do that from now on.”

The Stars head to Brampton this weekend to look to close out the series.

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