The St. Thomas Stars saw 1-0 and 2-1 leads disappear as they dropped their 2017-18 home opener to the visiting Strathroy Rockets on Friday, September 15. The Stars dominated on the shot clock, faceoff circle and in territorial play but were unable to solve Rocket goaltender Zack Weir.

Backed by the solid goaltending of Weir the Rockets moved into a 3-way tie for second place in the Western Conference standings of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with a 4-3 in St. Thomas against the Stars.  The Rockets were outshot 39-25 including 13-8 and 17-8 spreads in the second and third periods.  Weir was particularly effective stopping offensive threats Kevin Hu and Adam Keyes.

It was a gritty effort from the Rockets who trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the contest.  They eventually wore down the Stars capitalizing on scrambles in front of Star goaltender Kodie Oude Vashaar, who had great difficulty finding the puck in his crease.

The two teams were tied 1-1 after one period and 2-2 after two periods.  Rocket goals by Noah Campbell and Spencer Allen at 2:03 and 8:11 of the third period put the Rockets up 4-2 until Peter Fleming’s second goal of the game on the powerplay with Oude Vashaar on the bench for an extra attacker cut the Rocket lead to 4-3.  Hu also scored for the Stars.

Greg Marks and Ty Glover also scored for the Rockets.  Both Marks and Brady Hogg filled in nicely on the forward lines from their usual defensive positions.

Star Jake Robinson rattled the puck off of the crossbar and goal post while Justin Badour also found the iron behind Weir but not the mesh.  The Stars dominated in the faceoff circle winning 51 of 69 draws (73.9%).  The Stars converted 2 of 6 powerplay chances while the Rockets were unsuccessful in 3 opportunities.

David Honsberger

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