Bulldogs swept by Belle River in WECSSAA A/AA boys hockey final

 

Robbie Lavoie (centre) battles for a puck in front of Belle River goalie Connor Meyerink while being defended by Riley Meyerink. The Bulldogs were swept in two straight games by the Nobles.

Robbie Lavoie (centre) battles for a puck in front of Belle River goalie Connor Meyerink while being defended by Riley Meyerink. The Bulldogs were swept in two straight games by the Nobles.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle River Nobles claimed the WECSSAA A/AA boys hockey title last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre after completing a sweep of the General Amherst Bulldogs.

The Nobles won 4-2 in the second game of the best-of-three series, just two days after winning 5-0 over a shorthanded Amherst team in the first game. Just like they did in the deciding game versus Essex, the Bulldogs iced only ten players in the first game due to much of the team having minor hockey commitments elsewhere.

Mitch Holden opened the scoring to give General Amherst an early 1-0 lead but Belle River would score three straight to take a 3-1 lead midway through the third period. Ryan Holzel would cut the Amherst deficit to 3-2 but the Nobles scored an empty net goal with 40 seconds left to seal the deal.

Holden said it was “very tough” to play the first game with only ten players.

“Breaks don’t come often,” he said. “It was tough to get things going.”

The Bulldogs put up a better fight in the second game when they had their full team return, he added.

“It’s too bad things didn’t go our way,” he said.

Holden said Belle River is likely the toughest team in the league but believed the Bulldogs did well just to have the opportunity to match up with the Nobles.

“We had a pretty good year for the expectations we had,” said Holden. “We weren’t supposed to go this far but a 10-2 season is something to be proud of. I think next year we’ve got a lot of good things going for us. Hopefully we can get by these guys next year and do the best we can.”

Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said it was a good season for his players and one they can be proud of. He said there is a lot of character in the dressing room.

“It’s tough any time the season ends. I’m a little disappointed in the way it ended,” said Garrett.

Garrett was unhappy with the officiating in the second game and believed there should have been more penalties called after a line brawl at the end of the game, one he said started after one of his players was punched in the face.

“Our referees’ association should be ashamed of themselves,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs stand to lose a number of players off this year’s team, including Holzel, Sean Santarossa and Zack Parlette while others such as Dean Patterson, Marshal Laing and Eric Wismer could get a look by junior clubs.

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