Isaac Hammond

Midget Majors eliminated from OMHA playdowns

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team is in a place they are not used to in early February.

Eliminated in the first round of the OMHA playdowns.

The Stars were in Harrow Saturday night for the fourth game of their series with the Erie North Shore Storm with the latter completing the upset with a 4-2 victory.

The Storm – who had a 6-12-6 regular season – won the six-point series six points to two over the Stars (13-9-2).

After a scoreless first period, Isaac Hammond got Amherstburg on the board first just over two minutes into the second period. The Storm tied it later in the period and sent it to the third period tied 1-1.

The Storm got the game-winning goal with just 5:30 to play in the third period and added a pair of goals – including an empty net goal – to go up 4-1 before Max Clifford scored in the dying seconds to round out the scoring.

“We had a couple of bad bounces on the second (Storm) goal,” said Hammond, after the game.

Amherstburg’s Max Clifford (25) attempts a wrap-around during the third period of Saturday night’s midget major OMHA playdown game in Harrow. Erie North Shore won 4-2 to win the series six games to two. Clifford and Isaac Hammond scored the goals for the Stars.

Hammond indicated it was a matter of simply not being able to score enough goals in the series as well as in Game 4.

“We couldn’t get the puck in the net when we needed it,” he said. “We couldn’t get things to go our way.”

The Stars got down on themselves after the quick goals, Hammond added, and it was tough to come back as the goals came in the latter stages of the third period.

“We couldn’t get the job done when it mattered,” he said.

Hammond believed the team can still look back on a solid 2017-18 year.

“We had a good season,” said Hammond.

This year’s setback is surprising, given that the midget majors have won OMHA titles in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016 and OHF titles in 2011 and 2014.

Midget Majors advance to OMHA semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team is heading back to the OMHA semi-finals.

The Stars defeated the Southpoint Capitals 3-1 Friday night to take the six-point series 6-0 and put themselves in a series with New Hamburg.

“Our main goal was to come out flying and get them off their game and I think we did that,” said Cole Zelle.

Zelle said they wanted to do “the little things” and get the puck in deep and the Stars were able to do that.

Isaac Hammond agreed, also saying they wanted to get the puck in deep and also play physical.

Amherstburg’s Brock Beaudoin (centre) brings the puck into the Southpoint zone during the third game of the OMHA quarterfinal series Friday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won the series with a 3-1 victory.

Amherstburg’s Brock Beaudoin (centre) brings the puck into the Southpoint zone during the third game of the OMHA quarterfinal series Friday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won the series with a 3-1 victory.

The Stars don’t have any history with New Hamburg and don’t know what to expect in the next round. Hammond said the New Hamburg beat a team they lost to in a tournament and that’s about all they know.

“We usually have some idea,” added Zelle. “We have no clue (about New Hamburg). We’ve never seen them before.”

Stars head coach Glen Holden was pleased that Amherstburg was able to get by Southpoint, particularly in light of all the injuries the Stars have.

“I’m extremely happy. These kids are winning some tough hockey games in stressful situations,” said Holden. “We have a deep lineup and they are finding ways to win. That’s a credit to them.”

Putting pressure on Southpoint’s defense was another key to beating them, he added.

Holden also said they don’t know much about their next opponent.

“Their record is very, very impressive,” he said of New Hamburg. “We have yet to see them. We are kind of going in blind.”