Should Have Been Better, Could Have Been Worse, News, Minor Bantam A ('97), U14-U15 Travel, 2010-2011 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Should Have Been Better, Could Have Been Worse
Submitted By stottle on Sun 11 21, 10
The minor Bantam Jr. Stars played the Sarnia Sting to a 2-2 draw at the Timken Centre on Sunday afternoon.  It was a game in which the Stars quickly established a dominant forecheck and played most of the first two periods inside the Sting zone.  However, after two quick goals by the Sting in the latter half of the third period,  the Stars suddenly found themselves trailing 2-1 with only four minutes remaining.  Unshaken, Stars' right winger Isaac Robinson pounced on a loose puck with 1:18 left on the clock and goalie Brennan Agius on the bench for an extra attacker to tie the score at 2-2.  While Stars' fans left the building believing their team deserved a better fate, at least they avoided another heart-wrenching loss to the Sting.

Sarnia gave the Stars a wake-up call early in the opening shift when their first attempted shot on net clanged of the crossbar.  The wake-up call seemed effective as the Stars gradually took control of the game with strong and persistent forechecking.  Several great scoring chances resulted from the forecheck, but it was not until Jesse Tottle banged home a rebound from the side of the Sting net, only seconds after the expiry of what turned out to be their only power play of the game, that the Stars were rewarded for their efforts.  Josh Mallory and Derek Smith earned assists on the goal.

The second period featured more of the same dominant forecheck by the Stars and several glorious, but missed scoring opportunities.  While the Stars took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room for the second period intermission, it certainly felt like they should have been up by a comfortable margin.

As the hockey gods often dictate, only moments after the puck bounced over Derek Smith's stick for what would have been an easy empty net goal and a 2-0 Stars lead, an otherwise harmless but seeing-eye shot from point found its way through a maze of skates past a screened Brennan Agius to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:21 of the third period.  

A defensive lapse only two minutes later allowed Jared Borque to put the Sting up 2-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the game.  Showing their new-found composure and determination, the Stars swarmed over the Sting for the next three minutes.  Matty Thomson launched a brilliant end-to-end solo effort, split the Sting defence and went in alone on Sting goaltender Matt Szabo.  Matty's wrist shot trickled through Szabo and over the goal line to seemingly tie the game at 2-2.  Unfortunately, the official could not keep up with "freight train" Thomson and did not arrive on the scene until the puck had been pulled back over the goal line by the Sting netminder.  Despite the protestations of Michael McArthur, "no goal" remained the call.

The Stars thought they had tied the match a second time with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Following an offensive zone face-off win, a MicMac wrist shot deflected off Szabo's pad, before bouncing off the shin pad of an unsuspecting Isaac Robinson and into the Sarnia net to seemingly tie the game at 2-2.  However, the official ruled that Isaac had somehow kicked the puck into the net and again denied the Stars their tying goal.

Third time was indeed a charm for the Stars as only second later, and with an extra attacker on the ice, Mr. Robinson was officially credited with tying the game at 2-2.  Michael McArthur and Andrew Baxter, who was on the ice but admittedly had nothing to do with the play, were given assists on the goal. 

Game Notes:  The game marked a season low for penalties.  Each side was assessed only one minor penalty...Brennan Agius' friend the crossbar showed up to the watch the game.  I'm sure Brennan was happy to see him... The game also marked the return of T.J. Turley from holiday.  He didn't seem to miss a beat as he played excellent positional hockey, was very good on the penalty kill and missed another wide open net....Josh Mallory used his blazing speed to dance around several Sting defencemen, as well as on the back check to thwart what could have been an important Sting scoring opportunity....I believe we have received about $850.00 in confirmed sponsorships for the haircutting event this Sunday.  We need to raise at least $1,000.00 so we can all have the pleasure of seeing a newly coifed Dave Thomson.  Keep those sponsorships coming....The writer will be taking brief, but well-deserved break for a little R & R down in the desert.  He will be back for our next encounter with the Brantford 99'ers on December 3, 2010...Until then...keep your stick down, cover the short side and don't get deked.
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