Defense key in midget majors’ taming of Tigers

 

 

Dean Patterson (52), wearing North Star retro jersey, contends with a Welland Tiger in second period action of the Stars 3-1 loss last Friday. Amherstburg would rebound with a 5-0 win Saturday in Welland to eliminate the Tigers. Amherstburg will now play the Owen Sound Attack in the OMHA semi-finals starting this weekend. RTT PHOTO BY JOHN HOLZEL

Dean Patterson (52), wearing North Star retro jersey, contends with a Welland Tiger in second period action of the Stars 3-1 loss last Friday. Amherstburg would rebound with a 5-0 win Saturday in Welland to eliminate the Tigers. Amherstburg will now play the Owen Sound Attack in the OMHA semi-finals starting this weekend. RTT PHOTO BY JOHN HOLZEL

Special to the RTT

 

The midget major Stars of Amherstburg let a big game slip from their grasp at home last Friday night but a quick turnaround only one day later would be an immediate fix.

The Stars headed back to Welland, and on full display of the hometown Welland fans, rose to the occasion by dismantling the Tigers in a 5-0 whitewash to advance to the OMHA semi-finals versus the Owen Sound Attack.

Last Friday at home, with the Stars donning their retro North Star jerseys, it was Daniel Tonietto in the net for the Stars and both squads were held scoreless after the opening period. In the second period, the Tigers would capitalize on a shorthanded two-on-one at the three-minute mark.

With a fresh sheet of ice in the remaining period, with the Stars up a man, a shot off the blade of Michael Ciccone would leave a juicy rebound for Mitch Holden and Holden would knot the contest at one.

A Tiger powerplay tally of their own just three minutes later would give the advantage to the visitors and the Tigers would add another a couple of minutes later and force a Game 4 in Welland the next afternoon.

Back in Welland, it was the Stars’ defense that would frustrate the Tigers’ offensive unit time and time again as Thomas Demarco earned the shutout by denying all 17 shots he faced.

After the opening faceoff, it took only 27 seconds for the Stars to score the game-winning goal as Robbie Lavoie and hard-skating centre Colin Leardi fed linemate Ryan Holzel and his goalmouth scramble shot would cross the red line for an early 1-0 Stars lead.

Halfway through the first period, it was Anthony Cristofaro slipping the puck from behind the Welland net to a patiently waiting Ciccone and Ciccone made no mistake by doubling the score to 2-0.

With four minutes remaining, the Stars weren’t done yet as Leardi and Zak Parlette combined to feed a wide-open Dean Patterson and his screened point shot would add his name to the scoresheet for a 3-0 Stars’ lead.

Demarco would be challenged in the middle frame but the defensive unit of Parlette, Patterson, Sean Santarossa, Marshal Laing and Michael Lenson would keep most of the shots from outside the perimeter allowing Demarco great looks for some easy stops.

In the final period, the visitors from Amherstburg would add a pair of goals, the initial goal from Lavoie who would tuck his shot in off the inside post. Only two minutes later, a shot from Patterson would deflect high into the sky, off the back of the Welland netminder and catch nothing but net as the Stars would eliminate the Tigers in four games to advance.

After the Game 4 victory, assistant coach Mario DiPaolo commented, “I’m proud of all those kids in that dressing room. They took out a talented Welland team and our guys on the blue line played an awesome game. It was by far our best team effort since the Petrolia Silverstick. Now I can’t wait to see how we match up against another tough team in Owen Sound. Bring ‘em on, baby.”

The semi-finals will start this weekend so check the Amherstburg Minor Hockey website for full dates and times. The dream season continues.

Comments are closed.