Blaine Bechard signs with Jr. B Port Colborne


By Joel Charron

Next season the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars’ blueline will be missing a familiar face.

Blaine Bechard, an assistant captain of the past two seasons and defensive stalwart of the Stars will be playing for the Jr. B team, Port Colborne in the Golden Horseshoe division of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League after recently signing a contract.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Bechard.

Last month, Bechard attended the Pirates’ first rookie skate and admits he was unsure on where he saw his hockey career going.

At the skate, Bechard caught the eye of Port Colborne’s general manager and head coach Brian Kelly.

Kelly said he was impressed with the 17-year-old’s foot speed and skating ability. He added that Bechard has good composure with the puck and demonstrates a defense first mentality.

“Good defensemen are hard to find,” said Kelly. “He always keeps his head up and makes that good first pass. He is always thinking defense first. Those are the things that really caught my eye.”

Kelly said the more he watched the 5’11” 180 pounder the more he saw “the little things he brought to the table.”

“I think the kid can help us,” said Kelly.


Blaine Bechard will skip his final year with the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars to play Jr. B hockey in Port Colborne.

Kelly called Bechard after the first skate to express his interest.

“It was an exciting phone to get but at the same time it was a big family decision,” said Bechard.

After letting the offer simmer for a few days and talking it over with his family, Bechard made the decision to sing with the Pirates.

“This is why I play competitive hockey, to play at the next level,” he said.

Stars head coach Matt Fox said he was not surprised to learn that Bechard signed with the Jr. B franchise.

“I was pretty confident that he was going to sign,” said Fox. “It’s a tremendous credit to the amount of work that the kid has put in. He’s been dedicated to improving himself and he’s really put the work in to do so.”

Bechard becomes the third Amherstburg Star under Fox to be signed by the Pirates.

Last year, former Stars’ Jordan Ryan and Zoran Popel both played in Port Colborne and having some familiar faces a few hours from home puts Bechard at ease.

“They are going to be considered vets there now and they are guys that I look up to,” he said.

Bechard knows he’ll be seeing some bigger guys at the Jr. B., however playing against older, bigger players is nothing new to him. Bechard played his first year of Midget Major when he was 15.

“It was huge playing Midget Major last year,” said Bechard. “It was a huge building block that gave me so much more experience playing against kids two years older.”

Heading into the offseason Bechard is working particularly hard, with one goal in mind.

“I want to become one of their top four defenseman,” stated Bechard.

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