Max Clifford

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 lose to Erie North Shore, fall behind in six-point series

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget majors are in a hole and will look to climb back into their six-point OMHA playdown series this weekend.

The Stars lost 4-1 to the Erie North Shore Storm last Saturday night at the Libro Centre. The Storm took a 2-0 lead early but Brock Beaudoin’s second period goal brought the Stars within one. However, the visitors scored two times late in the third period to put the game away.

“We’ve got to be better in our own zone,” commented forward Max Clifford, after Saturday night’s game.

Dean DeLuca (white jersey) gets a scoring chance in front of the Erie North Shore goal Saturday night. The midget major Stars lost 4-1 to fall behind four points to two in their six-point series.

Clifford said they have to concentrate on making the simple plays and not doing anything outside of their roles. He added they will put the game behind them and focus on Game 4, which is this Saturday in Harrow at 7:30 p.m.

“We can’t let this hang over our heads,” said Clifford.

The Stars face elimination this Saturday as Erie North Shore leads the six-point series four points to two.

“Everyone has to be better,” said Clifford. “We have to be better as a team and as individuals.”
Clifford added they have to keep moving forward and play like they did at the end of the 2017-18 Bluewater League regular season, when they had a six-game winning streak.

“We’re in a tough spot,” he admitted, but said they have to use it to motivate them and get back into the series.

Midget Majors head to New Hamburg with OMHA semi-final series tied

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major team is heading to New Hamburg with the OMHA semi-final playdown series tied at two points apiece.

Jacob DeLuca scored 55 seconds into overtime to give the Stars a 5-4 win Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. It came less than 24 hours after New Hamburg had defeated the Stars 6-2 in the series’ first game.

DeLuca, who recorded a hat trick in the game, credited teammate Max Clifford for making the play to get him the puck. He said the difference between Sunday afternoon and Saturday night was they “pushed back” more Sunday.

Clifford said they entered Saturday night’s game not knowing anything about New Hamburg, a team they found out is big and skilled. He believed the win Sunday will give them confidence heading on the road this weekend.

Amherstburg's Kyran Kelly (centre, white jersey) tries to play the puck with his feet as he is surrounded by three New Hamburg players last Sunday. Amherstburg won this game 5-4 in overtime but lost 6-2 the night before, meaning the OMHA midget major playdown series is tied.

Amherstburg’s Kyran Kelly (centre, white jersey) tries to play the puck with his feet as he is surrounded by three New Hamburg players last Sunday. Amherstburg won this game 5-4 in overtime but lost 6-2 the night before, meaning the OMHA midget major playdown series is tied.

“We’ve got to go there and get it done,” said Clifford.

Head coach Glen Holden noted the fact the Stars gave up ten goals in two games, something they have to improve upon from the goalie on out.

“We have to have better defensive play,” he said, adding the ten goals in two games “is just not us.”

New Hamburg earned the Stars respect, Holden indicated.

“They are a big, physical team who brings speed to the game,” he said. “We definitely have a lot of respect for them. They are well coached. It’s a good match-up for us.”

Holden said they can’t afford to take a shift off and have to keep working if they want to beat New Hamburg.

The next two games are on the road Friday and Saturday with a fifth game, if necessary, being at the Libro Centre Sunday.

 

Bulldogs open 2016-17 hockey season with tie and win

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team have opened the season with a tie and a victory.

The Bulldogs opened the 2016-17 WECSSAA boys hockey season with a 4-4 tie with the Essex Red Raiders last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (white jersey) drives to the Essex net on a play where he would score a third period goal. Amherst scored with nine seconds left to salvage a 4-4 tie last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (white jersey) drives to the Essex net on a play where he would score a third period goal. Amherst scored with nine seconds left to salvage a 4-4 tie last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst opened the scoring in the second period to make it 1-0 and had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 at points during the rest of the game. However, Essex clawed back each time and eventually took a 4-3 lead. Bulldogs captain Reid Stieler would salvage the tie for the Bulldogs with a goal with only nine seconds left in the third period.

“Obviously we want to win but the tie is good,” Stieler said after the game.

Stieler said there are a lot of new faces on the Bulldogs team this year and they are trying to get the younger players acclimated to high school hockey where they will face bigger players throughout the season.

“It was a good first game,” said Stieler. “We were expecting a slow start to the season.”

When they got down late in the game, Stieler said they still were able to fight back due to being encouraged never to give up.

“We are always told to stay positive, keep our heads up and get the puck up high,” said Stieler.

Brock Beaudoin had two goals in the game with Max Clifford scoring the other.

Bulldogs coach Pat Garrett said he was pleased with the Essex game overall, but wished they could have put them away when the Bulldogs had the lead. He pointed out a powerplay opportunity that, if the Bulldogs had cashed in, would have given them a 4-2 lead at that point.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate the tying goal that was scored with nine seconds left against Essex Nov. 24. The game ended tied at four.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate the tying goal that was scored with nine seconds left against Essex Nov. 24. The game ended tied at four.

General Amherst has 13 new players this season and lost 11 off of last year’s SWOSSAA championship team, Garrett stated.

“It’s going to take these guys time to gel,” he said.

It’s more than a rebuilding year, he added, as Garrett expects the team to be in the mix for a WECSSAA AA championship.

“I feel good about this team,” he said. “We’re a young team but that’s not a bad thing.”

Garrett liked the way they fought back against Essex but noted they have more teams to compete with this season. There are now eight teams classified as AA schools.

“There will be a lot for us to see,” he said.

The Bulldogs were in action Monday afternoon at the WFCU Centre in Windsor and knocked off the Brennan Cardinals 3-1. Goals were scored by Beaudoin, Brandon Salvati and Cole Zelle. General Amherst was at home Tuesday afternoon against Holy Names in a game that was played after this issue of the RTT went to press.