Rough weekend for Midget Majors Stars

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars learned an important lesson this past weekend.

If you want to win, you have to work hard in all 45 minutes of the game.

The Stars learned that the hard way after dropping Friday nights bout 4-3 to the Belle River Jr. Canadiens and tying the Essex Ravens 5-5, after being up 5-2 after the first period on Saturday night.

“I thought for the most part it was a pretty undisciplined game for our team,” said head coach Matt Fox. “We have to learn to battle through those things and not get away from the game plan.”

The Stars found themselves in a hole early, having been assessed two quick penalties in the first five minutes of the game. After killing off one penalty, the Stars were unable to do the same for the second as Belle River took a 1-0 lead.

Despite being airbourn Mike Popel managed to slide the puck past Belle River’s Adam LeBouef in the third period of Friday nights bout.

The Canadiens added their second goal in just two minutes.

However the Stars answered quickly when Greg Fera found the back of the net before the end of the period. Blaine Bechard and Martin Yancy were each given the helper.

Belle River restored their two-goal lead on the power play midway through the second period.

With 4.9 seconds left in the period, Spencer Petrozzi lit the lamp to bring the Stars within one. Matt Rosati and Mike Popel were credited with the assist.

In the third period,  Fera sent a streaking Popel on a breakaway and slid the rubber past the Belle River goalie Adam LeBouef while in mid air.

The celebration was short lived as the Canadiens reclaimed the lead just 30 seconds later with  just over eight minutes to play.

The Stars had opportunities however Belle River kept them off the scoreboard.

“We really didn’t stick to our game plan,” said Popel. “They out played us the whole game. They really took it to us.”

Popel said the game was a chippy affair against two teams that have a lot to play for.

“This game shows us that we have to play a full 45 minutes and not just 15 (minutes),” he said.

Saturday night’s game against Essex saw the Stars escape with a point after tying 5-5.

The Stars will also be without the services of Tyler Morand for two games, Popel for two games, Jack St. Louis for five games and Bechard for 10 games for fighting.

“We were playing a basement team and they goaded us into suspensions,’ said Fox. “We will be  smarter and more disciplined next time out.”

Fox also added that there was only one “real” fight as the suspended players were protecting their goaltender.

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