Bulldogs to meet up with rival Essex in WECSSAA hockey playoffs

 

Mitch Holden (8) attempts a wraparound vs. L’Essor last Thursday during General Amherst's 6-1 win. Amherst will play Essex in the next round of the playoffs starting this week.

Mitch Holden (8) attempts a wraparound vs. L’Essor last Thursday during General Amherst’s 6-1 win. Amherst will play Essex in the next round of the playoffs starting this week.

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs will meet one of their big rivals this week in the WECSSAA boys hockey playoffs after handily beating L’Essor in a one-game knockout.

The Bulldogs downed L’Essor 6-1 last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre and, with the win, advanced to play the Essex Red Raiders this week. Dean Patterson had a big game for General Amherst as he scored a hat trick in the victory.

Amherst gave a lot of support to goalie Jack Langlois early as they built a 4-0 lead after one period. Dean Patterson scored from the slot 3:37 into the game while Mitch Holden put home his own rebound less than a minute later. Patterson scored again late in the period to make it 3-0 before Garret Meloche one-timed home a pass from Holden just 52 seconds after Patterson’s second goal.

Ryan Holzel scored late in the second period while the two teams traded goals in the third period with Holzel feeding a streaking Patterson, with the latter going top shelf to round out the scoring.

“We were missing a few guys but so were they,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett.

Garrett was glad to get out of the elimination game as “you never know” what can happen but he said his players played well. The Bulldogs predominantly used two lines due to missing players but he said they “played very well.”

The Essex series opened yesterday at home after this issue of the River Town Times went to press with the two teams meeting today at the Essex Centre Sports Complex. The Bulldogs beat Essex 3-0 in the regular season but Garrett doesn’t believe that was the Red Raiders’ best effort.

“It’s going to be a really good series,” he predicted. “We love to play each other and we love to beat each other.”

Patterson said the Bulldogs’ breakout was good against L’Essor and that they moved the puck well and played physical.

“It’s the kind of hockey we want to play in the playoffs against good teams like Essex and Brennan,” said Patterson.

The Red Raiders play physical, he stated, and believed they would have to take advantage of powerplay opportunities in order to defeat them. He said they would also have to break out of their own zone in similar fashion against Essex as they did against L’Essor.

The Bulldogs lost to Brennan in last season’s playoffs and Patterson noted they are looking to improve their fortunes this season.

“We’ve got a good team this year,” said Patterson. “We can definitely go places if we keep our heads in it.”

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