Midget Majors struggle to find constant rhythm

 

By Joel Charron

The engine has been sputtering the last few games for the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars.

The Stars have recently battled tough ice conditions and a scrappy LaSalle Sabres team for a 4-1 win at the Vollmer Centre last Tuesday then suffered a disappointing 5-4 loss to the Riverside Rangers Saturday night at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.

The Stars have dropped three of their last five games and have failed to establish any kind of rhythm like they had early on in the season.

Last Tuesday, Amherstburg’s Robert Lavoie led the charge, opening the scoring with a powerplay goal in the first period, however with 90 seconds left in the opening frame a Stars defensive breakdown led to a shorthanded LaSalle goal.

Greg Fera gave the Stars the go-ahead goal late in the second period.

The Stars pushed further ahead in the third with two power play goals from defenseman Matt Rosati, the first coming from a blast from the point and the second, a nifty backhand that found the right top corner as he walked in from the right circle.

The game was called because of curfew with over 10 minutes still to play in the third period.

“We were a little tired tonight and it kind of showed,” said head coach Matt Fox. “Sometimes you have to battle through a game no matter how tired you feel. We fought through it and got the W.”

 

Riverside’s goaltender attempts to poke the puck off the stick of Stars’ forward Ryan Holzel as he comes in alone on the right side.

Rosati admits the Stars started out slow but was proud of the team for grinding out the win.

“At the end of the day when you are able to pull away late in the game, says a lot about our character,” said Rosati.

The Stars had a few days rest before taking on Riverside Saturday evening at the WFCU Centre.

The Rangers were the first to get on the board, just 2:17 into the first.

Ryan Holzel tied the games at 1-1 after finding the back of the net on the powerplay.

After Riverside scored to push them ahead 2-1 late in the period, Rosati answered right back just 15 second later to tie the game at two apiece.

Amherstburg lit the lamp twice in the second with goals coming from Noah Renaud and Rosati. Riverside also added a goal as the Stars led 4-3 after 30 minutes of play.

In the final 15 minutes the Stars looked tired and slow. Penalties also became a problem with Amherstburg taking eight minutes in the sin bin in the third.

Riverside scored the tying goal at the 10:56 mark and then took the lead just two minutes later.

The Stars were unable to find the tying goal and eventually fell 5-4.

After the game Coach Fox was disappointed in the Stars lack of effort and desire in the final period.

“We came out of the dressing room for the third but I’m not sure we did much more than that,” said Fox.

Stars captain Eric Shaw said emotion got the better of the Stars and once they fell behind were unable to pick each other up for a rally.

Shaw said there is a correlation between the games they have lost and the penalties they take.

“Every loss we take stupid penalties,” said Shaw. “It’s one thing we have to work on. We have to be stronger on our sticks and make sure we are getting pucks out.”

Shaw said the loss is particularly disappointing because Riverside is a team the Stars could face in playdowns and a win like this gives them confidence.

The Stars are back in action Friday night as they travel to Leamington to take on the Southpoint Capitals at 8:30 p.m.

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