girls hockey

Trio of Lady Gens play in WECSSAA all-star game

Special to the RTT

The General Amherst girls hockey team was represented by three players at the recent WECSSAA            All Star Game in LaSalle.

Carly Renaud, Emily Pontini and Jaycie Stanek were chosen to play in the annual event.  Unfortunately Emily was not able to play in the game due to a prior school commitment.  Carly and Jaycie played in the game which featured the cream of the crop of the best hockey players in the league.

Jaycie Stanek (left), Emily Pontini (centre) and Carly Renaud (right) represented General Amherst in the WECSSAA girls all-star game. (Submitted photo)

In a very exciting game the Blue team scored with 25 seconds left in the game to defeat the Red team 6-5.  Although Carly and Jaycie’s Red team was defeated it was still a great experience for both of them.  Andromeda Dean the coach and league convenor from Sandwich did an outstanding job organizing the event.

—Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

General Amherst girls compete in junior hockey tournament

 

The General Amherst girls played in a junior hockey tournament for Grade 9’s and 10’s, organized by the Belle River Nobles in Lakeshore April 11-12.

Originally 12 players signed up to participate but due to injuries and illness we were only able to ice nine skaters and a goalie.  But true to Amherst spirit and determination, they battled on to the end.  Graduating seniors Carly Renaud and Emily Pontini coached the team as way of giving back to the program.  Their strong dedication to the program was evident as they organized and ran practices leading up to the tournament.  They dealt with a very short bench and kept the girls focused on playing hard till the final buzzer sounded.

On Wednesday, Amherst played their first game against Kingsville. They played a solid game and were able to defeat Kingsville 2-0.  Abby Bondy scored both goals for Amherst.  Jaiden Stiles played a great game in goal posting the shutout.  The Amherst defence corps of Abby Laframboise, Cassidy Zelle, Renae Hammond and newcomer Mia McGrath played a solid game in front of their goalie.  Taylor Dufour also made her return to hockey after taking a year off and played hard throughout the tournament.  Halle Higgins came out of her comfort zone and made her debut playing her first ever hockey game.

Carly Renaud and Emily Pontini give the General Amherst team encouragement during a junior hockey tournament game for high school girls. (Submitted photo)

Later that day we played our second game versus a strong Sandwich team.  Sandwich was able to come away with a hard fought 2-0 victory. Once again Jaiden Stiles played a solid game in goal for Amherst but we were not able to capitalize on our chances against a strong Sandwich team which was allowed to use their grade 11 goalie for the tourney. (They did not have a Grade 9 or 10 goalie)

On Thursday, Amherst played their third game of the tourney against another strong team from L’Essor.  Once again in spite of having a short bench Amherst played a spirited game but came away with a 3-1 loss.  Scoring for Amherst was Abbie Drouillard assisted by Cassidy Zelle. Jaiden Stiles played her usual solid game in goal.

Although we did not advance to the semifinals this tournament the coaching staff was very pleased with their effort and how they showed great potential for the future. With 10 players returning next year as well as a strong group of players coming in from Grade 8, we look forward to next year and can’t wait to get started.

The players and coaches would like to thank Carly and Emily for their time and commitment in coaching this team.  Their leadership and enthusiasm will be missed and we wish them great success in the future.  We would also like to thank the parents for their support throughout the season and a special thank you to John Holzel for his time and expertise in taking our team photo.  Have a great summer if it ever comes and see you in November.

 

-Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

(attached photo shows Carly Renaud & Emily Pontini giving the team encouragement)

Lady Gens hockey season concludes

 

Special to the RTT

The General Amherst Lady Gens played the first place Sandwich Sabres in the WECSSAA quarterfinals Feb. 12.

This was a one-game knockout to see who would advance to the semi-finals.  The coaches knew going into the game that they were going to be tough to beat but the girls were up to the task and did not quit. They played a tight defensive zone defence and frustrated the powerful Sandwich team in the first period.

General Amherst scored the game’s first goal (Abbie Drouillard assisted by Jaycie Stanek) and continued to frustrate Sandwich with outstanding goaltending by Jaiden Stiles.

Sandwich eventually tied the game in the second period and we went into the intermission between the second and third period with the belief we could still pull out a shocking victory.

Unfortunately, Sandwich scored early in the third period to go up 2-1.  The Amherst girls did not quit and continued to press for the equalizer. With just over a minute to go, the Lady Gens pulled Jaiden for an extra attacker and we continued to pressure Sandwich.

As the final buzzer sounded, there would be no happy ending this time.  Although the girls were disappointed that it ended this way, they were very proud with their effort and refusal to quit.

The coaching staff from the other team and even the referees commended our team for their play against a very strong Sandwich team.

In the dressing room after the game, the Amherst coaching staff found it hard to properly express how proud they were of this group of ladies.  Amherst’s very young team was able to push Sandwich to the limit and gave them a scare (Sandwich went on to win the WECSSAA championship).

The coaches did not feel like this was a loss for this program. Sometimes in hockey and life, failures like this lead to future success. This hopefully will give next year’s team some extra confidence going into the season.  Head coach Dan Pettypiece said he really enjoyed coaching this group of girls this year and although there were ups and downs, he thinks they have a bright future ahead of them.

On that note we are sad to say goodbye to Grade 12’s Carly Renaud, Emily Pontini, Alex Laframboise and Briana Farias. Pettypiece said he would especially like to thank Carly and Emily for their leadership with this young group of girls.

“I’ve had the pleasure to witness both of them grow up in the game of hockey and I know they will have lots to look forward to as they move to the next phase of. their lives,” said Pettypiece.  “Looking ahead to next year we will have most of the girls returning and we are looking forward to a strong new group of rookies coming in from Grade 8.  The future looks very bright for this team.”

The Grade 9’sand 10’s will compete in the Belle River Junior tournament on April 11-12 with the coaching help from the seniors.

“In closing I wish to thank our timekeeper Janice Ferguson, who has volunteered with us for 11 years, our sponsor Drew Coulson of Coulson Design-Build, assistant coach Jason Laframboise for his dedication to the program, our teacher reps  Kary Coulson and Nicole Rusenstrom for their commitment to this team, to Ron Giofu for his great coverage of this team and finally to the parents and grandparents who come out to cheer on the girls.  Your support of this program is very much appreciated,” said 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