Stars ground Eagles 4-3 in season opener


By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars made two facts very evident following their 4-3 season opening win over the Tecumseh Eagles Sunday afternoon.

One, they have the potential to be a very good team. Two, it’s going to take a lot of work to get where they want to be.

The Stars overcame an early two-goal deficit as Michael Popel scored the game winning goal with 53.9 seconds left and starting goaltender Chris Wallace solidified the win by shutting the door on a Tecumseh penalty shot with 2.3 second remaining in the game.

“We put ourselves behind the eight ball by taking stupid penalties but the guys showed a lot of heart battling back,” said Stars head coach Matt Fox.

A sluggish start hampered the Stars in the first period. Sloppy passing and neutral zone turnovers led to Tecumseh scoring the first goal after it deflected off Stars forward Colin Leardi.

In the dying minutes of the period, Amherstburg’s Robert Lavoie notched even with Tecumseh, popping the puck pass a sprawling Tecumseh goaltender on the powerplay. Leardi and Matt Rosati were credited with the helper.

Tecumseh took advantage of the Stars undisciplined play in the second scoring two goals just 50 seconds apart on the powerplay.


Stars forward Robert Lavoie ties the game at 1-1 after sliding the puck past the streched out Tecumseh goaltender.

Leardi brought the Stars within one after scoring top shelf on a breakaway with four minutes left in the second period. Ryan Holzel and Lavoie were given the assists.

After ringing the puck off the opposing goal post three times,  Holzel tied the game on a Stars 5-on-3 powerplay.

Fox said he was pleased with the Stars in the season opener, stating his players did a lot of things he liked, but also did saw a lot of things that he didn’t like. He noted that the team is still trying to find their chemistry after adding a whole slew of new players.

“We don’t have that chemistry yet,” stated Fox. “It’s something that can’t be rushed. It’s going to take a few games before our lines really start thinking as one.”

Although the Stars did a relatively decent job killing penalties, Fox said the Stars are definitely going to have to clean up their play.

“We can’t be shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Fox. “Even the best teams are going to lose when you are always sitting in the box.”

Popel said picking up a win from a team like Tecumseh is a great way to start the season.

“They (Tecumseh) are a very good team and they are a AA centre,” said Popel. “A win like this proves that we can play with these guys.”

Popel predicts the 2012 version of the Midget Majors Stars will be an exciting team to watch.

“We have a lot of young guys and we’re very talented,” said Popel. “As long as we have the effort and heart we are going to do amazing things.”

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