Bantam minors unveiled Silver Stick banners


By Joel Charron

Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association added a few more championship banners to their collection Friday evening.

Before the semi final matchup against the Riverside Rangers the Amherstburg Bantam Minor Stars saw the International Silver Stick championship banners revealed for the first time.

“They worked very hard for this,” said manager Rick Hubbell. “They showed a lot of

The Amherstburg Bantam Minor Stars stand along the blueline just before the banners are unveiled.

dedication and they listened to their coaches.”

The bantam minors have played in Silver Stick regional tournaments four times with that including when they were atom minors, atom major and pee wee majors in addition to this season. This season’s regional tournament in Woodstock last November saw the Stars go 2-1 in round-robin play, good for second place. The Stars beat the host Woodstock team 2-1 and then knocked off the North London Nationals with a Jake Topliffe goal in double overtime 1-0 to advance to the International Silver Stick tournament.

“This is really exciting because we are the first Amherstburg team to win a Silver Stick championship,” said Topliffe.

The young winger said it was particularly exciting for him because it was his double overtime goal that sent them to the International tournament. Topliffe said he has retired the stick that he used to score the goal.

“I will not use that stick anymore,” he joked. “That’s a championship stick.”

The International Silver Stick tournament was in the second week of January and was the Stars’ second trip to such a tournament, having been invited as an at-large team to the Port Huron, Michigan tournament last year.


Demitri Bertoni, Jake Topliffe and Riley Brown watch has their Silver Stick championship banners are unveiled before their semi-final playoffs matchup against Riverside, Friday night.

Amherstburg knocked off three-time defending OMHA playdown champion Cobourg 5-3 to advance to the semi-finals against a strong Southpoint team. In a

very tight and hard fought contest, the Stars prevailed 2-1 in dramatic fashion by scoring the game-winning goal 38 seconds left in the third period.

The championship game was against Centre Wellington was a rematch from the round-robin, where Amherstburg lost 3-0. This time, Amherstburg won 2-1 and captured the International Silver Stick title for the bantam minor “A” division for 2011-12.

Head coach Bob Mathieson said he was happy for the players for their banners are now hanging where every can see their accomplishments.

Mathieson added that the Silver Stick championship is a testament to their hard work.

“Are we the best team on paper in the province… no, but when they play the systems and the effort is there, it goes to show you anyone can do anything they want. If they come together as a team they can accomplishment anything,” said Mathieson.

Goalie Jack Langlois said it is an “honour” to have their banner along side Amherstburg’s other championship teams.

“It’ll be there for a long time,” said Langlois.

Along with the recognition at the UCCU Complex, the Stars will also have the team name engraved on a plaque at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for the year following their victory.

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