Admirals split pair on weekend, including OT loss on home ice


AdmiralsBy Ron Giofu


It obviously wasn’t the finish the Amherstburg Admirals wanted Sunday night, but the coaching staff still noted an improved effort.

Brett Babkirk’s second goal of the game came 3:40 into overtime to give the Wheatley Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Admirals Sunday night at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

Babkirk opened the scoring at the 9:48 mark of the first period on a five-minute powerplay when his wrist shot from the blue line found its way past Admirals goalie Klinton Kenny. Thomas Eady had been given the major and a game misconduct for a head-checking penalty.

The Sharks’ lead lasted until the 3:23 mark of the second period when Colin Hamilton got Amherstburg on the board when he zipped a shot through a maze of legs and past Wheatley goalie Conner MacKinnon.

Ryan Zsebok gave Wheatley the lead again before the period was out but Steven Spada broke in alone on MacKinnon and buried the tying goal just 1:23 into period three.

“Coming off the effort we had in the last two games, it was a lot better,” said Amherstburg assistant coach Mike Heikkinen.

Heikkinen, filling in for suspended head coach Greg Prymack, said the effort was much improved in the rematch with the Sharks. Wheatley had blanked Amherstburg 5-0 six days earlier in Wheatley.

“We just preached before the game to be more difficult to play against,” said Heikkinen.

Heikkinen added it was “disappointing” the previous two games when the Admirals weren’t as difficult to play against. With Eady ejected, Black Rutckyj playing only one shift due to injury and Brett Beattie and Kyle Morand serving the first of a two-game suspension Sunday, the overall effort was better.

“We got a point in a tough game with the lineup we had,” said Heikkinen.

The Admirals had “a pretty sloppy effort” in Saturday’s 6-5 win over last place Wallaceburg, the latter only having one win on the season. The game was played on Walpole Island.

Justin Whitson opened the scoring for the Lakers but Kyler Carter and Luke Gangnon put the Admirals up 2-1. However, Evan Weidenback and Cody Hardman put Wallaceburg up 3-2 before the first period was over.

Amherstburg outscored Wallaceburg 3-1 in the second period with Spada, Dan Matoski and Beattie scoring for the Admirals. Eady scored in the third for Amherstburg.

Chris Wallace picked up the win in goal for the Admirals.

After Sunday’s action, Amherstburg’s record sat at 9-6-1 for 19 points, good for fourth place in the Great Lakes Jr. C standings.

The Admirals are in Mooretown Saturday night before returning home Sunday night for a game against the 15-0-1-1 Essex 73’s. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.


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