Midget Majors come out of weekend 1-0-1

 

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars have a little clink in their armor after going 1-0-1 over the weekend.

The Stars started the weekend off on the right foot Friday evening, winning their 13th straight game 5-1 over the visiting Kent Cobras. Sunday afternoon the Stars were back on home ice and battled the Tecumseh Eagles to a 2-2 tie.

On Friday night, Colin Leardi and Mike Popel both scored in the first period to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.

Leardi would pop in his second of the game in the second period and Stars captain Eric Shaw also found the back of the net, giving the Stars a 4-0 lead.

Kent broke Stars goalie Chris Wallace’s bid for a shutout with 55.1 second left in the second period, scoring on the power play.

Greg Fera scored a shorthanded goal in his first game back with the Stars in the third period to round out the scoring.

Although head coach Matt Fox was pleased with the 5-1 win, he was concerned with the amount of unnecessary penalties his squad took late in the game.

“I thought the penalties were selfish. We play as a team when we score but once we got up we were undisciplined,” said Fox.

Fox said that style of play would only hurt the team once they start playing tougher teams.

Stars forward Alex Popel breaks through a pair of Kent defenders in first period action of Friday’s matchup against the Kent Cobras

“We won’t win many games like that, it’s just not going to work,” he said.

“There are a couple of things we need to work on as a team,” said Wallace.

Friday’s game was Wallace’s first home game of the season and admits to having butterflies before the start, however after just a few moments on the ice, Wallace settled down.

“The nerves were there, that’s for sure. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I found out I was starting,” said Wallace. “I just came focused and ready to play.”

After a days rest the Stars were back on the ice Sunday afternoon against the Tecumseh Eagles with Mitchell Topliffe getting the start in net.

Topliffe kept the puck out of the Stars net in the first period and watched his team build a 2-0 lead in the second off goals from Ryan Holzel  and Colin Pretty

After playing strong in the first two periods the Stars came out flat in the third, allowing two Tecumseh goals in a 50 second span, including one on the power play.

The Stars once again shot themselves in the foot, taking undisciplined penalties late in the game, however Tecumseh was unable to capitalize on the power play as the teams battled to a 2-2 tie.

“In the first 30 minutes we got pucks to the net, won puck battles and didn’t allow turnover in the neutral zone,” said Fox. “There was definitely a lack of effort in the third, we had a bad penalty kill and turnovers killed us.”

Fox said he is concerned about the continuing lack of discipline the Stars have shown over the last few games. When asked how he would address the team about the issue, he simply said

“They will see at practice.”

Topliffe said the Stars are disappointed with the tie, stating that they let the games slip away from them.

“This feels like a loss to us consider how we have been playing,” said Topliffe. “Blowing a 2-0 lead in a matter of seconds feels really bad.”

Topliffe said the team needs to play hard for 45 mintues and not take a period off.

“We need to buckle down and play the entire game,” he said. “Who knows if it’s because our legs aren’t there but we have to fix that.”

The Stars are back in action Friday night as they take on the Windsor Jr. Spitfires in Windsor at 7 p.m. and Belle River at home Saturday night at 8:10 p.m.

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