Admirals open exhibition season with 4-3 loss to Essex 73’s


By Joel Charron


There were mixed reactions from the coaching staff following the Amherstburg Admirals 4-3 exhibition loss to the Essex 73’s last Wednesday night at the United Communities Credit Union Complex in front of a crowd of nearly 400 people

Admirals exhibtionAdmirals assistant coach Chris Leeming said there were times where the Admirals looked good and attacked the 73’s defence, however more often than not the home team looked content on getting worked on the ice and took what Essex gave them.

“I thought there were plenty of times where we sat back and let Essex take it to us instead of going out there and playing the way we wanted to play,” said Leeming.

Amherstburg got off to a good start with Kyler Carter finding he back of the net on the powerplay, however the lead was short lived as Essex’s Daniel Slipchuk tied the game at 1-1 in the dying second of the first period.

In the opening five minutes of the second period, Essex took advantage of Amherstburg’s sluggish play. Mac Laforest and Daniel McIntyre each popped in a goal to give Essex a 3-1 lead.

Admirals’ Colin Hamilton lit the lamp to bring Amherstburg within one, however Slipchuk netted his second goal of the game and restored Essex two-goal lead before the period was over.

Amherstburg’s effort drastically improved in the final period. Carter scored his second goal of the game and the Admirals out shot the 73’s 13-4, however could not find the equalizer as time expired.

Carter said the second period hurt the Admirals.

“They kept getting it deep on us and our wingers and centremen were out of position and they capitalized,” said Carter. “They made us pay for our mistakes.”

Carter said it was “very frustrating” not to see the puck go in the net, especially how the Admirals swarmed the 73’s zone in the third period.

“We found a groove in the last five minutes and we just couldn’t bury one, it was very frustrating,” he said.

With 10 roster spots open, Carter said every second on the ice is valuable.

“As a 16-year-old rookie, you make one mistake and it could put you below someone and if it’s an older guy, it can put you right off the map,” said Carter.

(UPDATE: The Admirals overcame a 3-0 deficit Tuesday night and defeated Essex 5-4. The regular season home opener is Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m., also against Essex.)

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