Sports

AMA Sportsmen Association gets building again, this time for Eastern Bluebirds

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The AMA Sportsmen Association teamed with local children to help increase the population of wood ducks last month and now they’re trying to do the same for the Eastern Bluebird.

Like they did for the wood ducks, 40 boxes were built for the Eastern Bluebird Saturday morning by club members along with children and their families.

Mike Wilcox helps daughter Hannah build an Eastern Bluebird box last Saturday morning at the AMA Sportsmen Association. Looking on is son Kale.

Mike Wilcox helps daughter Hannah build an Eastern Bluebird box last Saturday morning at the AMA Sportsmen Association. Looking on is son Kale.

“We’ve got two styles of boxes,” explained Brian Beattie, the club member who helped organize the conservation project. “Both boxes are very similar.”

Five of the boxes that were assembled were from the Canadian Wildlife Federation while the remainder were from the association itself. Each box was sent home with an instruction sheet on how and where to install them.

The Eastern Bluebird boxes were smaller than the wood duck boxes and can go in a backyard, Beattie said, though the ideal location is in a hedgerow between two fields where it is quieter.

“It can either go on a pole or in a tree,” said Beattie.

The population of Eastern Bluebirds is dwindling, he added, hence the need to assemble boxes so they can lay their eggs and expand the number of birds.

Beattie added the club was happy with the turnout last Saturday morning as they had no trouble finding enough children to assemble the 40 boxes. The next conservation project will be next spring, he continued, and could be owl boxes or bat houses. Beattie said he hopes to get $2,000 from the club’s youth fund for conservation projects.

Bryson McLam and Maddy Bull show the types of Eastern Bluebird boxes that were constructed.

Bryson McLam and Maddy Bull show the types of Eastern Bluebird boxes that were constructed.

The youth fund comes mainly from the bar at the AMA Sportsmen Association, Beattie pointed out. None of the bartenders take tips and instead any money designated for tips goes into a donation box to fund youth activities at the club.

The AMA Sportsmen Association is located at 468 Lowes Side Road and their website is www.amasportsmen.com.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School loses 5-1 in semi-finals

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

St. Peter’s ACHS College School travelled to Orangeville this past week to compete in the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board’s prestigious Beacon Cup Hockey Tournament.

After being champions of Dufferin/Peel and Caledon at the grade 4-6 level last year, it was a big adjustment competing this year against veteran and well seasoned schools at the grade 7-8 level.

To make it even more challenging for the young grade 6-7 team was the fact that at around Christmas time the team’s captain (Cameron Sinasac) received a vicious sprain and multiple fractures while competing for Chatham. Losing such a high calibre player for the season put a massive dent in the team’s armour and ability to compete.

The St. Peter’s ACHS hockey team with only nine players and a goalie won their first game beating St. Thomas More 5-3. An hour and a half later St. Peter’s ACHS took on St. Agnes losing 1-0. In the third game St. Peter’s ACHS lost 3-1 against St. John the Baptist. However, by finishing third St. Peter’s ACHS advanced into the quarter finals.

The following day, St. Peter’s ACHS would have to play against St. John Paul II. This school was top loaded with grade 8 “AA” players from the Caledon Hawks. St. Peter’s would take a physical beating and were scored on first. By the second period St. Peter’s had gained control back and took the lead 3-1. Midway through the second St. Peter’s lost J.T. Langlois due to an injury leaving the team with only 8 skaters. By the time the game was over, St. Peter’s had won 5-1 proving that team play, control and good tactics were superior over pure might.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School advanced to the semi-finals of the Beacon Cup Hockey Tournament.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School advanced to the semi-finals of the Beacon Cup Hockey Tournament. (Submitted photo)

In the final game St. Peter’s would once again go up against St. John the Baptist. By the beginning of the second period the referees asked if the St. Peter’s ACHS team wanted mercy by running the clock.    (The thought and reasoning was that St. Peter’s ACHS would be slaughtered by having such a small bench.) The team refused and shortly thereafter scored their only goal in the game. St. Peter’s would end up losing 5-1.

The St. Peter’s ACHS hockey team showed true grit and played awesome though out the tournament. Many people talked about and supported the little school from AMHERSTBURG. Both coaches, parents, and players from opposing teams came into the dressing room after games commending St. Peter’s ACHS payers for their outstanding performance and determination.

The following players and goalie are to be commend for their effort and a job well done. Joseph Giordano, Deven Bastien, James O’Neill, Nicholas Messina, Joseph Rotilio, Ryan (Buzz) Wharram, Jackson Cole, T. J Langlois, J.T. Langlois, and Kaden Campbell. Everyone at St. Peter’s ACHS is so very proud of you.

Villanova girls hockey team captures SWOSSAA championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova girls hockey team is heading for OFSAA after winning the SWOSSAA “AAA/AAAA” title last Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats and the Chatham-Kent Hawks couldn’t settle things in the first three periods or in the first three overtime periods but Alessandra Schembri ended things with just 11.4 seconds left in the fourth overtime to give the Wildcats the 1-0 win.

Schembri said she pushed the puck past the Hawks’ defense and ended up on a breakaway. Stopped on her first attempt to score, she picked up the rebound and ended the game.

“Before I knew it, the puck was in the net,” said Schembri. “It was surreal. I didn’t know what happened. I was at a loss for words. I was trampled by my teammates.”

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats  gather for a group  picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats gather for a group picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

It was a fast-paced game, Schembri added, but the scoring chances were kept to a minimum.

“There wasn’t a lot of room out there but we worked hard and pushed through,” she said.

Captain Carli Dumeah motivated the team between every period, Schembri added, and “we all worked hard for her.” It was also an emotional game for the senior players, as they are in their final year of high school hockey.

Villanova head coach John Purdie pointed out that Chatham-Kent was undefeated coming into the game while the Wildcats lost only once during the season. Both teams allowed less than one goal per game during the season.

Purdie said their loss was to Chatham-Kent, a 3-1 defeat at a Christmas tournament. He said the Hawks “snuck up on us” as the Wildcats were not expecting them to be as strong as they were.

Since that game, the Wildcats made beating Chatham-Kent one of their missions this year.

“Our goal from Day 1 was to get to OFSAA and win OFSAA,” said Purdie. “We said it all year, this was a step towards the end goal.”

The Wildcats figure they can do well at OFSAA, which is March 21-24 in Mississauga. Purdie said they may be one of the smaller schools there, but they have a lot of elite players and have proven they can play with some of the best in Ontario.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

“This is the most complete team we’ve ever had,” said Purdie. “The depth of this team is amazing.”

Both goalies – Kristen Swiatoschik and Erica Fryer – give the team a chance to win and Purdie believes they could medal with either of them.

The Wildcats expected the SWOSSAA final to be a tight hockey game and Purdie stressed to the players to not let a bad bounce beat them. He also credited the referees, who “did a great job letting them play.” There wasn’t a single penalty called in the game.

Players come from Amherstburg, Harrow and LaSalle, Purdie noted.

“I think this is the kind of hockey team that brings communities together,” he added.

Bulldogs lose in WECSSAA finals in three games

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs pushed the Belle River Nobles to the limit in the WECSSAA “AA” boys hockey final but could get no further.

The third and deciding game was played Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore with the Nobles winning the best-of-three series and the championship with a 4-0 victory.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford flips the puck into the Belle River zone during the third and deciding game of the WECSSAA Tier 1 hockey final Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore. Belle River won the game 4-0 to win the title.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford flips the puck into the Belle River zone during the third and deciding game of the WECSSAA Tier 1 hockey final Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore. Belle River won the game 4-0 to win the title.

“It was a good hockey game for two periods,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Pat Garrett.

A shorthanded goal that made it 2-0 for Belle River seemed to take the Bulldogs off their game for a bit but the wheels came off for the Bulldogs in the third period. Garrett said they tried sneaking a player behind the Nobles’ defense to generate some offense but that led to two-on-ones the other way, which proved costly.

“For lack of a better term, it got away from us,” he said, referring to the third period.

Garrett, who coached the team this season with Joe Shaw, said they were proud of the players and the effort they put forth.

“The tough part about championship games is someone has got to win and someone has got to lose,” he said.

Ethan Hamelin had a “phenomenal” game Monday afternoon with Garrett adding that Reid Stieler, Jacob Fields and Stefan Dobrich playing a ton of minutes on defense.

The two teams had split games last week to send the game to the deciding third game with Belle River winning last Tuesday 2-0 on their home ice and the Bulldogs tying the series with a 5-4 overtime win at the Libro Centre last Thursday afternoon. Hamelin scored the overtime winner last Thursday with Josh DiCarlo adding two goals and Dobrich and Nathan Lenson adding singles.

General Amherst celebrates Ethan Hamelin’s overtime goal last Thursday at the Libro Centre. The 5-4 win forced Monday’s Game 3.

General Amherst celebrates Ethan Hamelin’s overtime goal last Thursday at the Libro Centre. The 5-4 win forced Monday’s Game 3.

Garrett said goalie Will Bratt played well in that game. He added they had their chances in the first game but just couldn’t find a way to score despite outshooting the Nobles.

“We wanted to take it in regulation but any win is good,” Stieler said after the second game. “We’ve got to keep our energy for three periods. We finally proved we can take it to them.”

Garrett said Monday that they only lose one player to graduation and perhaps two or three more to junior hockey. The rest are eligible to return, leading him to believe the future is bright for the Bulldogs.

“That’s a good core of kids in there,” he said Monday, gesturing towards the Amherst dressing room. “I enjoyed coming to the rink and coaching them.”
Despite a 3-6-3 record in the regular season, Garrett stood by his belief they were better than that and noted they played without key players particularly early in the season. He said they had a good run when they got to the playoffs.

“It was a fun ride,” Garrett concluded.

 

Stars juvenile team season ends with home ice loss in OMHA semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

For a team that was struggling attracting players early in the season, the Amherstburg Stars juvenile hockey team managed to get to the OMHA semi-final.

The Stars lost 3-2 Monday night to the New Hamburg Huskies, a loss which ended their season. New Hamburg won the six-point series 7-5.

Ernie Godden gave the Stars a 1-0 lead in the first but the Huskies tied it before the period was out and took the lead early in the third period. Godden tied it with a shorthanded goal with just over five minutes left in the third period but New Hamburg scored the winning goal on the powerplay during the same penalty.

“I think, at the end of the day, we gave ourselves a chance to win,” said assistant coach Blaine Bechard. “It sucks we didn’t get the win.”

Bechard said the program excelled as the season went on, noting they had roughly ten players near the start of the season but picked up more players as the season went on.

“I think it was a pretty successful year,” he said.

Amherstburg’s Kyle Meloche (12) gets a scoring chance on New Hamburg goalie Eric Munro during action in the sixth game of the OMHA semi-final series Monday night in Amherstburg. New Hamburg won the game 3-2 to win the six-point series seven points to five.

Amherstburg’s Kyle Meloche (12) gets a scoring chance on New Hamburg goalie Eric Munro during action in the sixth game of the OMHA semi-final series Monday night in Amherstburg. New Hamburg won the game 3-2 to win the six-point series seven points to five.

The Stars thought they had a chance after the shorthanded goal but the powerplay goal by the Huskies proved to be the difference, he added.

The Stars juvenile team picked up three of a possible four points on the weekend at the Libro Centre before heading to New Hamburg Sunday afternoon where they lost 7-0. That loss was partially due to unusual circumstances, however.

Assistant coach Wes Ewer said it was “one of the most fun losses I have ever been a part of. Due to an engineering mid-term and a case of mono we did not have an eligible goalie for (Sunday) so we had one of our veteran players step up and volunteer to play net.”

Despite the fact he is not their regular goalie, Ewer said Erik Vandenham “made some huge saves in the game.”

Ewer added: “The way our team handled the situation is nothing short of outstanding. They were able to keep everything in perspective,  and made the best of day together.”

In the series’ third game Friday night, the Stars settled for a 4-4 tie with New Hamburg and beat the Huskies 2-0 Saturday afternoon behind a shutout from Jack Langlois and goals from Zac Garvey and Ernie Godden.

“They’ve been playing really hard,” said Stars head coach Dennis Emerson after Saturday afternoon’s game.

Amherstburg's Jared Benninger (right) checks Mitch Schurink during March 4 action at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

Amherstburg’s Jared Benninger (right) checks Mitch Schurink during March 4 action at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

Emerson said they played well Friday night and had a 4-1 lead at one point but let New Hamburg back in the game. Garret Blunt scored twice in that game for Amherstburg with Jack Hubbell and Colton McGregor adding the others.

“The boys have been battling hard,” he said.

Injured players are regaining their health and coming back into the lineup, he added. They have been working hard and playing well defensively during the season and Emerson wanted a rested bunch for Sunday’s game in New Hamburg.

“The guys have bought into our system,” Emerson said of this season’s success.