Admirals down defending champs, welcome new GM

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Admirals capped off a big week with win over the defending league champs Sunday night.

The Admirals got two goals from Ty Moss and one goal each from Kyle Meloche and Broden Meloche in a 4-1 win over the defending PJHL Stobbs Division champion Lakeshore Canadiens Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Ben Larder made 30 saves in net for Amherstburg.

“It’s always nice to get a win like that at home,” said Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon. “I think everyone had a strong game. From start to finish, we got better each period.”

It was the first game in a week for the Admirals, with Bortignon very happy with their effort Sunday night.

“I thought we controlled most of the play in the third period,” he said. “We did a fantastic job. That was a big win for us.”

Bortignon said they have a big game Wednesday in Wallaceburg, noting that even though the Lakers are currently in last place, it is still a tough place to play. The Admirals then turn around and play first place Dresden on the road Friday night before hosting Wheatley Sunday.

“For us, it’s one game at a time,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals also made news late last week, announcing the Bortignon had stepped down as the team’s general manager. Greg Crain is the new GM, with Bortignon staying on as coach.

Bortignon, who recently got married, said “it was the right move at the right time” for him.

“Obviously the wedding and married life impacted the decision,” he said. “I recently started a new job as well.”

Bortignon said he wants to focus on the 23 players in the dressing room, noting that both roles was taxing on him.

“There is really no down time when you are both the head coach and general manager,” he said. “The season ends and then it’s right into recruiting and planning. I believe this move will enable me to refresh in the off-season and be eager to get back at it.”

Amherstburg’s Ty Moss celebrates a third period goal versus Lakeshore Dec. 2. The Admirals won 4-1.

The co-owners announced Crain as the new general manager via a press release last Friday.

“When Paul approached us for some help, we weren’t sure which direction we would go,” said co-owner Matt Fox. Fox said they originally looked at possibly beefing up their scouting and having co-owner Wes Ewer assist with the general manager’s duties.

Ewer had been the general manager prior to Bortignon.

However, Bortignon and Ewer would set up a meeting with Crain and the deal was put together.

“Greg brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and business experience to our team and we are excited for him to get started,” said co-owner Gaspare Spada.

Ewer said he knows Crain through both of their involvement with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA).

Max Clifford (25) gets a shot on Canadiens goalie Erik Morneau in the second period of Amherstburg’s 4-1 win at the Libro Centre Dec. 2.

“I’m excited,” said Ewer. “I think he’ll fit well with our staff.”

Ewer added they are happy to add another Amherstburg resident to the hockey operations.

“I love it when Amherstburg people can move the organization forward,” he said.

Crain, whose extensive hockey resume includes a stop with the then-Belle River Canadiens, said he is happy to be back in Jr. C.

“I’m really excited to be part of this team,” he said. “It’s great to get the first win for me.”

Crain’s priority is simple, as he said in the press release “we need to win.”

The Admirals are now 14-5-0-3, good for 31 points.

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