Stars looking to bring game to ‘next level’

By Joel Charron

Coming out of the Christmas break the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars are looking to tighten up the ship before the quest to defend their OMHA title begins next month.

“We’re not exactly where I think we need to be but we’re pretty close,” said head coach Matt Fox before Monday night’s practice. “The effort is definitely there we just have to tighten up our systems and we’ll be right back on track.”

Before the Christmas Break the Stars fell into a little bit of a slump with a couple of losses but ended the year on a good note, picking up the win in the last game of the year.

An area the Stars are looking to improve is the penalty kill. In the first three months of the season the defending champs were running at 96 per cent on the PK, however the last month that stat has fallen to somewhere between 60-70 per cent.

“It’s a little bit of a concern, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t,” said Fox. “But I don’t think it’s anything that we can’t battle back from. It wasn’t the system that was the problem, it was that we weren’t executing it properly.”

The two-week break came at a good time for the Stars. Having played a lot of hockey in the last 2 months of 2011, some of the players said they started feeling fatigued.

“We played a lot of hockey the last period of time the break helped us,” said forward Frank Desjardins. “We had a chance to rest. I think we are going to be quicker. Our legs were tired. We weren’t tired of hockey but we were physically tired.”

The Stars current record is 12-4-4 for 28 points; good enough for third place in the Bluewater Midget division, and just one point behind rival Riverside.

Although the Stars sit near the top of the standings the Stars feel they are not getting the respect they deserve as defending OMHA and OHF champs.

“Teams really don’t respect us,” defenseman Tyler Morand. “I think we can come out this last month and really surprise a lot of teams and show them that we have won back-to-back OMHA championships and an OHF championship for a reason.”

 

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