Glen Holden

Admirals boasting abundance of local talent on this year’s team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

When the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals hit the ice this season, they will be doing so with a lot of locally trained hockey players.

The bulk of the Admirals’ 23-player roster is made of locally developed talent with the local content also included in the team’s ownership and management.

“I’m pumped for the outlook of our team this season, probably more than I’ve been in the four years I’ve been here,” said co-owner Wes Ewer. “I’m pumped about the amount of Amherstburg talent we have in all aspects of the organization.”

Ewer pointed out that 13 of the 23 players are from Amherstburg, three coaches are from Amherstburg and three of the four support and training staff are from Amherstburg. The ownership group of the Admirals also features two local people – Ewer and Matt Fox. Fox is also an assistant coach.

Local players include Kyle Meloche, Zack Yott, Cory Burns, Austin Jennings, Ryan Holzel, Cole Welsh, Luc Warnock, Jack Hubbell, Bryce McGregor, Catalin Morin, Mike Lenson, Brock Beaudoin and Reid Stieler.

“I would challenge anyone to find me a team in the PJHL that has as many people from its town involved in all areas and be a strong team,” said Ewer. “We are very, very proud we have local talent spread out in all areas of the organization. We are going to put a lot of familiar faces on the ice.”

The Amherstburg Integrity Admirals will hit the ice for the 2017-18 PJHL Stobbs Division season with a healthy dose of local talent among their ranks. The Amherstburg executives, coaches and players include (back row, from left): From Left to right (Standing)- Wes Ewer (owner), Zack Yott (#17), Cory Burns (#9), Austin Jennings (#10), Ryan Holzel (#14), Cole Welsh (#4), Luc Warnock (#27), Jack Hubbell (#2), Bryce McGregor (#18), Rob Bondy (assistant coach), Paul Bortignon (general manager/head coach). Front row (from left): Matt Fox (owner/assistant coach), Catalin Morin (#33), Mike Lenson (#8), Brock Beaudoin (#11), Reid Stieler (#7). Not pictured: Kyle Meloche (#12), Grant Wood (room manager), Stu Bertram (assistant trainer), Bryan Hayes (prevention services), Scott Riddell (assistant trainer), B.J. Wiley (assistant trainer).

The Admirals praised the work of the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) for its role in developing the local talent.

“You can’t say enough about AMHA,” said Ewer. “They make it easy for us.”

The coaches are confident about the players they are utilizing, Ewer added, and that those players can be used in all situations.

“We know what (AMHA) is doing and they are doing it right,” he said.

Ewer pointed out Glen Holden and Dennis Emerson, coaches of the Amherstburg Stars midget major and juvenile teams respectively, deserve credit for developing players in their final years of minor hockey.

“We’re going to be in a good position because of the good coaching they are doing with their teams,” he said.

Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon said the level of hockey talent that is developed in Amherstburg is something the Jr. C club can’t turn away from. He said the number of Amherstburg players on the Admirals is due to their abilities rather than simply the team trying to accumulate as many local players as possible.

“I don’t think we’d take Amherstburg kids on the ice if it hindered our hopes for winning a championship,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon believed that winning a championship with so many local players and coaches could be “the first of its kind” in Jr. C.

Fox said AMHA has produced strong hockey players over the years and that trend is continuing. He said with the Admirals now in town, local players have been choosing to stay home to further their careers at the junior level.

“There are teams that are winning in this league that are doing it on the backs of Amherstburg kids,” said Fox.

Ewer added that although they are excited about the number of Amherstburg players in the lineup, they are equally excited about the other players from outside of town they have acquired as well. The Admirals open the regular season Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre against the Petrolia Flyers.

Amherstburg Stars Alumni Camp later this month

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars Alumni hockey camp returns later this month with the aim of having local players sharpen their skills in time for the 2017-18 season.

The camp will be at the Libro Centre Aug. 14-18 and is geared for male and female players ages 5-17. It will feature three hours of on ice training per day and another 90 minutes of off ice training per day.

“The camp will feature power skating and skill enhancement sessions, followed by competitive three-on-three situations and small area games. all looking to improve skating, stick handling, puck control, endurance, and offensive and defensive situations,” said Kyle Burns.

amha

Burns and Corey Beaulieu will join goalie coach Brian Spearing and camp organizer Glen Holden as instructors during the week-long camp.

“Right now we have approximately 45 players registered, with room for 60 players,” said Burns.

To register, please contact Glen Holden at 519-965-2049 or by e-mail at glen_holden22@yahoo.com.

Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily. The cost is $325 for the five-day camp and participants will receive lunch daily, a jersey and a camp T-shirt.

“This is our fifth year and so far our non-profit group has donated close to $7,000 back to AMHA and its members through donations and post secondary school bursaries,” noted Holden. “We’re also hoping Michael DiPietro will be able to make an appearance at our camp like in previous years.”

Midget Majors head to New Hamburg with OMHA semi-final series tied

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major team is heading to New Hamburg with the OMHA semi-final playdown series tied at two points apiece.

Jacob DeLuca scored 55 seconds into overtime to give the Stars a 5-4 win Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. It came less than 24 hours after New Hamburg had defeated the Stars 6-2 in the series’ first game.

DeLuca, who recorded a hat trick in the game, credited teammate Max Clifford for making the play to get him the puck. He said the difference between Sunday afternoon and Saturday night was they “pushed back” more Sunday.

Clifford said they entered Saturday night’s game not knowing anything about New Hamburg, a team they found out is big and skilled. He believed the win Sunday will give them confidence heading on the road this weekend.

Amherstburg's Kyran Kelly (centre, white jersey) tries to play the puck with his feet as he is surrounded by three New Hamburg players last Sunday. Amherstburg won this game 5-4 in overtime but lost 6-2 the night before, meaning the OMHA midget major playdown series is tied.

Amherstburg’s Kyran Kelly (centre, white jersey) tries to play the puck with his feet as he is surrounded by three New Hamburg players last Sunday. Amherstburg won this game 5-4 in overtime but lost 6-2 the night before, meaning the OMHA midget major playdown series is tied.

“We’ve got to go there and get it done,” said Clifford.

Head coach Glen Holden noted the fact the Stars gave up ten goals in two games, something they have to improve upon from the goalie on out.

“We have to have better defensive play,” he said, adding the ten goals in two games “is just not us.”

New Hamburg earned the Stars respect, Holden indicated.

“They are a big, physical team who brings speed to the game,” he said. “We definitely have a lot of respect for them. They are well coached. It’s a good match-up for us.”

Holden said they can’t afford to take a shift off and have to keep working if they want to beat New Hamburg.

The next two games are on the road Friday and Saturday with a fifth game, if necessary, being at the Libro Centre Sunday.

 

Midget Majors advance to OMHA semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major hockey team is heading back to the OMHA semi-finals.

The Stars defeated the Southpoint Capitals 3-1 Friday night to take the six-point series 6-0 and put themselves in a series with New Hamburg.

“Our main goal was to come out flying and get them off their game and I think we did that,” said Cole Zelle.

Zelle said they wanted to do “the little things” and get the puck in deep and the Stars were able to do that.

Isaac Hammond agreed, also saying they wanted to get the puck in deep and also play physical.

Amherstburg’s Brock Beaudoin (centre) brings the puck into the Southpoint zone during the third game of the OMHA quarterfinal series Friday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won the series with a 3-1 victory.

Amherstburg’s Brock Beaudoin (centre) brings the puck into the Southpoint zone during the third game of the OMHA quarterfinal series Friday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won the series with a 3-1 victory.

The Stars don’t have any history with New Hamburg and don’t know what to expect in the next round. Hammond said the New Hamburg beat a team they lost to in a tournament and that’s about all they know.

“We usually have some idea,” added Zelle. “We have no clue (about New Hamburg). We’ve never seen them before.”

Stars head coach Glen Holden was pleased that Amherstburg was able to get by Southpoint, particularly in light of all the injuries the Stars have.

“I’m extremely happy. These kids are winning some tough hockey games in stressful situations,” said Holden. “We have a deep lineup and they are finding ways to win. That’s a credit to them.”

Putting pressure on Southpoint’s defense was another key to beating them, he added.

Holden also said they don’t know much about their next opponent.

“Their record is very, very impressive,” he said of New Hamburg. “We have yet to see them. We are kind of going in blind.”

Midget Majors win first game of OMHA quarterfinal

 

 

The Amherstburg Stars midget major team got off on the right track in their OMHA series with the Southpoint Captials, winning 3-1 Saturday night.

The first period of Game 1 was the difference, as Amherstburg scored all three of their goals in the opening 15-minute period. Bryce McGregor, Reid Stieler and Isaac Hammond found the back of the net for the Stars.

Amherstburg’s Jacob DeLuca gets a scoring chance on Southpoint goalie Tristan Edmondson.

Amherstburg’s Jacob DeLuca gets a scoring chance on Southpoint goalie Tristan Edmondson.

Brock Beaudoin had two assists, Stieler had another as did Andre Tomasian.

“I think we played good defense,” said goalie Daniel Miceli, who stopped 31 of 32 Southpoint shots in game one. “It wasn’t just me. It was everybody. We cleared the puck out pretty quickly.”

Miceli said they want to come into every game strong.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” he said.

Stieler said they want to come into every game and give it everything they have. He said they need to increase their effort, noting they were getting tired in the first period of the first game.

Head coach Glen Holden was happy with the way they played in the first game but had concerns going forward.

“We came out on fire,” said Holden. “We had a couple of powerplay goals but eventually our lack of numbers caught up to us.”

David Desormeaux carries the puck into the Southpoint zone Saturday night. Amherstburg won 3-1.

David Desormeaux carries the puck into the Southpoint zone Saturday night. Amherstburg won 3-1.

Holden added: “I can’t complain because the boys found a way to win.”

Already missing several players due to injuries, another season-ending injury was added Saturday night to the three they already had.

“We’re going to have to rely on our AP’s to help us out this series,” he said.

Game 2 of the series was supposed to be Sunday afternoon in Wheatley but a power outage resulted in the game being postponed until last night, after this issue went to press.

The next home game in the six-point series is Friday night at 8:40 p.m.