Amherstburg Stars

Midget Majors make Silver Stick finals

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team recently headed up the road to Petrolia for the Silver Stick Tournament.

After losing the first two game in the round robin, the midget majors had their backs against the wall in an elimination game against Strathroy Jr. Rockets.

The Stars got on the board first with a goal by Nolan Soulliere, but by the end of the first the Stars were down 3-1.

With two shorthanded goals in the second by Andrew Avolio and Alex DeSantis, the game was tied going into the third.

The Amherstburg Stars midget major team travelled to Petrolia recently and were the finalists in the Midget “A” Silver Stick tournament. (Submitted photo)

Desantis had a power play goal in the third but Strathroy tied it up.

In the final minutes, Lucas Gillen got the game winner to put the Stars into the semi-finals against St. Thomas.

The semi-finals didn’t start the way the midgets wanted. After falling behind, Ryan Hanley scored with seconds left in the first period.

Once again, the midgets gave up a goal and trailed 2-1 after two periods.

In the third period, Lucas Gillen and Ryan Hanley with his second goal of the game put the midgets up for good and Andrew Avolio add an empty net goal to send the Stars to the finals against Mt. Brydges.

With having only ten skaters for most of the tournament, the Stars ran out of gas in the finals. Mt. Brydges had a relentless attack and beat the Stars 5-0 to win the tournament. Nick Bozin was named player of the game for Amherstburg.

 

Local hockey team raise 500+ canned goods for Mission

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

A local hockey team is learning the true meaning of sportsmanship.

The Amherstburg Novice Major hockey team braved the -3 degree weather to collect canned goods for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Head coach Jean-Marc Mongeau said the event was also a team building event. He noted it’s important to give back to those in need within the community.

The seven and eight-year-old hockey players divided into five groups and went door-to-door to collect on Boblo Island as well as the River Canard, Crownridge, Kingsbridge, Pointe West and Golfview subdivisions.

While numbers aren’t yet final, team manager Kari Dufour estimates well over 500 cans were donated.

The Amherstburg Stars novice major team collected over 500 canned goods for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

“It’s important to give back to the community and do things aside from hockey,” said Dufour. “The kids look up to these NHL players. While they have money, our kids have their time to help make a difference.”

Also donated were hats, mittens, coats and even monetary donations.

Mongeau said it’s important for the kids to learn at a young age to help out their community.

“They understand there’s a huge commitment when it comes to hockey but there’s more to it than just the hockey piece,” said Mongeau.

“They now have in their minds they can do things to help, even at seven and eight-years-old,” said Dufour. “There’s lots of things to do in the community to help.”

 

 

 

 

Amherstburg Stars juvenile team captures OMHA title

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Sunday was “Red Hat Day” at the Libro Centre for the Amherstburg Stars juvenile team.

The Stars defeated King Rebellion 3-2 for the second straight day to win the six-point OMHA final series six points to two. By winning the OMHA championship, the Stars got to wear the symbolic red baseball caps that go along with it.

The Stars won 3-2 Saturday night after building a 3-0 lead after two periods on goals by Garret Blunt, Jack Hubbell and Joe Goulawski. In Sunday’s game, they led 2-0 in the second period and 3-1 midway through the third only to have King Rebellion shave the lead to one goal each time but the Stars hung on to win that game and the OMHA title.

Brandon Fahringer scored twice for Amherstburg in Sunday’s game with Jake Topliffe adding the other goal.

The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team celebrate after winning the OMHA title Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The Stars defeated King Rebellion 3-2 Sunday and also won by that same score Saturday night. Amherstburg won the series six points to two.

“It feels awesome,” said head coach Dennis Emerson. “We hope to build on this next year.”
Emerson said it was only the second year for the relaunched juvenile program, with the Stars having made it to the OMHA semi-final last year. He said many players joined this year with the goal being an OMHA title.

“This was our goal right from the beginning,” said Emerson.

Emerson credited a strong midget program for the quick success of the juvenile team. He said they weren’t phased by losing the first game of the series to King Rebellion last weekend, saying they had “road legs” and had a couple of bounces go against them. Noting they lost the first game in other series, Emerson said he knew they could battle back.

Blunt, the team’s captain, agreed as he pointed out they came back to win series against Erie North Shore and Belle River after losing the first game.

“It was a familiar spot, having to win three straight,” he said.

Blunt was one of the happy Stars’ players taking a turn with the trophy on the ice.

“It feels good,” he said. “I knew we could do it. It was a little closer than we wanted but we did it.”

Captains with the Amherstburg Stars juvenile team accept the OMHA championship trophy March 25 at the Libro Centre following their 3-2 win over King Rebellion.

It was the team’s goal from the start of the year, Blunt agreed.

“We had the right group of guys,” he said.

Goalie Chris Mitre said winning the OMHA title was “unbelievable for sure” and noted they bounced back after a tough start to the season. Mitre said “the boys started rolling” and when they began to find their game, he knew they would be tough to beat.

“We battled through and we did it,” said Mitre.

The Stars will now advance to the OHF juvenile championship tournament, to be held in early April. The Quinte West Minor Hockey Association will be the hosts.

Stars, Rebellion trade wins in the opening weekend of the OMHA Finals

 

Special to the RTT

 

The last team left in minor hockey pressing for an OMHA Championship was in action again this weekend as the Amherstburg Juvenile Stars faced off against the King Rebellion in Games 1 and 2 of the OMHA Finals.

Game 1 went Saturday afternoon and saw an injury-riddled Stars team come out and weather the storm for the first 30 minutes of the game but it was the Rebellion who opened the scoring at the 6:25 minute mark of the second period.  The Stars got on the board and tied the game at the 2:08 mark of the second period on the strength of an Ernie Godden Jr. goal but the tie was short lived and the Stars could not hold off a surging Rebellion offense who jumped back in to the lead just a short 27 seconds later.

The Stars would gain some confidence heading into the last frame as Brandon Fahringer tied the game at two late in the second period.  That, however, was the most the Stars offense would be able to muster on this day.

Giving up two goals in the third period, the Stars dropped the opener 4-2. Stars goaltender Jack Langlois had a great performance in net but coach Dennis Emerson thought the team left a little to be desired.

“I thought we came out fast and matched King’s intensity but we just couldn’t get that full game effort,” said Emerson. “I don’t think we did a great job of making things easier on Jack in net.”

When asked if the Stars third period lapse is concerning, Emerson rejected the notion.

“These players know exactly what it takes to win a Red Hat (OMHA Championship), we have several players who already have one; I know they’ll come out flying tomorrow and I’m certain you will see a different result.”

Some St. Patrick’s day “luck of the Irish” must have fallen on the side of the Stars as it seemed coach Emerson’s proclamation after game one was coming true in Game 2.

After coming out of the penalty box Stars’ forward Joe Goulawski opened the scoring for Amherstburg at the 5:24 mark of the first period, leaving no doubt on his breakaway.  Goulawski would keep the Stars offense going early in the second period pushing the Stars to a 2-0 lead at the 10:45 mark.

With a resilient effort and top notch special teams, the Stars’ Mike Lenson added the back-breaking goal with only 2:32 left in the third period to shut out the Rebellion 3-0 in Game 2 of the OMHA Finals. Chris Mitre picked up the win in net and was a key contributor to the overall team success.

“Chris was great in net,” said a smiling Coach Emerson. “Our special teams, our goaltending, it was all great. The boys really showed a lot of character in today’s game.”

In a game that saw the Stars penalized almost three times as much as the home team, the special teams really were the difference maker.

“We were up 2-0 early in the third on the PK and we had guys diving in front of shots and working extra hard on the back check. We knew on the bench that if we could press to make it 3-0 and not give them any hope, we could pull this off,” said Stars forward Garret Blunt. “I really like the momentum we built up this weekend heading into next weekend at home.”

The Stars are back in action this weekend at the Libro Centre hosting the same Rebellion team on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. There is no charge to get into the games. Come support your local Juvenile Stars on their quest for the Red Hat.

 

Amherstburg Stars juvenile team advance to OMHA finals

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars juvenile hockey team is one step closer to a provincial title.

The Stars advanced to the OMHA finals thanks to a 2-1 victory over the Woolwich Wildcats Friday night at the Libro Centre. The win meant the Stars captured the OMHA semi-final series six points to none as Amherstburg won twice in Woolwich the previous weekend.

The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team celebrates after their 2-1 over the Woolwich Wildcats March 9 at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg wo the series six points to none and advanced to the OMHA finals.

After Mathieu Fife opened the scoring for Woolwich early in the first period, the Stars rallied to tie the game on a goal by Garret Blunt later in the period. The teams played a scoreless second period before Jack Hubbell’s powerplay goal midway through the third period put the Stars ahead to stay.

“We feel great about it,” said Stars head coach Dennis Emerson. “We’re excited.”

Emerson said the Stars have been playing well for a few months now.

“We’ve been on a roll since Christmas,” he said. “The kids are all buying in to what we’re trying to do. We’re playing as a team.”

Blunt said the team is happy to make the finals and have no preference as to who they play.

“We’ll take on anyone,” he said.

Amherstburg’s Jake Topliffe (5) tries a wraparound on Woolwich goalie Connor Duench during the third period of last Friday night’s OMHA semi-final game at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 2-1.

The juvenile Stars is still a relatively young program in Amherstburg and Blunt said they are putting it on the map quickly. Blunt noted juvenile-aged players no longer have to travel to Harrow to continue their hockey careers.

“It feels really good,” he said, about advancing to the OMHA finals. “It shows the juvenile team means business in Amherstburg.”

Blunt said they wanted to “exploit” the Woolwich goalie and get shots low, look for rebounds “and that’s what we did.”

“It’s good to be playing here,” he added. “It wasn’t like that a couple of years ago. It’s good to have a team.”