Midget Stars bring home first ever OHF title

Special to the RTT

It was a weekend that was destined to be a memory maker from the get go.

The Amherstburg Stars Midget Major A Hockey team made it to the Ontario Hockey Federation Championships as OMHA Champs two years in a row, and were only looking for one thing…redemption.    After taking home the silver medal in 2010, the quest for this year’s gold started out with a round robin style tournament.

The memories began at the OHF Banquet Dinner for the teams, and after a wonderful meal and an enlightening guest speaker, the Stanley Cup put in a surprise appearance to inspire the teams in their quest for greatness.

The Stars opened the tournament on Friday April 8, 2011 against the Credit Valley Wolves who were representing the Greater Toronto Hockey League.    The Stars dominated the play early in the game, and although the Wolves battled back to within 1 goal, the Stars came out on top with a 4 – 3 victory.  Goals were scored by Jordan Ryan (Desjardins), Daniel Slipchuk (Rosati), Tyler Pope-Ferguson (Ryan) and Zoran Popel (Ryan, St. Louis).  Nick Keeler played outstanding in net.  Game MVP was awarded to Daniel Slipchuk.

Game two on Friday was against the Stars Ontario Minor Hockey Association rival, the Stouffville Clippers.  The game was tight, as the Clippers were looking for a little redemption themselves after suffering defeat for the OMHA title just weeks before.  A hard fought game brought

the two teams to a 2 – 2 tie.  Goals in this contest were scored by Tyler Pope-Ferguson (Bechard) and Blain Bechard (Rosati, Slipchuk).  Mark Fenty played a solid game between the pipes and was awarded game MVP.

Day two of the tournament started out with a dominating win over the Schumacher Cubs who represented the Northern Ontario Hockey Alliance.

The Cubs were a big physical team, but the Stars were able to hold the line, as several of their key players were able to dole out and take the physical play.

The Stars took the game with a 7 – 3 victory.  Goals were scored by Eric Shaw (Desjardins), Mike Popel (Shepley), Eric Shaw (UNA), Frank Desjardins (Crosier), Mike Popel (Pope-Ferguson, Z. Popel), Jordan Ryan (M. Popel, Pope-Ferguson) and Jordan Ryan (M. Popel).  Nick Keeler was again outstanding in net.  Game MVP was awarded to Mike Popel.

The final game of the Round Robin was the only loss for the Stars.  The Sarnia Jr. Sting AA team representing the Alliance Hockey Association was a solid team with skaters and physical players alike.  The Stars put up a brave battle, but succumbed to the Sting losing 4 – 1.  The lone goal during this contest was scored by Jordan Ryan (M. Popel, Shepley).  Mark Fenty made several key saves during the contest as he was put to the test.  Game MVP was awarded to Stars Captain, Jordan Ryan.

The Stars completed the round robin in second place overall, and opened the semi-final competition against the Credit Valley Wolves (GTHL).  The Stars jumped to an early lead in the game, and despite attempts by the Wolves for a third period rally, were able to hang on to their lead and took the game 6 – 4.  Goals were scored by Frank Desjardins (Shepley), Tyler Pope-Ferguson (UNA), Frank Desjardins (Shepley), Jordan Ryan (Z. Popel, Pope-Ferguson), Blain Bechard (Ryan) and Tyler Pope-Ferguson (M. Popel).  Nick Keeler was again solid in net.  Game MVP was awarded to Frank Desjardins.

Advancing to the finals, the contest was looking to be a good one, as Sarnia Jr. Sting wrapped up their semi-final with a 4 – 3 win over the Schumacher Cubs.  The game opened up with end-to-end action.  The game was tied at one after the first period, and tied at 2 after 2.

The game’s deciding goal was scored with a little over a minute remaining in the third, as it came down to the wire. The Stars held off the attack of the Sting forwards and brought home the title.  Goals were scored by Mike Popel, Tyler Pope-Ferguson, and Frank Desjardins (Popel, Ryan). Game MVP was Tyler Pope-Ferguson.

Coaches Matt Fox, Steve Dender, Ted Jacob along with T.J. McWhinnie (at the sidelines), were elated as the boys celebrated their win.  “Was their any doubt?” was the question posed by Coach Matt Fox.

Stars Captain, Jordan Ryan, led the Tournament in points with 9 (6G 3A), followed closely by Tyler Pope-Ferguson (5G 3A), and Mike Popel (3G 5A).

Tyler Pope-Ferguson was also awarded Best Forward.  A big thank you goes to Luke Parlette, who, after injury in game one of the round robin, stayed (with a broken arm) to cheer on his teammates as they completed their quest for the cup.

Congrats goes to the entire team; Adam Robinson, Zoran Popel, Tyler Morand, Mike Popel, Daniel Bondy, Luke Parlette, Matt Rosati, Brandin Crosier, Eric Shaw, Daniel Slipchuk, Dean Shepley, Cameron Scott, Blain Bechard, Mark Fenty, Nick Keeler, Jordan Ryan, Jack St. Louis, Frank Desjardins, Tyler Pope-Ferguson, and coaching staff Matt Fox, Ted Jacob, Marlene Ryan, Steve Dender and T.J. McWhinnie.  A good job done by all.

One response to “Midget Stars bring home first ever OHF title”

  1. marc renaud says:

    Great job Midget Majors , you have made Amherstburg proud.