Stars End First Half on Positive Note, News, Minor Bantam A ('97), U14-U15 Travel, 2010-2011 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Stars End First Half on Positive Note
Submitted By stottle on Sun 11 14, 10
Michael McArthur and Jesse Tottle demonstrated that leadership does not necessarily flow from a letter on your jersey, but the quality of your actions.  Both players were instrumental in leading the Stars to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the London Jr. Knights on Sunday afternoon inside the close confines of Argyle Arena in London, Ontario.  The Stars wrapped up the first half of the schedule with nine wins against four losses, good for third place in the standings, one point behind the second place Jr. Knights and one point ahead of fourth place Sarnia Sting.

To put it mildly, the weekend did not start off well for the Jr. Stars.  But my mother always told me that if you can't say anything nice about something, then don't say anything at all.  So all that can say about a 6-0 shellacking at the hands of a very good Hamilton Reps team, and a 5-0 humiliation by the Brantford 99'ers is that our goaltending was solid in both games.  That's all I have to say about that.

However, Sunday was a new day and a new commitment for many Stars players to becoming better teammates on the ice and in the dressing room.  Fortunately for the Stars, and the mental health of their coach, the new commitment paid immediate dividends.  Despite falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, the Stars maintained a concerted effort to remain positive and, as Chief Dan George said in him most famous role, "endeavour to persevere".

At 11:03 of the second period, Pierce Lawrence brought the Stars to within a goal.   Pierce took a brilliant feed from Zach Smith, who was positioned in our usual defenceman location, behind the opposing net, and rifled a low wrist shot past the stick of Knights' goaltender Jordan Warner.  Isaac Robinson also assisted on the goal.

Less than two minutes later, after some determined work in the Knights end zone by Michael McArthur, Jesse Tottle was credited with the goal when his attempted pass to Derek Smith banked in off a skate and between the pads of Warner to tie the game at 2-2.  Dane Jacoletti was credited with the only assist but Micmac clearly earned one as well.

The score remained tied at 2-2 heading into the third period.  The start of the third period provided the Stars with another obstacle to overcome as they played shorthanded for the first three minutes, including two men short for almost a minute.  Thanks to some superb penalty killing by Zach Smith, Matty Thomson, Jesse Tottle and especially Stars' netminder Greyson Tottle, the Stars were able to kill off the penalties and regain their momentum.

As the hockey gods orchestrated, with the Stars commitment to becoming better teammates, it was the Knights that took an undisciplined penalty with only 3:49 left on the clock which gave the Stars' power play an opportunity to win the game.  Only twenty seconds into the power play, Dane Jacoletti made a nice pass from the left sideboards to quarterback Jesse Tottle.  Tottle froze the Knights' penalty killers with a fake slap shot (as if that should scare anybody) before sliding a perfect pass to MicMac, who unleashed a rocket of a one-timer.  The puck ricocheted up off the chest pad of Warner and into the crease behind him.  A melee ensued for several seconds involving Isaac Robinson, Andrew Baxter and three Knights penalty killers before Referee John Harback signaled a goal. 

The Knights never really threatened to tie the game and the Stars were at full measure for a 3-2 win.

Game Notes:...The win was a huge boost for the Stars confidence after unravelling the two previous games...It was probably a bigger victory and lesson learned on the power of being a good teammate.  Hopefully it is a lesson that will endure for the rest of the season and carry over into other aspects of their life...The change in the atmosphere of the dressing room before the game and during the second period was dramatic and tangible, at least to the coach...Rogie Tottle was solid again in net for the Stars...Thanks to James Mallory for filling in for the vacationing Pauly G....Yes Billy, it was the Stars first game at Argyle arena.  Matty Thomson played as an AP player for the last year's version of the minor Bantams at the same arena.  Sorry Dave but you lose....We are trying to arrange a fitness session for this Thursday and next Monday at Joe's.  Will keep you posted....Until the second half.. keep your stick on the ice and keep reaching for the Stars. 
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