Pat Garrett

General Amherst has two all-stars, one playing in showcase game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team features two WECSSAA all-stars and one of those players is also advancing to play in the Pro Hockey Life Showcase Series.

Brock Beaudoin, a second team WECSSAA all-star, will represent General Amherst in the showcase game tonight at the Libro Centre with the game getting underway at 6 p.m. The game is designed to let high school players get additional exposure to scouts from higher levels of hockey, such as Jr. B or Jr. C.

“I was surprised,” said Beaudoin. “I’m pretty excited about it.”

Pat Garrett, head coach of the Bulldogs hockey team, said it’s a good opportunity for Beaudoin, describing him as “a physical goal scorer.”

“I like to lay the body out there,” said Beaudoin.

Beaudoin hopes to play either Jr. C or midget major hockey next season.

Reid Stieler (left) and Brock Beaudoin of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team were both WECSSAA all-stars with Stieler being named to the first team and Beaudoing to the second team. Beaudoin will play in the May 10 Pro Hockey Life Showcase Series game at the Libro Centre starting at 6 p.m.

Reid Stieler (left) and Brock Beaudoin of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team were both WECSSAA all-stars with Stieler being named to the first team and Beaudoing to the second team. Beaudoin will play in the May 10 Pro Hockey Life Showcase Series game at the Libro Centre starting at 6 p.m.

“It’s a huge honour to have Brock selected to the showcase game,” added Garrett. “The fact that it’s at home is a nice touch for Brock.”

Also competing in the showcase game are two Villanova players – Chris Francia and Cole Welsh.

Reid Stieler was also recognized recently as he is a first-team WECSSAA all-star.

“Obviously, I’m honoured about it,” Stieler said of his all-star selection. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized.”

This is the second year in a row that Stieler has been named a first-team WECSSAA all-star. He hopes to join a Jr. C club next year, possibly the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals, or play for the Amherstburg Stars midget major team.

Amherstburg resident selected in OHL draft by Spitfires

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg is already well represented on the Windsor Spitfires thanks to Michael DiPietro and could be again thanks to Stefan Dobrich.

Dobrich, a defenseman with both the Sun County Panthers and General Amherst Bulldogs, was selected 183rd overall by the Spitfires in the recent Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. The son of former owner Peter Dobrich also had interest from the Erie Otters and Flint Firebirds.

“It’s an awesome experience. I worked hard to get to where I am. It’s definitely something to be proud of,” said Dobrich.

Dobrich said he plans on proving himself and showing that his talent and determination got him to where he is thus far.

Stefan Dobrich

Stefan Dobrich

“There’s always something to prove. You have to prove you belong there,” he said. “You’ve always got to prove you belong there.”

Noting he was happy to be drafted, Dobrich said it didn’t matter to him what round he went in. He was at home with his family when he got the news and they celebrated once the word came.

Describing himself as a defensive defenseman who shuts opposition players down and kills penalties, the General Amherst student said he is keeping all career avenues open and hopes to play junior next season to get exposure to a higher level of hockey.

“I am going to try and make a living playing hockey when I’m older. That’s definitely my goal,” he said. “I’m relieved to get drafted.”

Although he has accomplished one objective by getting drafted, Dobrich knows there is still a long road ahead.

“There’s definitely a lot of work (to do),” he said. “I got there, now I have to stay there.”

Dobrich has already attended one mini-camp with the Spitfires and he and his trainer are awaiting word from the OHL club on what kind of off-season conditioning program they want him to do. He also thanks his parents for all of their support over the years.

“It’s been a lot of driving up the highways,” he said. “I’d like to thank them the most.”

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said Dobrich is the second Amherst player to be drafted in the 11 years he has coached the program. The other was Kyle Shaw, a fifth-round selection by Sudbury in 2009. Garrett said he was happy Dobrich was drafted by Windsor, as it keeps him local where family and friends can see him play.

“He’s not only a great hockey player, he’s also a great student and a great kid,” said Garrett, of Dobrich.

Garrett praised Dobrich’s work ethic and said while he is sometimes quiet, he’s also “a fun kid to be around.” He added it is an honour to have another player that played at General Amherst be selected by an OHL team.

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.

 

Bulldogs advance to WECSSAA final by sweeping Kingsville

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs have gone to a level that seemed improbable a few weeks ago.

The boys hockey team, who finished the regular season 3-6-3, are back in the WECSSAA AA finals after stunning the Kingsville Cavaliers in two straight games last week.

The second and final game of the series was Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre, a 7-6 General Amherst victory.

Brock Beaudoin led the way with three goals while teammate Max Clifford scored twice. Cole Zelle and Brandon Salvati had the other goals.

General Amherst actually trailed Game 2 4-2 late in the second period but would score two before the period was over and the first three goals of the third period to take a 7-4 lead. Kingsville rallied with two of their own before time ran out on them.

“Thirteen goals in a playoff game is pretty rare,” admitted Amherst head coach Pat Garrett.

Garrett said the players relied upon to score goals did so and was also pleased both goalies got a chance to play in the Kingsville series.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (2, white jersey) gets a second period scoring chance last Thursday at the Libro Centre. Amherst won 7-6 to clinch the series with the Cavaliers and earn a berth in the WECSSAA AA boys hockey final.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (2, white jersey) gets a second period scoring chance last Thursday at the Libro Centre. Amherst won 7-6 to clinch the series with the Cavaliers and earn a berth in the WECSSAA AA boys hockey final.

Last year’s WECSSAA champions now get to defend their title in the finals, something that didn’t always seem possible. Garrett said they entered the playoffs as the sixth seed and “to be in the finals is a testament to these guys.

“They got hot at the right time,” he added. “We got healthy at the right time.”

The finals will be tough, Garrett said, but he believes the Bulldogs can get the job done.

Beaudoin also had a hat trick in Game 1, a 6-2 General Amherst win. He said the Bulldogs were able to outplay the Cavaliers and get the puck deep.

Beaudoin added they are playing well now, scoring goals and doing so at the right time.

“At first I thought we weren’t going to go that far,” he admitted.

Also scoring for the Bulldogs in Game 1 were Clifford, Ethan Hamelin and Isaac Hammond.

Bulldogs advance in boys hockey playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs have advanced in the WECSSAA playoffs after winning on the road Thursday afternoon.

The boys hockey team won 6-3 over the St. Joseph Lasers in a one-game knockout playoff game at the WFCU Centre. After the Lasers took a 1-0 lead after one period, the Bulldogs exploded for five second period goals.

Stefan Dobrich got the first Bulldog goal with Reid Stieler, Max Clifford, Isaac Hammond and Brock Beaudoin scoring before the second period was finished.

Beaudoin added his second goal of the game in the third period.

Brayden Mayco scored twice for St. Joseph with Carter Comeau scoring the other goal.

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team  celebrates following a 6-3 win over St. Joseph last Thursday.

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team
celebrates following a 6-3 win over St. Joseph last Thursday.

“We didn’t have a good start. We were finding our own way,” said Amherst captain Reid Stieler. “We woke up in the second period. We got the puck in deep and threw the body.”

Stieler said they started putting pucks at the net and that enabled the Bulldogs to get a couple of “garbage goals” because of it.

The Bulldogs are undefeated in their last four games, dating back to the regular season, and Stieler said it is a good time to start playing well.

“Obviously, it’s a good time to get things together at the start of the playoffs,” he said.

The Bulldogs play this week in a best-of-three series with the Kingsville Cavaliers and Stieler thinks they have a shot. The Bulldogs tied the Cavaliers 3-3 Feb. 6.

“We feel confident going into the series,” said Stieler, after Thursday’s game.

Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said “it was a difficult year in terms of standings,” as the Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 3-6-3. Garrett noted the Bulldogs were missing key players during various points of the season but have had full lineups the last four games.

“It’s nice to have everyone in the lineup,” said Garrett, following Thursday’s game.

Garrett said St. Joseph is a good hockey team but his team worked hard, finished their checks and were relentless. He added that he always believed the Bulldogs were a better team than their record indicated.

As for the Kingsville series, “I feel optimistic about it, I really do,” said Garrett.

“It’s a good time to start playing well,” he added.

The goalies are playing strong and the Bulldogs are getting goals from different players, he added.

(UPDATE – The Bulldogs won Tuesday against Kingsville 6-2. They host the Cavaliers in Game 2 Thursday at 2:30 p.m.)