Stars remain undefeated after weekend

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars remain undefeated after a pair of games this past weekend.

The Stars took down the LaSalle Sabers 4-3 Friday night at the United Communities Credit Union Complex. The next night the Midgets tied a gritty Riverside Rangers squad 4-4 at the WFCU Center Saturday night.

The Stars looked much crispier on Friday night, scoring three power play goals within a two-minute span.

Frank Desjardins scored his fourth goal in two games after taking a feed from Dean Shepley and Tyler Morand. Newcomer Greg Fera increased the lead to 2-0 by scoring his first goal of the new campaign just 32 seconds later, Michael Popel was credited with the assist.

Less than a minute later, Popel ripped a shot from the right circle that floated under the goalie’s arm for a 3-0 lead. Fera picked up the assist.

The Sabers  cut into the lead after they caught Stars goalie Mitchell Topliffe out of position and found the back of the net.

Topliffe made up for the goal by shutting down LaSalle on a penalty shot with less than three minutes left in the first period.

Amherstburg Midget Major Stars’ sniper Mike Popel blast a powerplay goal past the LaSalle Sabers goalie for his first goal of the season.

In the second frame, Desjardins scored his second of the game with less than a minute gone by in the period on the power play giving the Stars a commanding 4-1 lead.

Later in the period the Sabers caught the Stars napping and scored a shorthanded goal and notched another with less than two minutes left in the second.

Amherstburg was able to hold off a surging LaSalle team as they came away with the win.

“LaSalle has got a pretty good team,” said Stars assistant coach Steve Dender. “The boys haven’t been challenged with tough teams right now.”

Dender said the Sabers have big bodies and know how to play the body well.

In his first year with the Stars, Dender noted the Topliffe has been playing very well as of late, stating the young goaltender “has been standing on his head.”

“It’s really actually easy to play with these guys and keep my focus up,” said Topliffe.

Although he admits there is pressure playing for the back-to-back OMHA champs, however he believe he will be able to hold his own.

Shepley pointed out that the power play is coming together and noted that the penalty kill is an area they want to improve on.

Amherstburg travelled to the WFCU Centre in Windsor Saturday for a bout against Riverside.

Amherstburg tied them 4-4, but battled the entire way, trailing the game 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3.

“We went down 2-0 early in the first, but showed heart and resilience battling back,” said head coach Matt Fox.

The Stars trailed 4-3 late in the third but Matt Rosati buried a goal top shelf to tie it up.

“They showed what it took to be champions last year,” said Fox. “They never gave up and never feel out of any game at anytime.”

The Stars have a busy week with three games on the schudule.

Wednesday night they travel to Essex to take on Belle River, Friday night they are in Leamington to square off against South Pointe and return home on Saturday night to host Tecumseh.

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