Midget Majors eliminate Southpoint; to play Welland in quarterfinals

 

By Joel Charron

It took longer than expected but the Amherstburg Midget Major Stars got the job done.

After scoring a combined six goals in the first three games of the playdown series against the Southpoint Capitals, the Amherstburg Stars lit the lamp frequently in a 7-1 win over the Capitals to advanced to the OMHA quarterfinals.

Robert Lavoie led the way with a hat trick and an assist and four other Stars cashed in a multi point night enroute to a dominating win. Stars goalie Mitch Topliffe was once again stellar between the pipes, keeping the talented Capitals lineup to only one goal.

“This was a tight series that could have gone either way, but our boys showed they wanted it more and we really took it to them tonight,” said Stars head coach Matt Fox.

It took a few moments for Amherstburg to find their legs as Southpoint’s first two shots rang to the crossbar.

With under five minutes left in the first period, Lavoie beat the Southpoint goalie through the five hole for his first goal, 12 seconds later Stars defenseman Conor Maronate found the back of the net for a quick 2-0 lead.

 

Stars forward Greg Fera slips the puck between the Southpoint goaltender’s pads in second period action last Tuesday evening at the UCCU Complex.

Stars forward Greg Fera slips the puck between the Southpoint goaltender’s pads in second period action last Tuesday evening at the UCCU Complex.

Cole Phibbs scored the Capitals lone goal in the first period.

The Stars added three goals in the second from Greg Fera, Josh Laframboise and Lavoie for a commanding 5-1 lead after 30 minutes of play.

Lavoie completed the hat trick in the third and Stars captain Eric   Shaw added his own tally as Amherstburg advanced out of the Bluewater League for the fourth straight year.

After having difficulty putting goals in the net, Lavoie said it was nice to see the Stars return to their five goal a game average.

“It’s nice to put pucks in the net against a team in an elimination game,” said Lavoie. “It sends a message to the rest of the teams ahead of us that we are coming.”

Lavoie said the Stars came to the rink ready and focused to end the series at home.

“Everyone worked together and it all clicked,” he said.

Fox noted a big part of the Stars success in this series was due in part of their penalty kill. The Stars went a perfect 18 for 18 in the penalty kill.

“Our PK has been phenomenal and when that’s on we are a tough team to beat,” said Fox.

Fox credited Noah Renaud and Laframboise for embracing their role on the special teams unit.

“Those two kids were absolute studs tonight,” he stated.

The Stars quarterfinal opponent will be the Welland Tigers.

These two teams have a bit of history. Amherstburg eliminated the Tigers in three games in last years OMHA quarterfinal match up and Welland defeated Amherstburg earlier this season in a tournament final in Fort Erie.

“We’re just happy to be moving on,” he said. “We really don’t care who we play. Who ever it is we’ll be ready for them”

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