Admirals down Mooretown at home, lose to Essex on the road

 

By Christian Bouchard and Ron Giofu

The Amherstburg Admirals have made it a mission to defend home ice this season.

After falling to the Essex 73’s Tuesday night in Essex, the Admirals responded with a 3-1 victory on home ice against the Mooretown Flags. The Admirals are now 7-1-0-1 at the Libro Centre.

After missing nearly the entire first half of the season due to a hand injury, the Admirals welcomed back veteran Travis Campbell to the lineup.

“I had a few setbacks but I’m thankful to be back,” said Campbell.

Cory Burns celebrates his second period goal against the Mooretown Flags during the Admirals 3-1 victory Sunday night.

The over-ager made an immediate impact by making big hits, including one that sent a Flags player over the boards and into the Mooretown bench.

The offense was once again led by Cory Burns who scored twice, including a powerplay goal. Burns now has an eight-game point streak which includes 12 goals and 18 points. Kyle Meloche would score the third goal for the Admirals on the penalty kill.

Ben Larder would get his ninth win of the season in net, extending his winning streak to nine in games he’s started this season. Larder is second in the league with a goal against average of 1.65.

“The guys in front of me played well,” said Larder. “Twenty shots against says a lot about our defense. They blocked shots and got pucks out quick. Shutting down Brock Perry and their top line was a key aspect to getting the win.”

Larder also noted the return of his fellow over-ager gave him and the team confidence heading into the game with Mooretown.

“We were pretty fired up that he was back,” added Larder. “He’s a big part of the team and it’s great to get him back in the lineup especially after being out for so long.”

The Admirals were in Essex last Tuesday night and dropped a 4-1 decision to the 73’s. Ty Moss scored the lone Amherstburg goal with just 54.8 seconds left in the third period.

Admirals goalie Jared Ratko faces a shot from Essex’s Josh Pope-Ferguson.

“I don’t think this was our best effort,” said head coach/GM Paul Bortignon.

Bortignon said he didn’t want to use playing four games in five nights as an excuse, but he said they weren’t as quick as they usually were and they had some players that were injured.

Jared Ratko played in goal in Essex and while he played well, Bortignon pointed out it was a case of not giving him any goal support.

“We really haven’t scored a lot of goals in front of him,” he said.

As of Sunday night, the Admirals are 12-5-0-2  with 26 points and are in fourth place in the Bill Stobbs division. If the season were to end today, the Admirals would secure home-ice advantage and face the Flags in a repeat of last year’s first-round matchup in the playoffs.

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