SEMI-FINALISTS IN SILVERSTICK, News, Minor Atom A ('03), U10-U11 Travel, 2012-2013 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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SEMI-FINALISTS IN SILVERSTICK
Submitted By Scott Nugent on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
This past weekend the Minor Atom Stars played in the Silverstick qualifier tournament in Woodstock.  The Stars played 4 very entertaining games but were beat out in the semi-finals by a tough Oakville Rangers team.

Saturday saw the Stars play 3 times.  The first game was at 8am against Oakridge.  The Stars came out a little flat and Oakridge took the play to them but we maintained our positions and kept the Aeros to the outside.  The game was a very even contest for scoring chances and fittingly the game went to overtime tied 2-2.  Overtime solved nothing and it was off to a shootout. The Stars prevailed 2-0 in the shootout and downed Oakridge 3-2.

The second game came against the Southpoint Capitals.  The Stars again started slowly but got better as the game went on and opened up a 2-0 lead in the third.  Through a bizarre series of events Southpoint tied the game late and forced OT.  Once again overtime solved nothing and it was off to another shootout.  After 3 shooters it was tied 1-1 and the game needed to go to extra shooters.  The Stars prevailed 2-1 in the shootout to win another game 3-2.

The third game was against the Sarnia Sting with 1st place on the line.  Both teams had already advanced to Sunday but you couldn't tell by watching.  This game was back and forth right until the end.  The Stars held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 but could not hold any of them and if you haven't picked up on the theme of the day, this game went to OT as well.  The Stars had some chances in OT but for the third time in 10 hours the Stars headed to a shootout.  Once again after 3 shooters, the game was still tied and extra shooters were required again.  The Stars fell short in this one and lost the game 4-3.

Sunday brought the semi-finals and a very tough team from Oakville.  The Stars played a great first period and the score was 0-0 after one period.  The second period saw a couple of miscues and the Stars were down 2-0.  We manged to refocus and put pressure on the Rangers for the last 3 minutes and notched a goal from a goal mouth scramble.  The Stars trailed 2-1 after 2 and went the dressing room to wait for the ice to be flooded.  The goal late in the second gave the Stars a boost and they came out flying in the third and scored twice in the first 4 minutes and took the lead 3-2.  The crafty Rangers took a timeout as the Stars had them on the ropes and this timeout seemed to work wonders and the Rangers tied the game 3-3 a minute later.  The next 4 minutes the games was back and forth, when suddenly a Stars player was sprung free for breakaway but hauled down by a Ranger defender.  The crowd gasped but the referee had dropped his whistle and could not find it and no call was made.  The Rangers raced the other way and after some time in the Stars zone they took the lead and would not look back.  The game ended 6-3 for the Rangers.  The Rangers went on to win the tournament but I think they will remember how hard the Stars play, if we meet again.

The tournament was another positive step for the Minor Atom Stars as we continue to see improved play.  We didn't play our best on Saturday but Sunday the kids were focused and ready to play.  The coaching staff could not be more proud of how the boys played and maybe with a bounce or a call we reach the finals.  The Stars would like to thank the parents for encouragement and excitement during all 4 games. The kids definitely heard the cheering and it seemed to spark them at important times.  Again the coaching staff was amazed at the focus the kids displayed prior to the semi final and if we can carry that over for league games we will find ourselves in the win column more frequently.  Good job Stars!!
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