OMHA

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.”

Amherstburg Midget Majors lose OHF final in double overtime

Special to the RTT

The Midget Major Stars travelled to Woodstock on the weekend of April 8-10th to participate in the OHF Tournament.

The Midget Majors were coming off their historic game six win over Quinte West on home ice to secure the programs fourth OMHA Title in seven years.

The OHF tournament was comprised of teams from Stratford, Woodstock, Erindale, Elliot Lake and Amherstburg. The Stars began the weekend with a Friday morning tilt with Stratford and the evenly contested game would end in a 2-2 tie. Zack Yott and Jacob Deluca were the goal scorers while Garret Blunt and Bryce McGregor added assists.

Front:  Josh Paquette, Rick Wismer (trainer), Jarrod Benninger, Kyle Burns (assistant coach), Colton McGregor, Glen Holden (head coach), Garret Blunt, Mario DiPaolo (assistant coach), Kyle Meloche, Corey Beaulieu (assistant coach), Dershahn Stewart, Lisa Lenson (manager). Back: Ernie Godden, Justin Veldhuis, Michael Petroni, Jacob DeLuca, Zack Yott, Bryce McGregor, Reid Thrasher, Nick Bertram, Jack Hubbell, John Purdie, David Desormeaux, Jake Topliffe, Joe Bouzide. (Special to the RTT)

Front: Josh Paquette, Rick Wismer (trainer), Jarrod Benninger, Kyle Burns (assistant coach), Colton McGregor, Glen Holden (head coach), Garret Blunt, Mario DiPaolo (assistant coach), Kyle Meloche, Corey Beaulieu (assistant coach), Dershahn Stewart, Lisa Lenson (manager). Back: Ernie Godden, Justin Veldhuis, Michael Petroni, Jacob DeLuca, Zack Yott, Bryce McGregor, Reid Thrasher, Nick Bertram, Jack Hubbell, John Purdie, David Desormeaux, Jake Topliffe, Joe Bouzide. (Special to the RTT)

In game two Friday night, the Midgets took on the Elliot Lake Wildcats in a very sluggish effort. The game ended in a 3-1 Stars win, with Deluca, Jarrod Benninger and Joe Bouzide pacing the attack, while Colton McGregor and Ernie Godden each added two assists, along with singles from Benninger and Jake Topliffe. Saturday morning the Midget Majors took on the host team from Woodstock and behind the shutout performance from Josh Paquette, cruised to a 2-0 win. Scoring goals were Yott and Benninger, while assists came from Blunt, Bouzide, Topliffe and Reid Thrasher. Saturday night the Stars took on the Erindale Spitfires, and once again the goaltending of Dershahn Stewart led the Midget Majors to a 1-0 win. Bouzide would provide the games only goal, with assists to Godden and Topliffe.

The Stars secured second place courtesy of their 3-0-1 round robin record and a rematch against Erindale in Sunday morning’s semi-final. Once again Dershahn Stewart shut out the Spitfires to help secure a 3-0 win and a trip to the OHF Finals. Kyle Meloche paced the Stars attack with two goals and Topliffe added a late insurance marker, assisted by Benninger.

Sunday afternoon’s final would pit your Stars against the Stratford Cullitons. Amherstburg came out flying in this tight contest and were rewarded with an early goal scored by Yott, assisted by Meloche. The score would remain 1-0 until late in the second period when Stratford would tie the game. The teams would go back and forth for period three but neither team was able to score in regulation time. The score would remain tied until Stratford would win the contest mid way through the second overtime. A great game by both teams and one that fans would get their moneys worth.

The Midget Majors had a historic season and will be remembered by their discipline, class and A’burg pride they displayed the entire season. The Stars won the St. Thomas Tournament, the Elite 8 Tournament, OMHA Champions and OHF Finalists, all the while accumulating an impressive season record of 44-5-7.

Midget Majors complete comeback and win OMHA title

 

 Special to the RTT

 

The Amherstburg Midget Majors completed an improbable comeback this past weekend to secure their spot as the best midget team in the province.

The Stars began their series with Quinte West with two losses on the road but quickly re-focused and completed their dramatic comeback with a 3-0 win on Easter Sunday in front of a packed Libro Centre.

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team celebrates the OMHA championship they won March 27 at the Libro Centre. The Stars knocked off Quinte West 3-0 in the deciding game.

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team celebrates the OMHA championship they won March 27 at the Libro Centre. The Stars knocked off Quinte West 3-0 in the deciding game.

The Stars travelled to Trenton for Saturday’s Game 5 after winning two games on home ice the previous weekend to set up an all-important game five in a very tough environment. The Quinte West fans packed the rink Saturday to watch an outstanding display of hockey from the two best midget teams in the province. Both teams played a tight checking affair for a period and a half before the Stars were awarded a power play and they capitalized, as Colton McGregor would score on a one-timer to quiet the home crowd and send the loyal Amherstburg fans into a frenzy. Assists were given to Jack Hubbell and Kyle Meloche on the play.

The score would remain 1-0 to begin the third period. Quinte West would come out flying in the third and scored the equalizer just three minutes into the period and two minutes later added the go ahead goal on a rebound in the slot. The Stars pressed hard to try and tie the game and were finally rewarded, as Jarrod Benninger would put home a rebound goal with just 2:33 remaining, Jake Topliffe and McGregor assisted on the goal.

Stars captain Garret Blunt holds the OMHA championship trophy aloft after Amherstburg's win over Quinte West Easter Sunday.

Stars captain Garret Blunt holds the OMHA championship trophy aloft after Amherstburg’s win over Quinte West Easter Sunday.

The game would go into overtime before ending in a 2-2 final. The tie would even the six point series at five points apiece and set the stage for a winner take all Game 6 in Amherstburg on Easter Sunday.

The Libro Centre was packed for Sunday’s Game 6 and the Midget Majors were focused on the task at hand as they came out flying and dominated play. They were rewarded for their efforts, as Garret Blunt would jump on a rebound from a Zack Yott shot to open the scoring. Period one would end with the Stars leading 1-0. While on a penalty kill early in the second, Kyle Meloche would strip the Quinte West defender and drove the net hard to finish off an outstanding shorthanded goal. Three minutes later, while on a power play, Blunt would win the draw to Yott who wired home goal number three for the Midget Majors and set off a deafening roar from the hometown faithful.

Midget Major Stars’ head coach Glen Holden (right) embraces Ernie Godden after the game Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

Midget Major Stars’ head coach Glen Holden (right) embraces Ernie Godden after the game Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

The Midget Majors would play a solid defensive game the rest of the way and Dershahn Stewart would shut the door to earn the shutout. As the clock ticked down the excitement built in the Libro Centre as the crowd and the Amherstburg Midget Majors knew they had completed the improbable comeback to earn their red hats and realize their dream of becoming OMHA Midget Major Champions!

A special thank you goes out to Lauren Baillargeon for her rendition of our national anthem and the Amherstburg Admirals for helping with the game day festivities. The Midget Majors now move on to compete for an OHF Championship in Woodstock April 8-10.

The coaching staff would like to publicly acknowledge the hard work and commitment this great group of young men displayed throughout their historic season. They were 21-1-2 on home ice this year, including a perfect 10-0 during their playdown run. They won with pride, class and were true ambassadors for the town of Amherstburg and Amherstburg Minor Hockey!

 

 

 

 

 

Bantam Minors clinch OMHA championship

 

Special to the RTT

 

The Bantam Minor Stars headed into the weekend tied at a game apiece after splitting games in Aurora last weekend in the OMHA finals.

The boys knew they had the chance to finish their quest for the championship and in front of their supportive home crowd, they seized that opportunity in dominant fashion. After a team meal Saturday the boys were anxious to hit the ice and get things underway and they came out flying.

Dominating play early with some heavy hits, the Stars had Aurora on their heels and eventually opened the scoring early and never looked back skating to a convincing 5-2 victory. With a chance to finish off their opponent before a packed house Sunday and with the championship hardware in building, the boys came out on fire again and dominated play from the drop of the puck. It was almost a mirror image of Saturday’s game, as the Stars opened with some strong physical play and jumping to an early 2-0 lead. They would add two more and skate to a convincing 4-0 win to clinch the OMHA championship!

The Amherstburg Stars bantam minors, adorned in their red OMHA champion hats, gather for a group shot after winning the title Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. (Special to the RTT)

The Amherstburg Stars bantam minors, adorned in their red OMHA champion hats, gather for a group shot after winning the title Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. (Special to the RTT)

On behalf of the entire coaching staff and players we would like to thank all the fans who showed up to support the team in their quest. From everyone who made the signs that lined the glass, sent messages and cheered the boys to victory we cannot thank you enough. Your support was a big part of the driving force behind their championship and we thank each and everyone one of you. To the players, the entire coaching staff is so incredibly proud of your efforts and in believing in the goals set forth at the onset of the season. Your belief in each other as a team allowed you to achieve the ultimate goal – an OMHA championship! Welcome to the red hat club boys!

The bantam minor Stars celebrate with the trophy after winning the OMHA title March 20 at the Libro Centre. The Stars beat the Aurora Tigers.

The bantam minor Stars celebrate with the trophy after winning the OMHA title March 20 at the Libro Centre. The Stars beat the Aurora Tigers. (Special to the RTT)

We would also like to wish the Midget Majors all the best in their quest for another OMHA championship as they head to Quinte after squaring their series up at two games apiece this past weekend. With Glen Holden and his staff at the helm we know the boys will be well prepared and look to complete the comeback.. Good luck boys!

The bantam minors would also like to thank Emma Macvoy for singing the national anthem and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo for participating in the opening ceremonies.

Lastly, we would like to recognize and congratulate the entire  Amherstburg Admirals organization on a fantastic season and final, pushing the Essex 73’s to a seventh game and just coming up short with a 5-4 final. What you guys have accomplished in a short  period of time is nothing less than stellar to say the least. You have brought a lot of respect to playing hometown hockey back into the rink and have been great ambassadors for the game of hockey and the town and for that we thank you. From the ownership team to the players and all the volunteers, we wish you all the best moving forward as you have built a strong foundation which we’re sure will only get better. We can tell you first hand that some of your biggest fans are on this bantam minor team and aspire one day to pull the Admirals jerseys over their heads thanks to your efforts!

Bantam Minors tied at one game apiece in OMHA finals

 

Special to the RTT

The Bantam Minors travelled to Aurora this past weekend for Games 1 and 2 of OMHA finals against the Aurora Tigers.

The Stars out played their opponent during the first period of game one but could not seem to find the back of the net. The second period saw the Tigers score at the nine minute mark but the Stars quickly answered back. The Tigers scored again to take a 2-1 lead. The Stars battled hard during the third period and finally with one minute left and shorthanded the Stars tied the game to force the game into overtime.

With both teams having scoring opportunities and great goaltending, the Aurora Tigers put one in to take Game 1.

After some team bonding and a good night’s rest, the Stars were ready to get on with Game 2. With a pumped up ready to go Stars team, they came out guns a blazing and scored right away in the first period. With a 2-0 lead going into the third period and having been in this situation before, up two goals in previous series and ending in a tie, nerves were high but they never looked back The coaches had a good talk about the importance of holding the lead and leaving on the road stealing a win from the home town team.

Well, the Stars did not disappoint and came out firing scoring three more goals in the third to end the game with a 5-0 win. They bring the OMHA finals back to the ‘Burg this weekend and hopefully a trophy presentation on Sunday in our hometown rink. The Bantam Minors would like to have as much fan support as possible after playing in a boisterous arena in Aurora. Let’s show Aurora how Amherstburg fans appreciate their hockey teams. Game times Saturday at 5:40 p.m. and Sunday at 1:10 p.m. The coaching staff would like to commend the Bantam Minors for their hard work and great accomplishments. Bring it home Stars!

The Bantam minors would also like to give their support to the Midget Majors in their quest for an OMHA championship.