Depleted Stars grab point against Riverside

By Joel Charron

It is going to be an interesting few weeks for the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars.

With four key players out of the lineup, the Stars picked up one point in a 2-2 tie Saturday night against the visiting Riverside Rangers.

Mike Popel, Blaine Bechard, Tyler Morand and Jack St. Louis are all serving suspensions from the aftermath in the debacle in Essex over a week ago.

Being down four players didn’t seem to bother the Stars early as  Amherstburg took an early 1-0 lead in the first period off a Frank Desjardins power play goal.  Stars captain, Dan Bondy was given the assist.

With two minutes left in the period, Desjardin knocked in his second of the game for a 2-0 lead. Bondy picked up his second assist and Matt Ward-Trymbulak his first.

The Stars kept the pressure on the Rangers, which resulted in several scoring opportunities but unfortunately were unable to grow their lead.


Stars’ Dean Shepley hacks away at a loose puck before Riverside’s goalie covers it up for the whistle

With 3:13 in the second period, Riverside cut the lead 2-1 after the puck found the stick of a Rangers player after a Mitch Topliffe initial save.

The Rangers tied it up with 2:20 left to play in the third.

The Stars had a chance to steal the win, however Eric Shaw could not slide the puck into the open net after trying to kick it to his stick.

“We played well and worked hard,” said assistant coach Eric Wiegel. ‘The plan was to keep their feet moving and keep the shifts short.”

Wiegel said he though the defense played “very well” despite only having four players on the blue line and added that the Stars forward did as well as they could with the opportunities they were given.

“A couple bounces here and there and we could have won this game easily,” he said. “I’m very proud of the guys on the way they played and the way they battled.”

With key players out,   Matt Rosati said  it’s a chance for guys who usually don’t get a lot of ice time to step up and show what they got.

“This is really a chance to prove themselves,” said Rosati. “But not just our role players but for everyone. We’re missing some key guys so everyone had to step up.”

Rosati believes everyone is up for the challenge.

“We just have to stick to our game plan and get shots to the net,” said Rosati.


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