Former Barrie Colt defenceman moved to forward
Cameron Lizotte and his parents, Lise and Paul, celebrate with the J. Ross Robertson Cup as Ontario Hockey League champions after Lizotte and his Erie Otters teammates defeated the Mississauga Steelheads. The Otters will now represent the OHL at the Memorial Cup, which got underway in Windsor on Friday night. The Otters open the tournament Saturday afternoon versus the Western Hockey League champion Seattle Thunderbirds. SUBMITTED
The Lizotte clan raised a hard-nosed, hard-working hockey player and now they got to see him raise the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
Falconbridge native Cameron Lizotte had his parents, Paul and Lise, in the stands at Erie Insurance Arena for the Erie Otters’ OHL championship-clinching 4-3 overtime victory over the Mississauga Steelheads last week.
“I was grateful to have my parents there,” said Lizotte, who also played 57 regular-season and 15 playoff games with the Barrie Colts over two seasons.
“To spend it with them was special, because they helped me a lot to get me where I am today,” Lizotte said of his parents. “I called my brothers when I was on the ice and they were enjoying it, too. They were having fun back in Sudbury.”
It has been a wild ride for the 19-year-old defenceman-turned-forward, who started the year as a key member of the Barrie Colts’ D corps before being dealt to powerhouse Erie near the trade deadline in January.
“It has been crazy,” Lizotte said. “I was in Barrie and we were struggling, and at the deadline I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, but I’m really grateful for how it all went down.
“Erie has been a great spot for me, it has been a great group of guys and it has been an incredible experience winning the title.”
A fleet-footed, physical six-foot-two, 200-pounder, Lizotte found himself on a crowded Otters blue-line, especially after Sault Ste. Marie native Owen Headrick left Lake Superior State University to join Erie’s run.
“After I was there a couple of weeks, they ended up putting me at forward,” Lizotte said. “It was something I had never played since probably atom, so it was a big change for me, but we have a great coaching staff and they taught me a lot, and I was able to play a power-forward role. We had a lot of skill up front and a lot of talent, so I would go out there and try to create energy for the guys. It was awesome.
“It’s kind of funny, because my brother switched to forward, too, and that was the year he got drafted,” he added. “It has been fun, switching it up.”
With the OHL crown secured, Erie now moves on to the Memorial Cup national major-junior championship in Windsor, which got underway last night.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe,” Lizotte said. “It’s crazy that I’m going to have the opportunity to go and represent not only the Erie Otters, but also Sudbury, Ont. I know a couple of years ago, Tyler Bertuzzi had the honour to go. It’s a big accomplishment and I hope we do our best. We’ll go and have fun and hopefully, we’ll come out on top.”
The Otters open the tournament Saturday afternoon versus the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds.