Dan Pettypiece

Lady Gens win one and tie one in WECSSAA action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The rebuilding General Amherst girls hockey team has had positive results so far.

The Lady Gens first game of the week was a 2-2 tie with the visiting Essex Red Raiders.

Cate Hubbell gave the Lady Gens a first period lead before Essex tied it and the pattern repeated itself in the second period as Carly Renaud scored for General Amherst followed by a tying goal from the Red Raiders.

“It was a much better game,” said Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece, in comparing it to the team’s first game against Massey.

The improved effort against Essex including simple things like starting the game on time. Against Massey, there were players that were late to take the ice but that wasn’t the case against Essex.

“The effort was there. The battle was there,” said Pettypiece. “We had some chances to win it at the end.”

Pettypiece said the young Lady Gens team is showing improvement one step at a time.

Alex Laframboise takes a shot on goal during the third period of last Wednesday’s game against Essex.

“We can’t expect them to change overnight,” said Pettypiece. “It’s going to take time.”

Renaud said after the Essex game that “we struggled in the beginning” but also believed the Lady Gens are showing improvement.

The Lady Gens won 2-0 Monday at home versus Lajeunesse.

“The girls continue to make improvements as the season rolls along. Again patience will be the

key with this young group. We are starting to get some goal production from other players. Balanced scoring will be a great asset as the season continues,” said Pettypiece.

Scoring for Amherst against Lajeunesse were Breana Farias with her first assisted by Stanek and Renaud and Abbie Drouillard with her first high school goal unassisted.

Jaiden Stiles earned the shutout and continued to give the Lady Gens very steady goaltending.

“We were missing three regulars, including two on defence, for today’s game due to illness so we called on affiliated players Autumn Guthrie and Phoebe Trealout to play in this game,” Pettypiece said Monday afternoon. “Both played solid games and Autumn scored only to have it called back because the net had moved.”

Pettypiece said the team has continued to build on the game before “which is a very positive sign leading into next week where they will tested heavily with some tough competition in the Crusader’s Hockey tournament in London. The coaching staff are hoping this tournament will help the

team bond and come together as a team.”

The next WECSSAA game for the Lady Gens is not until Dec. 11 when they play Kingsville in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.

 

Rebuilding year forecasted for Lady Gens hockey team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens opened the 2017-18 WECSSAA girls hockey season with a 1-1 tie but the season may be more difficult than years past.

The graduation of some key players off of last year’s team has given the Lady Gens a younger roster and one that its head coach Dan Pettypiece said will require some patience.

“The biggest thing I’m going to have to adjust to and the girls are going to have to adjust to is that we are in a rebuilding state,” said Pettypiece after Monday afternoon’s 1-1 tie with Massey.

Pettypiece said there are six Grade 9 players on this year’s Lady Gens squad and they are going to make mistakes.

“Today’s game showed that,” he said.

Instead of making plays when they had the opportunity, the Lady Gens rushed with the puck and gave it away. They have to learn to be patient, said Pettypiece, adding he’d rather see players have the puck taken from them than to just give it away.

“Right now, they are fighting the puck,” he added.

The Lady Gens were late getting onto the ice Monday, and Pettypiece said they weren’t ready to play.

The strong teams they’ve had in the last four years have moved on, he added.

“Those days are done. We’re writing a new story now,” said Pettypiece.

Jaycie Stanek had the lone goal against Massey while Jaiden Stiles played well in goal, Pettypiece stated. He said there were things that didn’t go well in that game and possibly cost them a chance to win. He added they were missing a couple of players as well.

“This team is going to take time to gel,” he said. “It’s about being patient with them and them being patient with themselves.”

General Amherst hosts Essex today in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.

Sold out hockey school focuses strictly on girls

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An all-girls hockey camp started last Wednesday night with the ice at the Libro Centre filled with players ages 6-15.

The camp is in its second year and is being directed by Bill Atkinson and Dan Pettypiece. Atkinson said it allows players to “go back to basics” and learn the finer points of the game. The clinic started last year with 36 kids and is sold out this year with over 60 players enrolled.

“It’s the kinds of things coaches can’t do in the middle of the season because they don’t have enough ice time,” said Atkinson.

There are not a lot of all-girls camps, Atkinson believes, and they try to make the clinic at the Libro Centre affordable for everyone. He said a lot of girls don’t feel comfortable on the ice with boys and they are more enthusiastic when they get to compete against other girls.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Atkinson said the all-girls approach works for his three daughters and believes it works better for other girls, as they are not as intimidated on the ice and more motivated.

“I wouldn’t be able to get any of them to go to a mostly boys camp,” said Atkinson.

While basic skating and puck handing skills are taught, Atkinson added they aren’t necessarily trying to create superstars.

“We’re going to teach you how to play hockey so you can enjoy the game,” he said.

Atkinson said there are other coaches as well, including a goalie coach and three girls getting an initial exposure to coaching. He said it is great not only helping players develop, but allowing others to give back through coaching.

The bulk of the players are from Amherstburg, he added, though there are players from LaSalle and Harrow in the camp as well as some others from around the area.

The school has two sessions each Wednesday night through Aug. 23 and also runs Aug. 29.

Weekly girls hockey clinic to run Wednesdays starting July 26

 

By Ron Giofu

A girls hockey summer training program is returning to the Libro Centre.

Bill Atkinson is the director of the female power skating and hockey clinic and Dan Pettypiece is the co-director. It starts July 26 and runs for six weeks for ages 6-15.

“We actually started the program last summer recognizing there was a need for strictly girls hockey programs in the area,” said Pettypiece. “We had one group last year ranging in age 5 to 15 which presented some challenges with the different skill levels all being on the ice at once.”

Pettypiece noted the program was sold out and it had a waiting list.

“This year we decided to offer two age groups (6-10 and 11-15). Bill worked approximately15 years for me back in the old Tri-Com Hockey School days and after several years away from the business he decided to jump back in. One of the motivating factors for him was the fact that he now has three girls playing hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience. He is very passionate about teaching the skills especially skating.”

Pettypiece said they have always been on the same page in that regards. He stated Atkinson has been coaching and teaching the game for over 20 years. As for Pettypiece, he said he has never ever been able to leave the game that has meant so much to him.

“I have been coaching and running hockey programs for 40 years now and I still have the same passion as when I started,” said Pettypiece.

The weekly sessions will include a focus on power skating but they will also work on hockey skills each 90-minute session.

Some of the other instructors will be Taylor Conte from the University of Windsor Lancers, Carson Clarke Bartolo and Allison Langille from the Windsor Wildcat midget travel team. It will also feature goalie instructor Jason Dion. The fee is $140.

“One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” said Pettypiece. “Too many programs seem to just run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting which prohibits skill development. We try to slow them down and break the skills down into smaller parts. Otherwise you are not doing your job which is to improve their skill level.”

There are 40 girls registered and they have up to 20 spots available. Contact Bill Atkinson at wma@hotplumbing.com to register.

“We are looking forward to getting back on the ice and working with the girls,” said Pettypiece.

The clinics run each Wednesday from 6-7:20 p.m. and 7:30-8:50 p.m.

Lady Gens hockey season comes to an end

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens hockey season has come to an end.

The Lady Gens were defeated in two straight games by L’Essor with the second game being in Tecumseh last Wednesday. General Amherst lost 3-2 in the second game, with L’Essor winning the WECSSAA AA championship as a result.

Assistant coach Dan Pettypiece said L’Essor built a 3-0 lead though noted the Lady Gens were almost able to tie the score. General Amherst scored with six minutes left and again a few minutes later but were unable to find the elusive tying goal.

“We almost tied it up. We had some chances,” said Pettypiece.

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With goalie Megan Wismer on the bench late in the game for an extra attacker, Pettypiece said he counted at least two or three good chances.

When the score was 1-0, Pettypiece said they almost tied it at that point but captain Emily Hamelin was turned aside by a great save by the L’Essor goalie. Hamelin did score later in the game, as did Jaycie Stanek.

“With only 11 skaters and you shorten your bench, if your better players are not getting any luck or bounces, it can be tough to come back,” said Pettypiece.

It was emotional after the game, as this was the final high school game for five key players including Savannah Bouzide, Wismer, Katie Stevenson, Brianne Fields and Emily Hamelin. Pettypiece added that head coach Scott Hamelin also announced he wasn’t going to come back next year.

“That’s a big five,” said Pettypiece. “That’s the core of the team the last four years.”

The Lady Gens have been to the WECSSAA AA finals the last four years in large part due to the efforts of those players.

“That’s pretty tough to do,” he said. “They’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

General Amherst does return some talented players as well and they will try and keep the finals streak going. Pettypiece said the last four years have shown girls can come to General Amherst and play competitive hockey and there are more good players coming through the hockey system.

The last four years “kind of brought the program to the forefront,” said Pettypiece.