Admirals go into playoffs on losing note

 

 

Austin Jennings’ bid for a second Admirals’ goal is turned aside by Wheatley goalie Adam Leboeuf with just over two minutes to play. Wheatley had just taken a 2-1 lead moments earlier.

Austin Jennings’ bid for a second Admirals’ goal is turned aside by Wheatley goalie Adam Leboeuf with just over two minutes to play. Wheatley had just taken a 2-1 lead moments earlier.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals will start the playoffs Wednesday night against the same team they concluded the regular season against.

They will be seeking a much different result in the postseason opener against the Wheatley Sharks than they had in the regular season finale as the Sharks downed the Admirals 4-1 Sunday night at the Libro Centre.

The loss dropped the Admirals (24-12-3-1, 52 points) into third place in the Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League standings as Blenheim surpassed Amherstburg in the standings with a 4-3 win over Lakeshore Sunday night. Both the Blades and Admirals finished the regular season with 52 points but Blenheim’s 25 wins gave them the tie-breaker.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon was clearly unimpressed with his team’s performance Sunday night.

“Mentally, one guy was there tonight and that was our goalie (Daniel Tonietto),” said Bortignon. “We didn’t do nearly enough to help him out and get him the win.”

Bortignon said the team didn’t work hard enough on the “little things” and didn’t do what they had to do to be successful.

“We knew what we had to do,” he said. “Our job was to get one point and then this team (Wheatley) was in our rear-view mirror. Now, we have one of the hottest teams in the league coming in here. We gave (Wheatley) a lot of hope and gave them some momentum moving forward.”

After a scoreless first period, Calyn Kir scored 3:55 into the second to give the Sharks the lead. Kasey Basile tied the game at the 16:25 mark of the period to send the game into the third period tied. Kir scored with just 2:54 left in regulation time to put the Sharks ahead with Delaney MacDonald and Brett Bowman finding the empty net late in the game.

“It’s in the rear view mirror now,” said Bortignon of Sunday night’s game. “It’s a new season now. We’ve reset our goals. We’re going into the playoffs now and the goal is to get four wins before our opponent.”

Kasey Basile celebrates his second period goal against Wheatley Jan. 31. Amherstburg and Wheatley meet again Wednesday night in the first game of a best-of-seven playoff series.

Kasey Basile celebrates his second period goal against Wheatley Jan. 31. Amherstburg and Wheatley meet again Wednesday night in the first game of a best-of-seven playoff series.

The Admirals final road game of the regular season was a 6-3 win in Lakeshore Friday night. Jordan Luciw, Travis Campbell, Ryan Holzel and Dean Patterson helped give Amherstburg a 4-1 lead after two periods with Patterson and Curtis Prymack scoring in the third period for the Admirals. Connor Meyerink picked up the win in goal.

“We didn’t get as many shots as we wanted to but it was nice to get the win,” said Bortignon.

The regular season was a success, he believed, though noted they didn’t achieve all of their goals. Bortignon added they entered the playoffs with back-to-back losses last year and made it to the finals so he is hoping for similar if not greater success this year.

Game 1 is Wednesday night at 7:30 at the Libro Centre before the series switches to Wheatley for Game 2 next Monday night for another 7:30 p.m. start.

Game 3 will be back in Amherstburg Feb. 9 for a 7 p.m. faceoff with Game 4 in Wheatley Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

If necessary, Game 5 would be in Amherstburg Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., Game 6 in Wheatley Feb 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Game 7 in Amherstburg Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.

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