CRAIG SCHROTER
Special to The Standard

A slow start proved to be the Lindsay Muskies nemesis as they fell to the Toronto Junior Canadiens by a score of 3 to 2 Friday night at the Rec Complex.
The Muskies did not have a lot of jump in the first period allowing the visitors to open up a 2 to 0 lead. Matthew Di Cesare scored on a wrap around play at 8:20 from Connor Lepage and Rizvan Mansurov, then at 14:48 Tyler Amaral scored from Amadeus Lombardi and Trevor Andrews. The Muskies only fired two shots on goal which had the coaching staff concerned as they came off the ice.
I don’t know what Head Coach Brendan O’Grady had to say in the first intermission but it worked as the Fish came out with a lot more jump in the second and it paid off. Noah Vandervinne scored his fifth of the season on a nifty backhander up high from Jacob Dupuis at 2:05, then just over a minute later it was Jake Rauch’s fifth of the year that tied the game a 2 to 2. Tristan Roberts and Tucker Firth assisted that goal. At 14:10 though Liam Fedak would score what would be the game winner from Matthew O’Brien and Claudio DeGasperis off a goal mouth scramble. Lindsay netminder Dean Buchholz made a number of big saves toward the end of the second to keep his team close.
The Muskies out shot the Junior Canadiens in the third period but were not able to find to the equalizer.
After the game I had a chance to speak with the newly named Assistant Coach Jordan Sinclair who sees the potential this team has, but shares the frustration that the team feels.
“We had a rough start,” Sinclair said. “We need to come out better. We can compete with anyone in the league when we are going. We have the talent.”
I also had a chance to speak with Daniel Fagan (pictured), a Center who joined the team earlier this week from the Pittsburgh U18 Elite squad. Fagan said he was nervous when he first came to the team but said everyone in the locker room has been great. “They often start conversations with me rather than leave me alone, and they’ve been great to help me learn new systems”.
The next action for the Muskies is Tuesday night at Saint Mikes in Toronto.