Sports

Admirals win fifth straight game, set franchise records

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

The Amherstburg Admirals are heating up and setting records.

After winning their last five games, the Admirals are in third place in the Bill Stobbs division of the PJHL.

The Admirals defeated the first place Dresden Kings with a dominating 8-0 road victory Friday night before returning to home ice Sunday to take on the Wheatley Sharks for the first time this season. The Admirals scored three third period goals and Jared Ratko made 34 saves to secure the Admirals second consecutive shutout victory.

Josh DiCarlo (8) and Josh Talerico (24) celebrate DiCarlo’s first Jr. C goal for his hometown team. Amherstburg defeated Wheatley 4-0 Sunday night.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Cory Burns was awarded the Player of the Month award for the month of November. Burns played in seven games while recording 10 goals and six assists. The veteran would also add assists in Sunday’s victory making him the franchise leading point scorer with 150 points.

“An individual award is nice to be recognized but ultimately, I’m looking for us to win a team award such as a championship,” said Burns.

In addition to Burns setting the franchise record for points, Captain Auston Jennings also recorded two assists Sunday, making him the franchise leader in assists with 98.

The Admirals also added to their scoring depth by signing Amherstburg native Josh DiCarlo over the weekend. The 17-year-old was paired with Burns on the top line and wasted no time as he scored his first goal for his hometown team Sunday night.

“I love playing for the hometown,” said DiCarlo. “When I was a little kid, I watched the Admirals and I always dreamed of playing for them. Now that dream is a reality.”

Cory Burns accepts his award for Player of the Month before Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre, won by the Admirals 4-0.

Despite the offensive talents, the Admirals are also showing off their defense as well. The Admirals are leading the Bills Stobbs division in fewest goals allowed as Ben Larder and Jared Ratko have combined for a total of 49 goals against in 25 games.

“That goes right to our goaltending,” added Burns. “We’ve had good goaltending all year and we put a lot of work in the defensive zone at practice. We’ve shut things down and it shows on our home ice for sure.”

The Admirals also travelled to Wallaceburg last Wednesday night where they picked up a 5-2 win over the winless Lakers.

The Admirals are now 17-5-0-3 for the season and a league best 10-1-0-1 on home ice. Amherstburg’s next game is this Sunday as they host the Mooretown Flags at 7 p.m., at the Libro Centre.

Bulldogs fall to 0-3 after loss against undefeated St. Anne team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The toughest part of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team schedule is the early portion but they are fighting their way through it.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Anne Saints last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The win boosted St. Anne’s record to 5-0.

Jacob Howson scored the Bulldogs only goal of the game, as he poked home a rebound midway through the third period. The Bulldogs were without their number one goal Jacob Lister as he missed the game due to illness.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett believes the young team is making progress.

Jacob Howson of the General Amherst Bulldogs breaks in for a scoring chance during last Thursday afternoon’s WECSSAA boys hockey game against the St. Anne Saints.

“I think we’re coming,” said Garrett. “I think our backup goalies did a great job.”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 heading into the third period and Garrett said their goal at that point was just to win the third period, which they did.

“I’m really impressed with the young players,” he said. “The Grade 9’s and 10’s played well. That’s exciting for the future.”

Garrett called the 2018-19 WECSSAA schedule “front loaded” with the games with the larger, stronger schools at the beginning and the games with schools similarly sized to General Amherst towards the latter portion of the season. The Bulldogs have four league games over the next two weeks heading into the Christmas break as well as a tournament.

“We’re going to get an opportunity to put six or seven games together,” he said. “I think we’ll be a much better team once we get those games in.”

Drake McGowan gets a shot on goal during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

Garrett said they only have a handful of skaters and one goalie back from last year, but he is happy with the talent level he sees on the young Bulldogs team. He notes most of the team are new faces and that they are performing better than expected.

“It’s quite a bit different,” he said of this year’s team, as they usually have more players that returned from the previous year.

The Bulldogs played Tuesday against L’Essor at Tecumseh Arena after the print issue of the RTT went to press. They host Tecumseh Vista Academy at the Libro Centre Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

 

Lady Gens looking forward to good season on the volleyball court

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even though the General Amherst Lady Gens are hosting the OFSAA “AA” girls volleyball championship this season, they want to earn their way there instead of just playing in it as the host team.

Head coach Jeff Miller is optimistic about the current season, as WECSSAA play begins this week. The Lady Gens, who will play in WECSSAA Tier 1, could be formidable this season.

“It is our best group of athletes in the last three or four years,” said Miller. “I’m hoping we’re in the top four in the Windsor-Essex area.”

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (4) hits the ball into the air during the Lady Gens’ 3-0 win over
the visiting Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex last Thursday afternoon.

By playing in Tier 1, it means the Lady Gens will be matched up against larger Windsor schools. When the playoffs come around in early 2019, the Lady Gens will be matched up against similar sized schools and Miller believes they will have a shot at a championship.

“I think it’s a legitimate goal to win (the WECSSAA) ‘AA’ senior title,” he said.

The Lady Gens have a lot of depth this season, with Miller stating they have players that have come up from junior plus numerous returning players.

“We have ten kids that I feel comfortable playing,” said Miller. “We haven’t had that for a couple of years.”

The increased depth allows the coaches to make in-game adjustments, he pointed out.

Miller said they want to enter the provincial tournament, which sees matches at General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex March 4-6, as champions.

“I think it would be nice to win Windsor-Essex and SWOSSAA and, even though we are hosting it, earn our way there,” said Miller.

Brynlee Ammonite (1, white jersey) spikes a ball back over the net during General Amherst’s win last Thursday afternoon.

Should they win WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, they would get a better seed at OFSAA, Miller stated.

The Lady Gens started the WECSSAA Tier 1 season in positive fashion last week, with a pair of wins. General Amherst swept all three sets in Kingsville by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-16. The Lady Gens returned home Thursday afternoon and swept Tecumseh Vista Academy by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-16.

The Lady Gens are on the road twice this week. Tuesday night’s game at Massey was played after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

General Amherst plays at Kennedy Thursday at 4 p.m.

Bulldogs back on the court for another boys basketball season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior boys basketball team is back on the court for another season.

The Bulldogs are 0-2 after last week’s action, losing at home 54-28 to Villanova and 60-22 in Kingsville last Tuesday and Thursday respectively. Ben Pelger, who is a coach with both the senior and junior teams, said the senior team doesn’t have a lot of players right now.

General Amherst’s Nolan Crain puts up a shot against Lamothe-Cadillac during the consolation championship game of the Red Raider Classic in Essex Dec. 8.

“We’re down to eight players and we’re looking to get one or two juniors,” he said.

Pelger noted there are no players returning from last year’s senior team.

“That happens sometimes,” said Pelger.

The game against Villanova was tied at the half but “we couldn’t match their physicality.” The Bulldogs played well, he believed,.

“I think our speed and determination can be our strengths but unfortunately we’re not a tall team,” he said. “We need to work on our rebounding.”

The number of players is not an issue with the junior program, he indicated.

Matteo Palumbo (11, right) drives between two Lamothe-Cadillac defenders during the Red Raider Classic in Essex.

“This year, 40 juniors came out which was great,” said Pelger. “Obviously, they need to work on their skill level. They are willing to put in the effort and that’s great.”

The juniors have six players from last year’s team back again, he added, noting the experience should help.

The Grade 9’s and 10’s are helping each other get better, Pelger noted, as they learn to develop their skills and work together as a team.

The junior and senior teams were at home against Tecumseh Vista Academy after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They are back on their home court again Thursday with the junior game at 4 p.m. and the senior game scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Montreal Canadiens Alumni thrill fans at charity hockey game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Usually when the home team loses a hockey game 18-7, there aren’t as many smiles in the arena.

Last Saturday night was an exception.

The Montreal Canadiens Alumni came to the Libro Centre and played against the Amherstburg Rotary team, the latter made up of area residents, business owners, town employees and first responders. The charity hockey game was organized by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and was a fundraiser for Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

The Amherstburg Rotary hockey team poses for a group photo with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team following their Dec. 1 game at the Libro Centre. The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented the game as a fundraiser for Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

“It was an amazing night,” said Rotary Club president Joan Donaldson. “It was exciting. It was fun. I think everyone had a good time.”

Susanne Bergeron, another Rotarian who helped organize the event, estimated they had at least 20 volunteers helping out Saturday night.

“It was a big success,” added Donaldson. “It exceeded our expectations.”

Close to 700 tickets were sold, she added. The monetary amount being donated to ACS was not known as of press time.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo was happy with how things turned out.

“I think it’s very exciting,” she said. “I think it’s great for the town and the Rotary Club. It’s great for the town to support such a great event.”

The proceeds will go into ACS’ programming, she indicated.

“We will continue to expand and develop new programs,” said DiBartolomeo. “We’re very grateful that Rotary chose us as their designated charity.”

Montreal’s Guillaume Latendresse tucks the puck behind Amherstburg Rotary goalie Justin Rousseau.

Chris Nilan, one of the Montreal Canadiens Alumni that played in the game, said it is enjoyable to travel the country and raise money for charities.

“It’s a lot of fun to get together,” said Nilan. “We are all part of the Canadiens family.”

Nilan stated it’s nice to be able to get to smaller communities as a lot of fans may not get a chance to meet pro hockey players unless they travel to an NHL city. He said he had been to Windsor before but this was the first time he had been in the Amherstburg area, though noted he didn’t have a chance to see much of the town. He joked that “it’s another nice hockey rink” and that they saw a lot of farmland travelling from Windsor to Amherstburg.

Yvon Lambert, a Habs’ legend from the 1970’s and coach of the Alumni team, liked what he saw Saturday night.

Police chief Tim Berthiaume drops the puck for the ceremonial faceoff between Councillor Peter Courtney and Habs legend Chris Nilan.

“It’s always well organized. It’s a good cause,” said Lambert.

The Alumni tour gives the retired NHL stars a chance to get together, have a good weekend and have a few laughs all the while helping local charities, he added. Lambert said the Alumni has about 30 players or so on the roster with about 10-11 of them travelling at one time to cities and towns to play. It was his first time to Amherstburg as well, and he stated he was impressed with the Libro Centre and the community as a whole.

For more photos from the Dec. 1 charity hockey game, visit our Facebook photo album.