Mastroianni's three point game helps St. Thomas avoid a series sweep by London
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - The St. Thomas Stars survive to fight another night.
Lucas Mastroianni scored the game winner while short-handed and assisted on goals by Jordan Hurtubise and Nicolas Grandy, to lead the Stars to a 5-2 win over the London Nationals, in game four of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) Western Conference quarterfinal, at the Joe Thornton Community Centre.
The Stars extend the series to a fifth game, tomorrow in London, trailing the series three games to one. Game six if the Stars win, would be Friday, at the Joe.
"I told the boys somebody has to be a hero tonight and a lot of guys came through," Stars' head coach Darren Kelly said. "We have four lines and had Robby (Jake Robinson) back. He shut down their top line. If we shut down their top line we have a chance to win the game (and) Hodgy (goalie Jesse Hodgson) played well."
Robinson, in his return following a two game suspension, scored the final Stars' goal, into an empty net with 1:51 remaining in the third period. The Stars lost Robinson just 12 minutes into game one, for a checking from behind major penalty, that included a two game banishment. Not only is Robinson one the Stars' top defensive players, the forward led the Stars in goal scoring during the regular season and had the Stars up 1-0, in game one.
Hodgson made 51 saves between the pipes in game four, taking over from Anthony Hurtubise who started games one to three, as London out shot St. Thomas, 53-36.
"London out shoots everybody every game. We kept pucks to the outside, let them take their chances from the outside," said Kelly.
Sean McGurn also scored for the Stars, while Brady Elder and Eric Langridge, both picked up two assists.
Max Vinogradov and James Turner, replied for London.
"We have to figure out how to win in their barn. If we want to win this series we have to in twice in their barn," said Kelly. "They'll be coming. I know Pat (London head coach Pat Powers). He'll have them ready. It'll be up to us to survive the first 10 minutes. The boys know what they have to do. It's all about execution. We're in survival mode."
As throughout the regular season, the Stars are still plagued with a rash of injuries.
"I've never seen something like this in my life. I can't believe it," said Kelly. "We're in survival mode. We've a lot of injuries and have a lot of guys playing who are banged up.
Defenceman Jackson Brown (concussion), a key cog on the Stars' power play, Jeremy Marco, Mathew Shuckett (leg), Brayden Smith, Brandon Cooper (concussion), Carson Moniz (out since October), fill the Stars' medical room, some done for the season.
"We had two APs that played well for us tonight and they'll probably be back in the line-up (game five)," said Kelly. "Those kids are going alright. We had five D tonight and we'll go back there with five D."