The New England Stars junior A hockey club will leave it all on the ice this weekend as they take on the first-place Syracuse Stampede in a single elimination playoff game at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow in Lake George, New York.
The Stars, who play in Northern States Junior Hockey League, have battled hard throughout the season but finished in seventh place in the league.A young team this year – more than half of the players on the roster are under 18 – the Stars finished 12-28 in the regular season. Still, the Stars remained competitive with the Eastern Kodiaks, Cape Cod Islanders and Junior Mariners and finished only three points out of fifth place.
Head Coach Darryl Green knows tomorrow night’s battle will be tough as the Stars are 0-7 against the Stampede this season.
“I’m expecting them to play hard and leave everything on the ice, we have a nothing-to-lose type of attitude so I think it will be a close, tight checking game,” said Green.
Throughout the season, the Stars had a tough time finding the back of the net and have made it a point to improve upon throughout this week’s practices.
“We have been working on going to the net, it’s not an easy thing to do. However, you can be rewarded greatly, if you’re willing to do it,” said Green. ” … Our front net presence needs to improve.”
And that will be key as the Stars look to take a W against Syracuse tomorrow night.
Green said finishing last in the league was disappointing, but that just means the Stars have a bright future ahead of them.
“I was satisfied with how each player has gotten better this season,” said Green. “…it was pretty tight and the top three teams are a lot older than we are. Our record was closer against the bottom four teams.”
Green said he will have some wise words for the Stars in the locker room before they head onto the ice to face the Stampede.
“They’ll be ready to go,” he said. “They know what’s at stake. I probably won’t even need to say much to get them ready.”