Stars Advance to Quarter Finals, News, Minor Bantam A ('97), U14-U15 Travel, 2010-2011 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Stars Advance to Quarter Finals
Submitted By stottle on Mon 02 07, 11
The St. Thomas Minor Bantam Jr. Stars defeated the Amherstburg Stars on Saturday afternoon at the new Amherstburg Recreation Complex by taking both the game and the O.M.H.A. preliminary series 3-1.  The Stars now advance to the Quarter Finals against the Niagara Falls Canucks next weekend.  More importantly, the writer's two game suspension has now been served and he can get back to the important task of satisfying those avid Stars fans who have been thirsting for a fix of Stars info.  Fortunately, the time off should not affect the quality of the writing, as one of the primary benefits of being a mediocre writer, is that I am always at my best.

After taking the opening game 2-0, the Stars returned home to the friendly confines of the Timkin Centre last Saturday for game two, with the intention of taking a stranglehold on the series.

Jesse Tottle got the Stars off to an early 1-0 lead when he backhanded a rebound past Amherstburg netminder Werner during the second shift of the game.  Zach Smith doubled the St. Thomas lead early in the second period.  While playing 4-on-4, Zach received a pass from Dane Jacoletti in the slot and rifled a low wrist shot past an over-matched Werner.  Despite some strange moments in the first two periods, the officiating to that point in the game was but a small sampling of what was to follow in the third period.

Without reliving the gory details so as to avoid the onset of PTSD, suffice to say that the third period may have elevated St. Thomas officiating to a new low.  St. Thomas played much of the third period two men short as the team was assessed ten minor penalties and three misconducts. Five powerplay goals later by the wrong Stars team left your favourite Stars team with a bitter taste in their mouths, one less coach to listen to, and series tied at 1-1.  I guess it is a truism that a good official is like a public toilet, they usually go unnoticed but disaster often looms when you find it is out of order.

The Stars showed their strength of character on Sunday, with a completely dominating performance from the drop of the puck to the final buzzer.  Pierce Lawrence opened the scoring midway through the period on a power play, with the assist going to Dane Jacoletti.  Michael McArthur banked a pass in off Werner from the behind the goal line early in the second period to extend the lead to 2-0.  Assists went to Zach Smith and Jacoletti.  Josh Reda gave St. Thomas a three goal lead, with assists credited to McArthur and Jacoletti.  Reda scored his second goal of the game, and the Stars' second power play goal, when he finished off a nice passing play from Isaac Robinson and Jesse Tottle.

Greyson Tottle was not tested very often in the St. Thomas net but had to earn his second shut out of the series by stopping Amherstburg on a breakaway in the final minute of play.  A 4-0 victory sent the Stars back to Amherstburg on Saturday with an opportunity to close out the series.

Game four was almost a carbon copy of game three, with a few more Stars' penalties added for suspense.  The Stars controlled much of the game, mainly due to the superior play of their defence corps.  Bryce Kernohan was credited with the opening goal early in the early in the first period as he was standing beside the Amherstburg defenceman that knocked a Zach Smith rebound into his own net.  Jesse Tottle was credited with the Stars' second goal, although it was Josh Reda that banged in the loose puck past Werner and gave the Stars a two goal cushion going into the third period.  

Zach Smith cemented the Stars victory with what has to be the goal of the series (with special mention going to Andrew Baxter's breakaway goal in game one).  Dane Jacoletti carried the puck into the Amherstburg zone and made a nice feed to Andrew Baxter behind the net.  Andrew spotted Zach breaking into the slot and fed him a perfect dish on the tape.  Zach made no mistake as his quick release easily beat Werner high to the blocker side.

Only a meaningless power play goal in the final minute of play prevented Rogie from earning his third shut out of the series.

Series Notes:  The Stars defence are playing their best hockey of the season.  They also out-pointed the Stars forwards in this series 11-10....The Stars held Amherstburg without a goal at even strength for the entire series.  They also shut out Amherstburg in 10 of the 12 periods....Matty Thomson was easily the best player on the ice in game four but did not appear in the scoring summaries.  Funny game....Our bus driver earned his tip on Saturday night with a deliberate, methodical but safe ride home under treacherous conditions...The Breakfast of Champions is not a cereal, its your opposition....Until next weekend...keep your stick on the ice and keep reaching for the Stars.
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