700 E. Shady Lane
Neenah, WI 54956
Xavier, Fox Valley Lutheran, Freedom, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, New London, St. Mary Catholic, Brillion
Stars Fall to Homestead in OT
By Dustin Riese
Now three weeks into the Hockey season, and you find a Stars team still searching for their first win. Entering their contest with Homestead on Saturday, Fox Cities was 0-5 and really haven’t been as competitive as they would have liked thus far.
The Stars certainly came ready to play as they delivered their best overall performance of the season against a strong Hilltoppers team. In the end, it still wasn’t quite enough as Homestead found a way to come out on top 5-4 in Overtime to send the Stars to 0-6 this season.
Both sides used the first period as a feeling out process as neither team could get much consistent offense going. A big reason for that was both Truett Wilson and Connor O’Brien stood tall in the pipes with Wilson recording 17 first period saves and O’Brien with eight. Fox Cities managed to pick up the first goal of the game midway through the first period with Owen Mursau picking up the unassisted goal to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. That score would hold up until the second period when the offenses really started picking things up.
After pestering Wilson in goal during the first period to no avail, Homestead started to find the net in the second putting home three goals. Two of those goals came less than 10 minutes in when both Rocco Cicerello and Ian Vincent gave the Hilltoppers their first lead at 2-1. Just over two minutes passed before the Stars were able to strike even. This time it was Brady De Valk who continued his recent hot streak and just like that we had a 2-2 game.
Unlike the first period where Homestead was seemingly getting shots off in every direction, they only managed eight shots on goal in this period but made sure to make the most of them. Less than a minute after the Stars tied things up, Cicerello was at it again for his second of the period giving Homestead their second lead 3-2. Refusing to go down with out a fight, the Stars offense remained hot themselves with Mursau grabbing his second goal of the night to bring things back to even 3-3 as the second period ended.
Expecting an exciting final period after what fans saw in the second, things certainly didn’t start off that way as both teams were held scoreless for much of the frame. For O’Brien, he wasn’t tested that much as the Hilltoppers defense allowed just four shots on goal in that final period opposed to Wilson who faced another 12 shots.
Approaching five minutes to go in the game, Cicerello appeared to deliver what looked like the game winning goal as his third of the night put Homestead back in front 4-3. Normally when Fox Cities falls behind late, they tend to crumble, but on this day the Stars were showing their most signs of life all season. With less than three minutes to go, Spencer Winnekens made the most of his opportunity as his shot proved to be the last one to beat O’Brien tying things up 4-4. Not only did the goal ultimately send this game into overtime, but it was the first varsity goal for Winnekens.
With a tie game and heading into overtime, the Stars already could consider this an accomplishment as this was the first game that would be decided by less than two goals. They were not satisfied with that as they knew they had a great opportunity to pick up this win. Instead, it was Homestead stealing the victory putting home the game winning goal one minute into overtime sending the Stars to 0-6 with a 5-4 win.
Sheboygan: Coming off a rather disappointing loss to the Oshkosh Ice Hawks on Tuesday, Fox Cities had their work cut out for them on Friday hosting a very strong Sheboygan team. Despite Mark Watson turning away 30 shots in the game, the Stars managed just 15 of their own as Sheboygan made quick of Fox Cities 7-0, sending them to 0-5.
The Red Raiders gave the Stars a dose of their own medicine as they were the ones to not only strike first but do it quickly. Sheboygan needed just over a minute to put home the first goal as Blake Allen gave them a quick 1-0 lead. Little did anyone know at the time, but that goal would prove to be game winner with Meier Schick double things later in the period for a 2-0 lead after one.
The second period was the Stars best period of the night despite not generating much on the offensive end. This was also the lone period where Sheboygan didn’t get at least 10 shots on goal as the Fox Cities defense started to step up their game. Despite the improved play on the defensive end, Sheboygan still managed to add to their lead with Brock Bulkovi pushing things to 3-0 and carrying that into the third and final period.
Much like most of their early season games, this was the period where the Stars began to fall apart with the Red Raiders starting to impose their will. After extending the lead to 3-0 in the second, Bulkovi was just getting stared putting home two third period goals less than two minutes in as his hat-trick put the game out of reach 5-0. Not even a minute later, Jacob Crispin got in on the action as Sheboygan scored three goals in less than three minutes apart. The Red Raiders added a power play goal from William Falconer with less than two minutes left to cap off a 7-0 shutout win.
The Stars will have a bit of time to regroup this week as they won’t see the ice again until Friday when they travel to take on Marquette University. Following that game, the Stars will once again be on the road Saturday as they take on Waukesha for what could be another tough weekend of competition.