This weekend the New England Stars Junior team traveled to Blaine, Minnesota for the 2016 North American 3 Hockey League Showcase which included all 48 teams in the league. Teams have the chance to play out of division teams they don’t normally have the opportunity to play. The Stars had 3 top ranked opponents scheduled for their trip.
Friday, the Stars faced off against the Yellowstone Quake who are currently in first place of the Frontier Division. The game started with Brendan Miller scoring just 3:03 in on the power play to give the Stars an early 1-0 lead. Yellowstone would find their legs and get 3 past goaltender Dom Lamanno in the 2nd. Yellowstone would get two more in the 3rd before the Stars could respond. This time it was Zach Burnham with the goal, with assists going to Jahn Krapian and Derek Flynn. Yellowstone would capitalize once more on a power play to defeat the Stars by a final of 6-2. Lamanno saw a total of 39 shots in net.
Saturday, The Stars would face-off against the 1st place team in the Midwest Division, the St. Louis Jr. Blues. Once again the Stars would score first giving them the lead. The goal came form Cole Archambault, assisted by Nolan Arbuckle 8:30 in to the first period. St. Louis would respond with two giving them a 2-1 lead going in to the second period. New England would then get two themselves with Aidan Conlon tying the game at 2, 3:09 in to the second, assisted by Ian Gately and Tyson Gudaitis. Peter Menzies had the go ahead goal just 22 seconds later, assisted by Aidan Conlon and Ian Gately. St. Louis would manage to tie the game at 3-3 before the end of the period. Tyson Gudaitis would find the back of the net, giving the Stars the lead once again off a feed from Peter Menzies and Aidan Conlon. St. Louis would once again battle back forcing overtime. Overtime would go back and forth with both teams getting opportunities only to lead to a shootout. Ian Gately would score on the Stars first shot attempt followed by Aidan Conlon who did not score. Stars goaltender Sage Broda would deny all 3 attempts by St. Louis giving the Stars the 5-4 victory!
Sunday the Stars would have their third and final game of the trip, this one against the North Iowa Bulls who currently sit in first place of the Central Division. The Stars would start the game short-handed after getting penalized for “crossing the red line during warmups.” That penalty would be the start of a tough period for the Stars would would find themselves down 4-0 by the end of the 1st. New England, unable to get any offense going, would let up two more in the second period and looking at a 6-0 deficit going in to the third period. Brendan Miller would spark some offense scoring just 4:55 in to the third with assists going Cole Archambeault and John Krapian. The Bulls would again the momentum and capitalize two more times before the end of regulation, defeating the Stars by a score of 8-1. Greg Moon saw 48 shots in ent for New England.
“It was a strange weekend to say the least. One of our top forwards, Ryan Paul, played 15 seconds before being lost for the weekend due to a severe cut over his eye. Yellowstone was a very good team although it made it hard to be at our best when we had 14 minor penalties and they had 3. Our 5 vs. 4 penalty kill looked great but we were unable to kill all 3 of the 5 vs. 3 situations we found ourselves in.
The second game we played great. It was a real gutsy effort from our guys. St. Louis is also a very good team and it was a great back and forth game. It was the type of game we expected to see at the showcase.
The third game of the weekend did not start well. We found ourselves in the penalty box before the game even started and a bunch more times after. Regardless of the uncontrollable facets of the game, we need to be stronger mentally when things don’t go our way.
We went 1-2 against three of the top teams in our league and we left with some valuable lessons learned.
All three goalies played well this weekend despite the scores. We wrapped up the first half of the season with a record of 16-4-6, which is a great record and we are quite proud of how our guys have played so far. However we know we have a lot to improve upon in the second half.” – Head Coach Darryl Green
The Stars wrapped up the first half of the season with a record of 16-4-3 and are in second place in the Coastal Division. They are now off until after the holidays. They will return to action on January 7th, 2017 where they host the 1st place in the Coastal Division, Long Beach Sharks.
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