Young forward Michael LaStarza is already much talked about in youth hockey circles. A centerman playing for the 2004 Quebec Stallions AAA squad he has been a goal scoring sensation helping his team to dominate games and tournaments from a young age. A Quebec, Canada native Michael displays a unique hockey knowledge for his age citing Maurice ‘the Rocket’ Richard as his favorite hockey player.
Richard was the first NHL player in history to score 50 goals in 50 games.
Michael also wears number 9 the same number worn by the ‘Rocket’ in his NHL playing days. His scoring prowess was recently displayed during the One hockey tournament where he won a MVP award for scoring 19 goals and 9 assists in just 6 games.
Richard is still a legendary figure in Montreal leading the Canadians to several Stanley Cups in the 1950’s and 60’s and generally is looked upon as one of the most gifted scorers ever to wear a Montreal uniform.
When Maurice Richard passed away in 2000 he received the type of funeral reserved for heads of state with over 100,000 attendees.
His father and coach Tony says’ Michael has watched the movie “the Rocket ” a zillion times and wears Richard’s number with pride and enthusiasm.
Youth Hockey Examiner spoke with Michael’s father Tony La Starza about his son’s young hockey career so far:
Examiner: When did Michael start skating?
Tony : Michael Start skating at 2.5 yrs old 10 minutes once a week
Examiner: Who are his favorite hockey NHL players?
Tony : Maurice “the Rocket” Richard, Bobby Orr and Milan Lucic
Examiner: When did he notice his ability to score goals?
Tony: When he started to play at an early age in AAA , 4 1/2 yrs old
Examiner: Describe the best game he ever played.
Tony: When he played in the 2003 tournament in Quebec City final, he won the player of the game award.
Examiner: How did it feel to earn a spot on a AAA team?
Tony: Michael enjoys playing the game of hockey so if its AAA or House he’ll play any game at any time.
Examiner: What is his favorite subject in school?
Examiner: What does he like most about school?
Tony: To be with his friends and hockey buddies
Examiner: What does he feel is the strongest part of his game?
Tony: How he can control the puck, puck possession is a big part of his game, he uses that to his advantage in order to create opportunities for his teammates and himself if need be.
Examiner: .What parts of his game does he want to work on?
Tony: Michael is a boy that always strives to do better, there’s always room for improvement and so he trains in order to be more effective in the following areas shooting, skating, stick handling…Michael works with one of the top Trainers in North America, is name is Marcin Snita.
Examiner: What was the worst game he can remember playing?
Tony: There was a game this year where Mikey was shadowed for most of the game and he was neutralized registering no points in the game.
Examiner: Where would he like to go in the future with hockey?
Tony: Michael’s inspiration for the future, is hopefully that one of these days he can play amongst the elites of elites in schools or the NHL.
Examiner: What did he think of the One Hockey tournament?
Tony: Michael enjoyed the buddies he made at the tournament in different teams.
Examiner: What’s his opinion on how he performed in the tournament?
Tony: Michael said he played well, though he wasn’t always consistent.
Examiner: Will he make One Hockey next year predicated on his experience this year?
Tony: He hopes to be there.