The Weekend Report
The South Division of the NA3HL opened up this past weekend with the Jr. Stars facing off against the Texas RoadRunners in College Station. With plenty of new faces, like Russian forward Ilnur Madiarov, defenseman Gavin De La Cuadra, and local DFW forward Michael Kennedy joining the team, the Jr. Stars were excited to debut their 2021-2022 team.
Friday was not kind to the Jr. Stars as the team suffered a shutout loss, with the RoadRunners dominating the game from the first puck drop. RoadRunners forward Jaron Ketterman and Tyler Love both collecting two goals and leading their team offensively.
The Mid-Cities Jr. Stars caught their stride and showed a glimpse of their offensive firepower on Saturday, with NA3HL rookies leading the team in the 6-3 loss. This year's 4th round draft pick, Michael Kennedy, scored the Jr. Stars' first goal of the season unassisted and announced his presence into the NA3HL. Fellow rookie Ilnur Madiarov netted his first NA3HL goal in the closing minutes of the second period and scored another midway through the third. Assists were by Kennedy and Dante Petrini individually.
The Sunday matinee saw the Jr. Stars forward Blake Lind collect two firsts: his first goal and first fight. This fight was shown throughout the team as the Mid-Cities squad held the lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Unfortunately, the team could not keep the lead as the RoadRunners completed the weekend sweep, winning the game 5-1.
The new faces on the bench have brought much-needed excitement and confidence into the season, and from what we saw, the future is still shining bright. The Jr. Stars are young, with many of the returnees on the team entering their sophomore season. This Mid-Cities squad is gaining experience and is attempting to form into those playoff teams of franchise past.
#27 Ilnur Madiarov 2G 1A 3P
#2 Michael Kennedy 1G 2A 2P
#17 Blake Lind 1G 0A 1P
The Jr. Stars will head south on I-35 and take on the newest team in the South Division, the Austin Ice Bats, this weekend at the Chaparral Ice-The Crossover this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. Sunday's game is at 5:00 pm.