Admirals acquire scorer and defenseman, beat Wallaceburg

 

Admirals forward Ryan Alexander gets a scoring chance on Wallaceburg goalie George Hill Sunday night. Alexander scored three times in his team’s 9-1 win.

Admirals forward Ryan Alexander gets a scoring chance on Wallaceburg goalie George Hill Sunday night. Alexander scored three times in his team’s 9-1 win.

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals were victorious on the ice Sunday night but they are equally pleased with the deals they made off of it.

The Admirals (20-10-3-1, 44 points) downed the last place Wallaceburg Lakers (3-30, six points) 9-1 Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Ryan Alexander scored three times for the Admirals with Jordan Luciw adding a pair. Broden Meloche, Joey Bouzide, Luke Gangnon and Mitchell Holden also scored for Amherstburg, who out-shot the visitors 58-9 on the night.

It was the first game in an Admirals’ jersey for Austin Jennings, a 6’2″, 190 lbs. defenseman/forward the team acquired in a trade with the Lakeshore Canadiens last Friday. In exchange, the Admirals sent forward Blake Rutckyj to Lakeshore. Rutckyj, 20, was tied for the team lead in goals with 14 at the time of the deal.

Admirals general manager Wes Ewer said the Admirals thank Rutckyj for what he brought to the team but noted Jennings is younger (18) and adds size to the defense corps.

“We’re excited to have (Jennings) on board,” he said.

The Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League trade deadline passed on the weekend and it had an impact on the Lakers as well, with Admirals coach Paul Bortignon acknowledging the Lakers were without their top two scorers Sunday night.

“Our goal tonight was to make more team plays than individual plays,” said Bortignon, who believed the statistics showed they accomplished that goal.

Admirals defenseman Dean Patterson takes a shot on Wallaceburg's George Hill Jan. 10 at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 9-1.

Admirals defenseman Dean Patterson takes a shot on Wallaceburg’s George Hill Jan. 10 at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 9-1.

“To play as well as we did was a bonus,” he stated. “I thought we really responded well as far as keeping our energy up.”

After the game, Ewer announced that James Brooks will rejoin the team. Brooks, who saw action with the LaSalle Vipers Jr. B team this season, led the Admirals as well as the entire Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League in scoring last season with 69 points.

“We’re really excited to have James back,” said Ewer.

Ewer said the Admirals’ deadline moves will help them keep pace with the first place Essex 73’s.

Brooks’ acquisition should also assist the Admirals’ powerplay, added Bortignon, who acknowledged it hasn’t been as good as it needs to be.

“This addition puts a lot of emphasis on that,” he said.

The Admirals play four of their final six regular season games away from the Libro Centre, including their next game this Saturday in Mooretown. Bortignon said they have a goal of getting seven of eight points in those road games.

The next home game for the Admirals is Sunday against Lakeshore. Following that, the Admirals have a three-game road trip in Wallaceburg (Jan. 20), Blenheim (Jan. 24) and Lakeshore (Jan. 29) before finishing the regular season at home Jan. 31 against Wheatley.

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