Midget Majors capture Bluewater title

 

End season on 10 game winning streak

By Joel Charron

 

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars ended their season on a championship note.

Sunday evening the Stars captured the Bluewater championship with a 4-2 win over the Windsor Jr. Spitfires at the Essex Memorial Arena.

“Our original goal was to win Bluewater,” said head coach Matt Fox “We did it in the regular season and we did it at the end of the year. I’m very proud of these guys, they accomplished a lot. It was an excellent year.”

The Stars finished the regular season 17-4-1 and advanced to the OMHA quarterfinal before being eliminated by Welland in five games.

The Stars went 8-0 in Bluewater playoff round robin and defeating Tecumseh 6-3 in the semi-finals to play Windsor.

Amherstburg ended the season on a 10 game winning streak.

In Sunday’s championship tilt, Amherstburg’s Colin Leardi scored first to give the Stars an early lead.

Robert Lavoie made it 2-0 with just over three minutes to in the first period, scoring on a breakaway.

Amherstburg’s lead grew to 3-0 after Greg Fera accurately placed the puck in the top right corner early in the second period. Shortly after Windsor returned the favor by slipping the puck behind Stars goalie Mitch Topliffe.

Windsor scored again in the third period but just moments after, Colin Leardi sealed the victory with a second goal of the game.

“I really wanted it today,” said Leardi, who finished the game with four points. “I play with great teammates

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars pose for a team photo after defeating Windsor 4-2 for the Bluewater championship title Sunday evening.

The Amherstburg Midget Major Stars pose for a team photo after defeating Windsor 4-2 for the Bluewater championship title Sunday evening.

so I can’t take all the credit.”

Although the main goal was to win an OMHA championship, Leardi said winning the Bluewater title is still very gratifying.

“We were the best team all year and we proved to ourselves that it wasn’t a fluke and we deserve to be at the top of the list,” he said.

Stars captain Eric Shaw said it felt good to end his Amherstburg Minor Hockey career with a championship.

“I’ve had a great time playing in Amherstburg,” said Shaw. “Being able to end it with a championship means a lot but I’m looking forward to what the future holds and hopefully playing at the next level.”

Shaw praised the entire team for battling hard all season.

“We have a great group of guys in the locker room, we always have a good time on the ice,” he said. “I think you play your best when you’re having a good time and that helped us throughout the whole season.”

Stars assistant captain Matt Rosati credits the team for not giving up after they were eliminated for OMHA playdowns.

“We definitely didn’t get where we wanted to and we could have folded it in and quit but we came out and won a championship and ended the season winning 10 straight so I’m feeling pretty good right now,” said Rosati.

Rosati admitted that taking off the Amherstburg jersey for the last time was a little emotional but said he has made some memories that will last a lifetime and praised Fox and his coaching staff.

“I’ve been with these coaches for the past three years and every year has been great,’ he said. “They helped me develop every year so it was good that we could give them a championship to end the year.”

Fox said he was very pleased with the effort his guys showed all year long.

“This is a fantastic group of kids,” said Fox. “We opened the season with a 13 game winning streak and finished with a 10 game winning streak. It was a great year statistically but also even better knowing that all the kids had fun and grew as hockey players.”

The Midget Majors weren’t the only ones that brought home a Bluewater title over the weekend.

The Atom Minors defeated LaSalle 4-1and the Midget AE’s dominated Riverside in a 7-1 win.

Amherstburg sent three teams to the Bluewater Day of Championships and came home with three championships.

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