Sports

Lady Gens battle adversity in recent hockey tournament

 

Special to the RTT

 

The General Amherst Girls Hockey team participated in the Lady Crusader Hockey Tournament in London Dec. 5-6.

The coaching staff knew going into this tournament that they would be coming up against some powerful teams and they relayed that message to their senior players before committing to it. Their strong belief was that it would a great team bonding event for the girls especially with all the new Grade 9’s.

If that was our main goal of this tournament we came out as champions. Sometimes (actually most times) it’s not about trophies, medals and banners. It’s more importantly about the experiences you have along the journey. That’s what they remember. That’s what gets etched in their memories for years to come. We lost all five games we played but that’s not the real story of this journey.

   This is how our very young team became the talk of the tournament.                                                 At the end of the second period of the second game, our goalie Jaiden Stiles suffered a concussion after getting a shot off the head. Jaiden’s parents took her to the hospital and they returned home that night with her suffering a mild concussion. We all felt really bad for Jaiden and were faced with trying get someone dressed in her equipment to continue on with the third period or play with six attackers to finish the game.

The General Amherst Lady Gens warm up for a tournament game in London without a goalie. Their goalie – Jaiden Stiles – suffered a concussion during the tournament but the Lady Gens
soldiered on in her absence. (Submitted photo)

When the referee came over to tell us we could also call the game, the girls said resoundingly “Amherst doesn’t quit”. So faced with a 5-0 deficit against a strong Kincardine team, they played with six attackers and at one point made it a 5-2 game until the other team realized they better get going again. After the game I told the girls that in over 40 years of coaching I’ve never been prouder of a team.

That night they continued their bonding by going out for a night of bowling, dinner and hanging out as a team in one of their rooms.

The next day faced with playing three games without a goalie the coaching staff made the decision to ask the Guelph team we were playing if we could borrow their other goalie. They graciously allowed her to play for us. But it wasn’t the same team during this game. They came out flat, with not the same heart and determination they had the day before.

After that game we told them we would have to play with six attackers for the next game (no spare goalie available). That team we saw the day before with no quit in them was back. They played a tough team from Wallaceburg but only lost 8-3. In the dressing room after I witnessed a group of players that lost the game but won the hearts of their coaches, the referees, parents and coaches from other teams. They were laughing and saying how much fun they had. They were the talk of the tournament for all of the heart and grit that they showed.

We asked them if they wanted us to use a goalie from the other team for the last game and they basically said in unison “no we got this.” We finished up with Guelph in the “D” final and lost 10-2 but the legend of the team from Amherst who refused to quit will live on forever. We exceeded our goal of coming together as a team and the girls, coaches and parents will have life long memories to share.

The scores of our games were: St. Mary’s Hamilton 3 Amherst 0 (Jaiden Stiles played a great game in goal); Kincardine 7 Amherst 2 (scoring for Amherst were Sydney Doyle from Breana Farias & Lauren Bratt and Jaycie Stanek from Abby Laframboise); Guelph 6 Amherst 0 (Elise the goalie from the other team played for us); Wallaceburg 8 Amherst 3 (scoring Abby Bondy from Emma Fleming, Jaycie Stanek two goals assisted by Briana Farias); Guelph 10 Amherst 2 (scoring Emily Pontini from Jaycie Stanek & Abby Bondy from Jaycie Stanek).

They won’t remember the scores but they will remember the experience. How they came together as a team and fought for each other in true “Bulldog Spirit.” The coaching staff are so proud and honored to be a part of this program. They represented their school and their town with true grit and determination.

 

-Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

Local dancers raise money with hot chocolate for W.E. Care for Kids

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Catz Meow dancers Ava Argoselo, her sister Lily and her friend Hailey Gwyther came together to set up a table outside their dance studio to sell hot chocolate for a cause.

“Ava always asked, ‘mom can I make bracelets and sell them?’ because she sees other kids doing stuff like that,” explained Argoselo’s mother, Maria.

Maria explained, it’s very time consuming to do something like making and selling bracelets. When she heard in the summer about W.E. Care for Kids doing the lemonade brigade, she was excited to learn that because of that success, W.E. Care for Kids is carrying on with doing a hot chocolate brigade. Maria thought holding the event at their dance studio, The Catz Meow would give them a small target audience and it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for her.

Maria went down to the hospital and picked up the starter kit, and then all they had to do was come up with a plan to execute their fundraiser – and decide what toppings they would include.

Megan Regnier, Lily Argoselo, Ava Argoselo and Hailey Gwyther (left to right) stand in front of their hot chocolate stand outside of The Catz Meow dance studio, waiting for visitors to buy their hot chocolate and choose from a wide selection of toppings. (Submitted photo)

“We took dry packets and taped a candy cane to it for people to take home as well,” said Maria. “She has always wanted to do something to give back and this was an ideal opportunity where part of the work was already done for us and tips that were provided to us. It was a good first round in organizing something for her to do.”

Argoselo, her sister and a few friends would periodically go around to the front of the Catz Meow Dance Studio building to wave their sign about selling hot chocolate for W.E. Care for Kids at the road. They even had three cars pull in specifically from seeing their sign.

“I think the day went really good, we had quite a few customers and we raised a total of $71 which we hope will help a lot of kids,” said Argoselo. “It was really fun having some friends there and it’s for a good cause. I might just do it again.”

 

Lady Gens rebound after season opening volleyball loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After a season opening defeat at the hands of a strong Kingsville Cavalier team last Tuesday, the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team rebounded well two days later.

The Lady Gens lost 25-13, 25-10 and 25-8 in Kingsville but then swept the visiting Massey Mustangs 25-19, 25-22 and 25-15 in a match played at General Amherst High School to even their WECSSAA Tier 1 record at 1-1.

General Amherst’s Vanessa Pidutti spikes the ball during last Thursday evening’s senior girls volleyball match against Massey.

“We played much better today,” General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said after Thursday’s match. “We played to our ability level. We played a much better defensive effort. We moved on defense and then we were more fluid on offence.”

Miller said the first game against Kingsville was tough as the Cavaliers return the bulk of their players from a team that went to OFSAA last season.

“We struggled and they jumped right on us and made us pay,” said Miller. “They gave us a serious kick in the butt.”
The Lady Gens rebounded well against a team in Massey that they thought going in they could beat if they played well.

Miller said they need Vanessa Pidutti and Emery Lucier, the latter a Grade 9 player, to be good outside hitters. They were able to be that against the Mustangs.

General Amherst went up against the Massey Mustangs last Thursday evening. Payton Laing hits the ball back across the net.

“(Thursday), they kind of dominated the game offensively. They didn’t make many errors and got a bunch of hits. They played the way they need to play if we want to get a bunch of wins.”

The Lady Gens’ success in Tier 2 last year moved them back up into the top tier this season but Miller said the program continues to develop. General Amherst hosts OFSAA next year and while they want to do well this season, the Lady Gens also have an eye for the future.

“We’re building for next year and beyond,” said Miller.

Lucier believed the Lady Gens played well Thursday, adding they “got better as the match went on.”

Emery Lucier spikes the ball over the outstretched arms of a Massey defender.

The Kingsville game was a difficult one, she stated, as she thought the team let the fact they were playing Kingsville get into their heads and drain their confidence before the match even started. She said she has been welcomed to the team as a Grade 9 player and enjoys the level of competition in senior girls volleyball.

“It’s harder but it’s going to challenge me and the team to play better,” she said.

Lucier added the focus is this season.

“I want to win,” she said.

The Lady Gens were at St. Joseph Tuesday after this issue went to press but have a 7 p.m. home game Thursday against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Admirals keep rolling with two road victories

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals’ hot streak continued over the past week with a pair of wins away from home.

The Admirals have now won three straight games and eight of their last nine with their most recent victory being a 7-2 win in Blenheim Sunday night. Josh Talerico scored a goal in each of the three periods to lead Amherstburg’s offensive attack against the Blades with Travis Campbell adding two goals in the game as well.

Caleb Paquette and Dylan Muzzatti also scored Sunday night.

The Admirals built a 2-0 lead after one period and led 4-2 after two periods before pulling away with three goals in the third period.

Ben Larder stopped 30 of 32 shots in the Admirals’ net against Blenheim.

Bryce Broad and Drew Marlatt scored second period powerplay goals for the Blades.

The Admirals’ previous game of the week was last Thursday night, a 4-2 victory in Petrolia. The Flyers had a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kole Keating but Ryan Holzel tied it for the Admirals before the opening 20 minutes had concluded.

After a scoreless second period, Mark McNally gave Petrolia a 2-1 lead early in the third period but Amherstburg took over from there and scored three goals to put the game away. Kyle Meloche, Muzzatti and Paquette scored third period goals for Amherstburg.

Larder also stopped 30 of 32 shots in the Petrolia game.

The Admirals (16-8-2-2, 36 points) play twice at the Libro Centre this weekend against Essex County opponents. The Essex 73’s are in town Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. game while the Lakeshore Canadiens come to Amherstburg Sunday night for a 7 p.m. game. Those games are the first two games of a four-game homestand for the Admirals.

Bulldogs start WECSSAA boys hockey season with win and loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team has started the 2017-18 WECSSAA season with a 1-1 record.

The Bulldogs opened the season last Tuesday afternoon on the road with a 4-2 win over L’Essor. The game, played at Tecumseh Arena, saw Brock Beaudoin lead the way for General Amherst with two goals. Josh DiCarlo and Max Clifford each had two goals.

The home opener for the Bulldogs was two days later but it was the Sandwich Sabres who left the Libro Centre Thursday with a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs led 3-1 after two periods on goals from Brandon Salvati, Nate Lenson and Colle Zelle but Sandwich scored three goals in quick succession in the third period for the come-from-behind victory.

Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said the Bulldogs were a bit “flatfooted” in the third period against Sandwich but otherwise was happy with the start of the season.

“I’m excited about the start of the year and the rest of the year for that matter,” Garrett said after Thursday’s game. “I think we’ll be right in the mix. That’s a good group of kids (in the Bulldogs’ dressing room).”

General Amherst’s Isaac Hammond (right) skates past Sandwich’s Connor Fabel last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Sandwich picked up a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Garrett said they were missing DiCarlo against the Sabres but didn’t use that as an excuse. He said the loss and how the loss happened can be used in the Bulldogs’ favour going forward.

“It’s something we can learn from and move on,” he said.

The team saw key members of its defense corps from last year graduate while two other players moved on as well. Despite those losses, a number of players have returned and Garrett said “it goes to show you the depth we had.”

General Amherst’s Nick Bozin brings the puck into the Sandwich zone during the third period of the Nov. 30 game at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

The Bulldogs have three scoring lines, Garrett added, and six mature defenseman with a Grade 10 blueliner also showing he can play well. Garrett said he never feels nervous about who he puts out over the boards.

“That’s a huge bonus for us,” he said.

The Bulldogs are on the road twice this week. They play Brennan today (Wednesday) at the WFCU Centre before going to the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore to battle the Belle River Nobles. General Amherst’s next home game is Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. versus the Kingsville Cavaliers.