Jr. Stars Split Weekend in Oshawa, News, Bantam A ('97), U14-U15 Travel, 2011-2012 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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Jr. Stars Split Weekend in Oshawa
Submitted By Scott Tottle on Monday, March 19, 2012
The Major Bantam Jr. Stars rebounded from a sobering 4-1 opening game defeat on Saturday evening, to outlast the Oshawa Jr. Generals 6-4 on Sunday afternoon.  Sporting an impressive a 10-1 record in O.M.H.A. playdown games and riding a six game winning streak, the Jr. Stars had every reason to feel confident heading into series opener at the the Legends arena in Oshawa on Saturday.  However, the Stars found themselves behind 1-0 less than a minute into the game and, appearing tired and nervous, they could never find their stride against a very deep and competitive Generals team.  

The Generals came out strong to open the series and swarmed the Stars net less than a minute into the game.  At 14:07 of the first period, towering assistant captain Garrett Ouellette pounced on a rebound in front of the St. Thomas net and flipped the puck past a helpless Greyson Tottle for 1-0 Oshawa lead.

Four minutes later, a missed defensive assignment left assistant captain Liam Kent alone in front the St. Thomas net.  He pounced on another rebound and easily directed the puck into the open side to make the score 2-0, and set the Stars back on their heels.

However, on their only power play opportunity of the game, Andrew Baxter picked up a rebound of his own off of a Dylan Newman shot and slid the puck into the yawning cage to narrow the Generals lead to 2-1.  Michael McArthur also assisted on the goal.

Whatever momentum the Stars had generated with the goal quickly evaporated early in the second period.  Garrett Ouellette let go a seemingly harmless point shot that deflected off a St. Thomas skate and caromed directly onto the stick of a waiting Matthew Davies parked alone beside the St. Thomas goal.  Matthew easily finished off the slam dunk to return the Generals' two goal lead at 3-1.

Despite generating several glorious scoring opportunities, including three in the last minute with the Rogie pulled for an extra attacker, the Stars could not bulge the twine.  An empty-netter with :23 seconds remaining on the clock made the final score 4-1 for the Generals.

Game 2 took place Sunday afternoon at the U.O.I.T. Campus rink #1 and a more determined and assertive Jr. Stars team took the ice.  However, the game initially appeared to be deja vu all over again for Stars fans.  Oshawa forward Curtis Todd picked off an errant Zach Smith pass and went in alone on surprised Greyson Tottle.  A nifty poke check by Rogie only delayed matters as Curtis regained possession of the puck, twirled and let go a perfect wrist shot into the top corner of the empty cage to give Oshawa another early 1-0 lead.

However, on this occasion, a determined group of Jr. Stars came storming back.  Dylan Newman scored at 11:28 of the first period, just after the expiry of a Generals penalty, off of a hard wrist shot from the high slot that was partially blocked but managed to sneak over the goal line to tie the score at 1-1.  Andrew Baxter was credited with an assist on the play.

Less than an minute later, Dylan broke down the left side and while driving around an Oshawa defender, let go a wrist shot from a difficult angle that somehow found its way between the legs of General netminder Vinton Gaskin.  Josh Mallory earned an assist on the goal that gave the Stars their first lead of the series.

At 9:19, Michael McArthur undressed a General defender in front of the Oshawa net before wristing a shot high over Gaskin's glove to put the Stars ahead 3-1.  Dane Jacoletti assisted on the goal.

Less than three minutes later, Derek Folkard came out of the corner and snapped a shot from a sharp angle that deflected off Gaskin's shoulder and into the net for a 4-1 Stars lead.  Jesse Tottle and Dane Jacoletti assisted on the goal that marked the end of Gaskin's afternoon.

Still in the first period, and not showing any favouritism toward Oshawa netminders, Folksy scored his second goal of the period and the series when he knocked a Zack Smith rebound out of mid-air past new Generals goaltender James Hack for a seemingly insurmountable 5-1 Stars lead heading into the second period.

Generals' assistant captain Liam Kent scored his second of the series at the end of the second period to make the score 5-2 heading into the third period.

At 12:56 of the third period, Liam caught Rogie off his angle and deflected a soft wrist shot off Greyson's stick into the top left corner for his third goal of the series and narrowing the Stars' lead to 5-3.  In an unfortunate twist of fate, during the ensuing celly, Liam collapsed under a mass of teammates, injuring his lower leg.  Despite a valiant attempt to return to the bench, Liam lay on the ice for several minutes with a suspected broken ankle, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Just over a minute after play resumed, Hunter Murray slammed home a loose puck off another St. Thomas turn over to make the score 5-4 and many of the most of Stars' fans start to squirm in their seats.  The goal was disputed as the play was clearly blown dead before the puck crossed the line but, nonetheless, the goal was allowed to stand.

The Stars dug in and dominated the final six minutes of the game, with the exception of a dramatic save by Rogie off of a Nathan Taylor breakaway with just over two minutes left in the game.  Derek Folkard finished off his natural hat-trick with an empty-netter to make the final score 6-4 and even the series at one game apiece.

Series Notes:  Wearing their St.Patrick's Day green jerseys did not prove to the lucky for the Stars' on Saturday evening....losing a player of the calibre of Liam Kent during a post-goal celebration as got to be frustrating for the Generals....the next three games of the series will be played in St.Thomas....both games this weekend will be played at the Timken Centre....Stars' players would appreciate as many people as possible to be in attendance and cheer the home team on to victory.....until next weekend...keep your stick on the ice and keep reaching for the Stars.
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