Midget Majors annihilate LaSalle in Bluewater playoff opener

 

By Joel Charron

 

Now that the OMHA championship is off the table, the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars have focused their attention on another title, the Bluewater League championship.

Sunday night the Stars took their first step in capturing the league title by dismantling their long time rival the LaSalle Sabres 9-2 at the Vollmer Centre.

Ryan Holzel led the charge with four goals while Colin Leardi, Josh Laframboise and Robert Lavoie each had a three-point night.

“We had an easy week of practice to put positive thoughts through the players heads after the way we ended our season,” said head coach Matt Fox. “It’s good to get back in the W column. The effort level was there, the compete was there, we were good in all facets of the game.”

LaSalle took an early 1-0 lead after an errant shot deflected off the stick of an Amherstburg player past Stars’ goalie Chris Wallace while on the power play.

However that seemed to be the wake up call the Stars needed as the pumped four goals past LaSalle netminder Jean Franco Donato in a span of four minutes. Holzel found the back of the net twice, once on the power play. Zak Parlette added another power play goal and Stars captain Eric Shaw rounded out the first period scoring.

Amherstburg continued the onslaught in the second with Laframboise lighting the lamp and Holzel twice more, including a shorthanded marker to the top left corner with 5.2 seconds left in the second frame as the Stars headed to the locker room with a commanding 7-1 lead.

LaSalle scored their second goal of the game just 1:15 into the final frame and Laframboise added his second of the game and Leardi knocked one on the power play to round out the scoring with under five minutes left to play.

“We were all pretty disappointed losing to Welland last week and we wanted to come and put a pounding on LaSalle,” said Holzel. “LaSalle has always been a big rival of ours so it always feels nice to beat those guys.”

Holzel admits the Bluewater championship wasn’t the original goal in the beginning of the year however, things change.

“We still want to win,” said Holzel. “Focus has just shifted a little bit.”

Fox said a week of fun at practice seemed to loosen up his players.

“There is a lot of pressure on these kids. We forget that we only had a couple kids that returned from last year so we relied on the younger kids a lot this year,” said Fox. “Now that the pressure is off, we are just going to go out there and have some fun and hopefully win Bluewater.”

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