MIdget Majors in OMHA semi-finals

By John Holzel

The final four.

That’s where the Amherstburg Midget Majors Stars find themselves again this season as the defending OMHA champs are right back to where they wanted to be, a chance to challenge for the title.

Gone to the sidelines are Riverside, St. Thomas and now Grimsby.

The Stars held a comfortable four point lead in their six-point series and looked to finish off the Peach Kings with a victory last Friday night in Grimsby.

The Stars had to dig deep as they were without a couple of their power forwards, Mike Popel and Tyler Pope-Ferguson, due to suspensions.

With Nick Keeler between the pipes for the Stars, it was Daniel Slipchuk opening the scoring, as he barley fit the puck between the post and the Grimsby net minder’s pads. Brandon Crosier and Jack St. Louis picked up the assist.

The Peach Kings took little time to square the contest at 1-1, but the Stars put the game away with a trio of goals in a four-minute span in the second period.

Captain Jordan Ryan took over the game with a pair of goal and an assist. Ryan scored five-hole on his first and used a hustling Frank Desjardin as a decoy and calmly tucked the puck into the bottom corner for a 3-1 stars lead.

The Stars kept taking advantage of Grimsby mistakes and with five minutes to play in the second, Desjardins cashed in on a three on one with Slipchuk and Ryan drawing assists.

Grimsby got a goal before the second period ended and had a chance to do more damage as the Stars ran into a couple of penalties to start the third.

A tight third period saw the hometown Peach Kings throw some good chance on the Stars cage but Keeler was equal on the opportunities until four minutes left when the Peach Kings climbed within one.

The Stars defense would hold on tight and skate away with a 4-3 victory and a sweep of the six-point series.

“It was a great series to win,” said head coach Matt Fox. “Our defense really stepped it up and I believe it was the difference between the two teams tonight.”

Fox noted that Ryan “played like a monster on every shift” and the boys in the dressing room answered the bell.

“We played the body hard and stayed disciplined,” said Ryan. “We finished our chances that were given and it paid off. We came out winners.”

The Stars next opponent is the Brampton Battalion.

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