Dan Pettypiece

Lady Gens show improvement on the ice

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens have been progressing despite what their record indicates.

This very young team had a tough couple of weeks with a 1-3 record. That being said our last two games have been our best efforts of the year so far.  On Jan. 10, we lost to Kingsville 5-2.

Scoring for Amherst was Jaycie Stanek and Abby Bondy.  We just never got started properly and fell behind early.  Kingsville came to play and capitalized on our simple mistakes in our own end.  The coaching staff emphasized after the game to try to play a much simpler game. We have been caught with players trying to do too much and over thinking the game.

On Jan. 15, we played Cardinal Carter and had one of our weakest efforts of the year losing 7-1. Scoring for Amherst was Sydney Doyle assisted be Jaycie Stanek. It was one of those games that every team has at least once during the season. Sometimes it is best just to forget about them and move on to your next game with an improved effort and that’s what we did.

Cardinal Carter’s Chloe Mastronardi chases Abbie Drouillard of the General Amherst Lady Gens as she takes control of the puck to the left of the net during a WECSSAA Tier II girls hockey game at Unico Arena Jan. 15. Cardinal Carter won 7-1. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Southpoint Sun)

On Jan. 16, we played Essex and although I think we outplayed them we lost 2-0. We definitely out-chanced them the whole game but had no puck luck around their net.

Overall it was one of our best games of the year.  On Jan. 22, we played St. Joseph’s and had our best game of the year.  The girls played a very smart, simple and aggressive game from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer. St. Joe’s had only lost twice all year and I think we outplayed them throughout the game.  They kept things simple and did not collapse after St. Joe’s tied the game in the second period.

One of the things that we have tried to emphasize throughout the season is that we have a young team and that we need to be patient with them.  They are going to make mistakes but that’s how they will learn to be better.  Failure lives in the house right next door to success and it’s the lessons we learn from failure that eventually breeds success.

Scoring for Amherst in this game were: Abby Bondy unassisted, Emily Pontini with the winner assisted by Jaycie Stanek and Abby Laframboise and Jaycie Stanek from Phoebe Trealout (her first high school point) and Cassidy Zelle.  Jaiden Stiles was very solid in goal and our defense did a fantastic job at both ends of the ice.

We would like to welcome Jaiden back from her injury and after missing three games. She has picked up where she left off giving us very steady goaltending.  We would also like to thank Autumn Guthrie for playing goal for us in Jaiden’s absence.  She worked very hard trying to learn an extremely tough position in a short amount of time with the help of goalie coach Terry Bondy. Great effort Autumn.  We now break for exams and play our final league game on Mon. Feb. 5th against Tecumseh Vista.

—Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

Lady Gens drop pair of games on the ice to Kingsville

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A home-and-home series between the General Amherst Lady Gens and the Kingsville Cavaliers saw the latter win both.

The first game was last Tuesday afternoon at the Libro Centre, a 3-1 win for the Cavaliers. Jaycie Stanek’s goal in the final minute prevented General Amherst from being shut out but it wasn’t enough to get them any points.

Lady Gens head coach Dan Pettypiece said after Tuesday’s game that regular goalie Jaiden Stiles was unavailable so they had to put Autumn Guthrie between the pipes. Guthrie also played several games before the Christmas break due to Stiles missing action with a concussion.

“She stopped a lot of shots from close in,” Pettypiece said.

Pettypiece thought the Lady Gens played well in Tuesday’s game, despite the 3-1 final score.

“I think we out-chanced them, to tell you the truth,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst’s Jaycie Stanek (4, yellow jersey) looks for a scoring chance Jan. 9 against Kingsville. Emily Pontini (2) is also seen in the picture. Amherst lost both ends of a home-and-home series against Kingsville.

The next day, the two teams met in Kingsville and the Cavaliers won again, this time by a 5-2 final score.

The Lady Gens have “internal issues that have to be worked out,” said Pettypiece.

“Right now, it’s trying to mesh the younger kids with the older kids,” he stated.

The veteran players have experienced success in recent seasons and Pettypiece added that there is some frustration now that the team is in a rebuilding season with young players.

“Everyone knew it was going to be a work in progress and it is,” said Pettypiece. “It’s something they have to adjust to.”

Pettypiece said that he believes the Lady Gens can beat any team in the WECSSAA Tier 2 league but they have to play simple hockey and not try to do too much.

“Everything isn’t falling into place right now,” Pettypiece said last Tuesday, “then they get frustrated. They have to play for each other. They can’t play as individuals.”

General Amherst was in Essex Jan. 16. They play St. Joseph at the WFCU Centre in Windsor next Monday and conclude the regular season Feb. 5, also on the road, against Tecumseh Vista Academy at Tecumseh Arena.

Lady Gens battle adversity in recent hockey tournament

 

Special to the RTT

 

The General Amherst Girls Hockey team participated in the Lady Crusader Hockey Tournament in London Dec. 5-6.

The coaching staff knew going into this tournament that they would be coming up against some powerful teams and they relayed that message to their senior players before committing to it. Their strong belief was that it would a great team bonding event for the girls especially with all the new Grade 9’s.

If that was our main goal of this tournament we came out as champions. Sometimes (actually most times) it’s not about trophies, medals and banners. It’s more importantly about the experiences you have along the journey. That’s what they remember. That’s what gets etched in their memories for years to come. We lost all five games we played but that’s not the real story of this journey.

   This is how our very young team became the talk of the tournament.                                                 At the end of the second period of the second game, our goalie Jaiden Stiles suffered a concussion after getting a shot off the head. Jaiden’s parents took her to the hospital and they returned home that night with her suffering a mild concussion. We all felt really bad for Jaiden and were faced with trying get someone dressed in her equipment to continue on with the third period or play with six attackers to finish the game.

The General Amherst Lady Gens warm up for a tournament game in London without a goalie. Their goalie – Jaiden Stiles – suffered a concussion during the tournament but the Lady Gens
soldiered on in her absence. (Submitted photo)

When the referee came over to tell us we could also call the game, the girls said resoundingly “Amherst doesn’t quit”. So faced with a 5-0 deficit against a strong Kincardine team, they played with six attackers and at one point made it a 5-2 game until the other team realized they better get going again. After the game I told the girls that in over 40 years of coaching I’ve never been prouder of a team.

That night they continued their bonding by going out for a night of bowling, dinner and hanging out as a team in one of their rooms.

The next day faced with playing three games without a goalie the coaching staff made the decision to ask the Guelph team we were playing if we could borrow their other goalie. They graciously allowed her to play for us. But it wasn’t the same team during this game. They came out flat, with not the same heart and determination they had the day before.

After that game we told them we would have to play with six attackers for the next game (no spare goalie available). That team we saw the day before with no quit in them was back. They played a tough team from Wallaceburg but only lost 8-3. In the dressing room after I witnessed a group of players that lost the game but won the hearts of their coaches, the referees, parents and coaches from other teams. They were laughing and saying how much fun they had. They were the talk of the tournament for all of the heart and grit that they showed.

We asked them if they wanted us to use a goalie from the other team for the last game and they basically said in unison “no we got this.” We finished up with Guelph in the “D” final and lost 10-2 but the legend of the team from Amherst who refused to quit will live on forever. We exceeded our goal of coming together as a team and the girls, coaches and parents will have life long memories to share.

The scores of our games were: St. Mary’s Hamilton 3 Amherst 0 (Jaiden Stiles played a great game in goal); Kincardine 7 Amherst 2 (scoring for Amherst were Sydney Doyle from Breana Farias & Lauren Bratt and Jaycie Stanek from Abby Laframboise); Guelph 6 Amherst 0 (Elise the goalie from the other team played for us); Wallaceburg 8 Amherst 3 (scoring Abby Bondy from Emma Fleming, Jaycie Stanek two goals assisted by Briana Farias); Guelph 10 Amherst 2 (scoring Emily Pontini from Jaycie Stanek & Abby Bondy from Jaycie Stanek).

They won’t remember the scores but they will remember the experience. How they came together as a team and fought for each other in true “Bulldog Spirit.” The coaching staff are so proud and honored to be a part of this program. They represented their school and their town with true grit and determination.

 

-Submitted by General Amherst head coach 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.