Bulldogs advance to WECSSAA A/AA hockey finals by beating L’Essor

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team have advanced to the WECSSAA A/AA finals after sweeping L’Essor last week.

The best-of-three series concluded last Thursday at the WFCU Centre in Windsor with the Bulldogs skating away with a 7-1 victory. Garret Blunt, Justin Veldhuis and Owen Coughlin scored two goals apiece with Zach Yott also scoring for General Amherst.

“They played really well,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett.

Garrett said the Bulldogs were “all over them” including a first period where he estimated they had 20 shots on goal. He noted they were up 2-0 within the first four minutes and that helped set the tone for the rest of the game.

“That was the catalyst that got us going,” said Garrett.

Brock Beaudoin circles the L'Essor net while being pursued by a L'Essor player last Wednesday afternoon. General Amherst won this game 5-3 and the next game 7-1 in Windsor to advance to the WECSSAA A/AA boys hockey finals.

Brock Beaudoin circles the L’Essor net while being pursued by a L’Essor player last Wednesday afternoon. General Amherst won this game 5-3 and the next game 7-1 in Windsor to advance to the WECSSAA A/AA boys hockey finals.

The team lost their second-leading scorer Brock Beaudoin to a shoulder injury but Garrett noted that was a hit to the team, they have enough depth to overcome it.

The Bulldogs survived a scare in the opening game of the series last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Amherst won 5-3 thanks to two goals from Blunt in the third period.

The two teams were scoreless after the first period of Game 1 with L’Essor scoring the first two goals of the game in the second period. Jake Topliffe and Isaac Hammond tied it for the Bulldogs with Veldhuis having to tie the game again after L’Essor took a 3-2 advantage.

“It was a lot tighter than I wanted that game to be,” said Garrett.

Garrett added they found a way to come back and win and believes that could help them in tight games down the road.

“I think it was a good test for us,” he said.

The Bulldogs also had plenty of scoring chances in that game but Garrett credited the L’Essor goalie for making several good saves.

General Amherst will now face off against the Belle River Nobles for the WECSSAA title. The series starts Tuesday at the Libro Centre at 2:30 p.m., before heading to the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore for Game 2 Wednesday 2:45 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, would be back in Amherstburg Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

Garrett is confident in the Bulldogs’ chances, but notes that a hot goalie or some lucky bounces can change a series in a hurry.

“I think it will be a very good series,” said Garrett.

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