Admirals stumble out of gate, rebound against Wheatley

 

 

By Joel Charron

 

Amherstburg Admirals captain Kyle Morand isn’t reading too much into their 6-0 home opening loss to the Essex 73’s Sunday night.

“We’re going to play much better than that. This is nothing what the season is going to be like,” Morand stated.

ADMIRALS-2The Admirals began a new era of Junior C hockey in Amherstburg in front of a sold out crowd at the United Communities Credit Union Complex, however the excitement of opening the season in a new home may have taken its toll on the players.

“Everyone on the team was excited and talking before the game. We did our best to try and prepare ourselves properly but with 600 people, friends, family and half the team has never played in a game like that before, it’s tough to prepare for,” said Morand.

The game got off to a later start due to pre-game ceremonies that included a ceremonial puck drop and the firing of a cannon.

The Admirals kept place with the defending Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League champs until midway through the first period.

In a span of five minutes the Admirals dug themselves a deep hole.

Former Amherstburg Stars captain Eric Shaw gave the 73’s a 1-0 lead at the 10:50 mark and Tyler Scott pushed the lead to 2-0 two minutes later.

Daniel Slipchuk’s powerplay goal just 56 second later gave the 73’s 3-0 and 73’s captain Corey Beaulieu notched a shorthanded marker to round out the scoring in the first period.

Amherstburg had a chance to get on the board in the second period after Dan Matoski was awarded a penalty shot after being halted down on a breakaway but rang the puck off the left corner post.

Phil Janikowski scored Essex’s fifth goal of the game and Aaron Thibert wrapped it up with a powerplay goal in the third.

The Admirals finished the game with 24 shots while the 73’s fired 35 shots at Amherstburg goalie Clinton Kenny, who played his first game in over a year.

Despite being shut out, Admirals head coach Greg Prymac said he wasn’t disappointed with his team.

“You could see the nerves in the first period but it was 1-0 in the second and 1-0 in the third,” he said. “That’s the best team in the league and we didn’t quit and we battled hard, so that’s what I was looking to see.”

Prymac noted that Sunday’s game was the first time this lineup had together.

He did mentioned the Admirals have to finish around the net, several times Amherstburg had Essex goalie Arren Romeril scrambling but could not slip one past him.

“We’ll get better…we’ll get a lot better,” he said.

The Admirals’ fortunes improved Monday night in Wheatley when they won their first regular season game 6-4 in what the team’s Facebook page terms as a “solid overall team performance.”

The Admirals host the Belle River Canadiens Sunday, Sept 22. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.

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