Admirals drop two straight heading into Christmas break


By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Admirals didn’t go into the Christmas break the way they wanted to but used the break to try and refocus themselves.

The Admirals final game before Christmas was a 6-0 loss on home ice to the Essex 73’s, only the third loss in 14 games at the Libro Centre (11-2-0-1 as of Dec. 27). Overall, the Admirals were 18-7-0-3 heading into the Christmas break, good for 39 points.

Essex led 1-0 headed for the third period of the Dec. 23 game, but the 73’s erupted with five goals in the third period, three of which were on the powerplay. Six different goal scorers found the back of the net for the 73’s.

“I think we were playing well for two periods but obviously two periods aren’t going to win you many games,” said Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon.

Bortignon said they have bounced back from losses like that before and believed that, even though they put that game quickly behind them, the Admirals can pull together and build on it.

Amherstburg goalie Ben Larder (1) stops Essex’s Bryce Ryan (14) Dec. 23. Admirals forward Josh DiCarlo (8) is at left. Essex won 6-0.

“Sometimes it’s good to fall on your face,” he said. “It’s going to show our character going forward and it’s going to show what kind of team we are going forward. This can be a positive.”

The entire weekend before Christmas was tough, he said as they lost 4-1 in Lakeshore 48 hours earlier. Bortignon said they have gotten off to a good start to the 2018-19 PJHL Stobbs Division schedule and told the RTT after the loss to Essex the Christmas break could be used to focus on family and forget about hockey for a few days.

The loss in Lakeshore saw the Canadiens score one powerplay goal and two shorthanded goals. Matt Smith scored a pair for Lakeshore while Cory Burns had the lone goal for the Admirals.

Bortignon said the games with Lakeshore have always been tight and that it was the Admirals that didn’t get their offense going in the most recent game. He said the effort was there for the most part but wanted to see a 60 minute effort against both Lakeshore and Esses.

The Admirals’ next game is Dec. 30 against Petrolia. Amherstburg is in Wheatley Jan. 2 and will be back in Lakeshore Jan. 4 night before returning home with a pair of weekend home games against the Blenheim Blades (Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.) and the Dresden Jr. Kings (Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.).

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