Bulldogs hockey team starts 2012 with pair of wins

 

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst boys’ hockey team is undefeated in 2012.

In their first week back from Christmas vacation the Bulldogs picked up a pair of “mandatory” wins against Sandwich and Kingsville.

The Bulldogs defeated Sandwich 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon at the Vollmer Centre then handed Kingsville a 4-2 loss at the UCCU Complex Thursday afternoon.

Before the Christmas break the Bulldogs stood in the basement of the Snyder Conference with a 1-3-1 record but after the pair of victories their 3-3-1 record now puts them in third place in the conference, just two points back from Kingsville.

Amherst’s Josh Laframbois fights for poistion with a Sandwich defender.

In both games the Bulldogs showed more chemistry amongst line mates, something that was lacking in the five pervious games. Head coach Pat Garrett credits the new found chemistry to having their first practice of the season last Tuesday.

“I’m very pleased with the progression from Tuesday practice to Wednesday’s game and that even followed into Thursday’s game,” said Garrett.

Garrett said the Sandwich and Kingsville games were easily the best hockey the Bulldogs have played thus far.

“In both games they played phenomenal,” said Garrett. “They executed everything.”

On Wednesday’s game against Sandwich, Amherst started out quickly with Adam Robinson finding the back of the net on a shorthand breakaway.

Josh Laframbois made it 2-0 with two minutes left in the first period.

Sandwich would finally get on the board in the third period when a loose puck bounced its way past Amherst goalie Mitch Topliffe on the powerplay.

However, Blaine Bechard put the Bulldogs back up 3-1.

Sandwich added their second powerplay goal of the game in the final three minute but that would be as close as they got.

“We were struggling in the first half of the season, we didn’t have much practice time and we weren’t gelling very well but it seems like the practice really helped us out,” said Bechard after Wednesday bout. “I hope this is a sign of us pulling it together.”

In Thursday’s game, Garrett said the Bulldogs controlled much of the puck possession, while using their speed and larger ice surface to their advantage against a big, physical Kingsville squad.

Spencer Petrozzi opened the scoring on the power play and Josh Laframbois scored his second goal in two games.

Mike Popel and Dean Shepley also notched a gino onto the board as the Bulldogs walked away with a 4-2 win.

Garrett noted that Topliffe played “outstanding” in back-to-back games, stating his pad save on a Kingsville breakaway lte in the game, helped preserve the win.

“It’s the best he’s played this season,” said Garrett.

Amherst will look to build on their 2012 success as they host L’Essor on Tuesday and Essex on Thursday.

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