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.”

Stars’ juvenile team two points away from OMHA final berth


The Amherstburg Juvenile Stars travelled up the 401 this past weekend to kick off their OMHA Semi-Final series against the Woolwich Wildcats.  The Stars came out flying in game one of the series Saturday afternoon winning the opener 4-1.  Stars goals were scored by Jack Hubbell, Brandon Farhringer, Ernie Godden Jr. and Joe Goulawski.

The game was a busy one for Stars trainer Chad Mailloux with lots of bumps and bruises along the way.  The stars left no doubt in the game and Chris Mitre followed suit in net closing the door to the Wildcat offense.

Head coach Dennis Emerson was pleased with the opener.

“I thought overall we had a solid start to the series and getting two points in game one on the road was huge for us. It should take away some of the pressure on the team going into game two tomorrow,” added Emerson.

The Stars were back underway Sunday afternoon, in what shaped up to be the better of the two performances for the weekend.   Chris Mitre got the start in net again and Emerson said it wasn’t an easy decision.

“We decided to go back with Chris in Game 2 and he certainly helped close the door and allow the team a great chance to win,” Emerson said.

Jack Hubbell opened up the scoring for the stars and that, and a Wildcat goal  is all there would be in regulation.  Tied and in overtime, Brandon Farhringer sent the Stars back home up four points to zero in their OMHA Semi Final match with a 2-1 OT victory.  This same Woolwich team has won back to back OMHA Finals the past two seasons and are heading to Amherstburg next weekend with their backs against the wall.

“Coming home with four points and having three home games in a row, I like the position our team put themselves in,” said Emerson.  “We have really been playing well since the Christmas break.  I really like the players we have and the way they are working together,” he added.

Emerson noted that the team saw a few players driving home between games to write university exams and is really happy with the commitment level he is seeing.

The Stars will host the Wildcats Friday night at 9:10 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.  (the latter two games only if needed). All games  will be played at the Libro Centre.

Juvenile Stars split weekend road games


Special to the RTT

This past weekend the Amherstburg Stars Juvenile team headed up the 401 to kick off their OMHA Semi-Final match up with the New Hamburg Huskies.

Game 1 Friday night saw both teams feeling each other out for most of the early portion of the game. After two periods of the play the game was tied 0-0. The score remained tied until late in the 3rd period when the Stars capitalized on the power play.

Ernie Godden ripped a shot from the hash marks to put the stars up 1-0. That turned out to be all that was needed. Godden would go on to seal the deal for the stars with an empty net goal. Chris Mitri kept the door shut for Amherstburg between the pipes and recorded the shutout.

Captain Garret Blunt gets a shot off late in Game 2 of the OMHA Semi Finals.  The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team is taking on the New Hamburg Huskies.

Captain Garret Blunt gets a shot off late in Game 2 of the OMHA Semi Finals. The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team is taking on the New Hamburg Huskies.

Game 2 was played Sunday afternoon and the Stars, due to some questionable calls in the first game, were short a couple players.

The game was back and forth with both teams trading chances for the most of the first period. After the first the game was tied at 1-1 with Reid Thrasher putting one home from the point for the Stars. Unfortunately that is all the offense the Stars could muster for this game.

They had chances late in the game to tie it up but couldn’t find the back of the net. When asked his thoughts on the weekend, head coach Dennis Emerson said, “We did what we needed to do and got the one win on the road. We would have loved to be coming home with two wins but if we do our job and win our home games we can wrap this thing up this weekend..”

The Stars return home to the Libro Centre this weekend to take on the same New Hamburg team and try and advance to the OMAH Finals. Games are this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Libro Centre. Come out and support some great local hockey action.