Midget Stars down 2-0 in OMHA finals

By John Holzel

The Amherstburg Midget Stars began their quest to become back-to-back OMHA champions this past weekend, in the same town they defeated and swept last year in Stouffville.

In Game One on Saturday, the Stouffville Clippers sent notice there are no brooms allowed in their arena as the Clippers used their speed to their advantage and handed the Stars a wake-up call by defeating Amherstburg in an evenly matched contest.

The Stars received the opening infraction only four minutes in the first period and the Clippers cashed in on the opportunity to take an early lead.

The Stars defense allowed the hometown fans to cheer again as they couldn’t gain possession of the puck, deep in their own zone and the Clippers doubled their lead to 2-0.

Stars goalie Nick Keeler makes a save and squeezes his pads together to hold the puck for a whistle.

With just under three minutes to play in the opening period Stars netminder Nick Keeler lost sight of a loose puck and the Clippers once again capitalized to go up 3-0.

Amherstburg was granted a pair of power play opportunities but failed to cash in on their chances.

In the middle frame, the Stars defense thwarted a power play by Stouffville and it seemed to give the Stars some life as power forward Tyler Pope-Ferguson found the back of the net to pull the Stars within a pair. Ryan Holzel was awarded the lone assist.

The Clippers restored their three-goal cushion with three minutes remaining but the Stars responded with a goal by Pope-Ferguson from just outside the faceoff circle, with a minute to play in the second period. Jordan Ryan and Blaine Bechard were given the assists.

Halfway through the last period the Clippers rounded out the scoring by capitalizing on their speed with a partial breakaway shot that squeezed through Keeler’s pads.

In Game Two on Sunday, the Stars were once again playing with five regulars due to March Break vacations. Keeler once again got the start for head coach Matt Fox.

The Stars were granted an early power play in the first period but it was Keeler who was called upon to make a pair of key pad saves on a Stouffville breakaway.

The score remained tied after the first period.

At the four minute mark of the second period the Clippers opened the scoring by jumping on a loose puck just outside the crease.

The resilient Stars battled back to draw even as speedy winger, Brandin Crosier intercepted a clearing pass inside the Clippers blue line, who found  Adam Robinson, cruising towards the net to knot the game at one apiece.

Just under two minutes later, the Clippers once again took the lead as they came down two on one and tucked the puck just inside the post to go up 2-1.

An unassisted tally by Pope-Ferguson brought the Stars back even early in the third period. It seemed that both teams threw discipline out the window as the referee was calling every infraction that lead to a flurry of penalties for both teams.

The Clippers had the final say as they knocked in a power play goal with six minutes remaining to take a 4-0 points lead in the six point series.

Game Three and Four are this weekend in Amherstburg at the United Communities Credit Union Complex. Check the River Town Times Facebook page for game times.

One response to “Midget Stars down 2-0 in OMHA finals”

  1. AMHA FAN says:

    MIDGET MAJORS TIE THE SERIES WITH WINS ON SAT -6 – 1 AND ON SUN 3-2