Sports

Back to Basics girls hockey school wraps up

Special to the RTT

 

Back to Basics Girls Hockey School recently wrapped up its third season.

This was the first season operating out of the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle because the town of Amherstburg had chosen to reduce summer ice service to the community this year. Nonetheless, director Bill Atkinson was pleased with the enrollment even though it dropped a bit from the over 60 participants from last year. One of the motivating factors for him running the school was the fact that he has three girls in hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience.  He also recognized the need for all female hockey programs in the area.

(Submitted photo)

Co-director Dan Pettypiece said it was great getting back on the ice with the girls again this summer.  Bill and Dan have always been on the same page in regards to teaching skating and hockey skills.

“One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” they said. “Too many programs just seem to run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting going on. This prohibits skill development and as the players move up in the older divisions they become frustrated and some end up walking away from the game. Our goal is to slow the players down, break down the skills into smaller parts and try to get them to perform drills correctly with proper technique. If a program doesn’t have that philosophy it can have less of an impact on a player’s improvement.”

(Special to the RTT)

The clinic featured two age groups – 5-8 years and 9-16 years – working on their skills for an hour and half each session. Pettypiece said it was a perfect way to cap off the summer and get the girls ready for the upcoming season.  Bill and Dan would like to thank the Town of LaSalle and especially the staff at the Vollmer for their great service.  We would also like to thank the parents & participants for following us to the Vollmer this year.

Lastly, we would like to wish the girls a safe and enjoyable hockey season. See you at the rink.

Admirals begin 2018-19 season with 1-1 record

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Admirals are 1-1 to start the 2018-19 PJHL Stobbs Division season.

The local Jr. C hockey team’s most recent game was a 5-2 victory Sunday night in Blenheim. The game was delayed due to a reported hydro loss in Blenheim but once it did, the powerplays for both teams showed they were powerful as the first four goals of the game were scored with the man-advantage.

Austin Jennings made it 2-0 for the Admirals with a goal in the first period and another goal in the second but the Blades tied it on goals by Connor Wright and Brodie Conlon. Ty Moss and Kyle Meloche restored Amherstburg’s two-goal lead before the second period was out.

Moss added his second of the game on a third period powerplay.

The Admirals began the season last Tuesday night with a 6-3 loss in Essex.

Amherstburg’s Christian McBride (white jersey, 27) crashes the net during last Tuesday’s game in Essex.

Bryce Ryan scored for Essex in the first period and it stayed that way until midway through the second when the 73’s expanded their lead to 2-0 on a goal by Dawson Winchester. Ty Moss scored his first Jr. C goal a little over two minutes after Winchester’s first goal of night, but Winchester would strike again shortly after Moss’ goal to give Essex a 3-1 lead.

The 73’s expanded their lead to 5-1 with a pair of goals early in the third period from Curtis Jackson and Quinn Fazekas, the latter on a powerplay, but the Admirals did not quit and scored two of their own as Cory Burns and Caleb Paquette made it a 5-3 game. Paquette’s goal came while the Admirals had a man-advantage of their own.

However, Michael Vieira’s shorthanded empty net goal with just over two minutes left sealed the deal and was the final goal in Essex’s victory.

“Ultimately, they were a cleaner team when it came to the defensive zone,” said Admirals GM/head coach Paul Bortignon after the game against the 73’s. “(Essex goalie) Jax D’Hondt gave them stops when they needed them.”

Dean DeLuca (16) and Broden Meloche battle with Essex players in front of the 73’s goal/

Bortignon said they never want to get down 5-1 in a game but did like how his team responded when they did so in Essex. He said the last 11 minutes of that game was something to build on as they had scoring chances and “our best players were our best players.”

The Admirals’ goal remains to get better every game, he said, and that he was pleased with how the first-year players performed against the 73’s.

“From the standpoint of the first-year players, I thought we did well tonight,” he said. “That was good to see.”

The Admirals are in Mooretown Saturday night before hosting Dresden Sunday at 7 p.m.

Admirals host fifth annual golf tournament

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

The Amherstburg Admirals traded in their sticks for clubs as they celebrated their fifth annual Fall Classic golf tournament this past weekend.

Admirals players, coaches, families and friends golfed at Sutton Creek Golf Club on Sunday for the team’s annual fundraiser. Cory Burns and his team won the overall tournament shooting 18 under par and a total of 54 strokes.

While final numbers are not available yet, general manager/head coach Paul Bortignon estimates 13-14 groups participated.

Victoria Hilton goes for the green during the fifth annual Fall Classic golf tournament presented in wet conditions Sunday at Sutton Creek Golf Course in McGregor.

“Aside from the weather, I thought everything went well,” said Bortignon. “We had a ton of support from the community and all the guys had fun”.

Just a few days before their season opener, the Admirals have set the roster to the 23-player limit. He added they are excited about the players they’ve added and with the returning players but stated there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare before the season opener in Essex, which was played Tuesday night after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

Ty Moss and Dean Deluca were among many of the rookies who Bortignon said would have a lot of impact for the team. He added Andrew Clark, a 2000 player from Windsor, is more than likely going to be the biggest surprise.

“What he brings on the penalty kill, in energy alone, and especially in the face-off circle, I think he’s going to wow some people in the organization this year,” added Bortignon.

Admirals goalie Ben Larder chips one towards the hole.

With the addition of a handful of rookies being added to the roster, the Admirals will rely heavily on veteran presence to lead the team. Now entering his fifth year with the team, Bortignon said he’s thrilled with what he’s seen from his team’s leaders.

“I really think the leadership we have this year with Austin Jennings as our Captain, Travis Campbell, Cory Burns and Caleb Paquette wearing the As, it may be the best leadership we’ve had in five years,” said Bortignon.

Along with players taking on bigger leadership roles, he stressed the importance of taking it one game at a time and trying to get as many points as possible early in the season.

“When you look at the last 30 games last year, we had the best record in the league,” he said. “That still put us in the fourth spot going into playoffs. If you can get one of the top three seeds in the league, that saves you a round of torture in the playoffs. So for us, that’s a huge goal.”

The Admirals concluded the pre-season with a 5-2 win in Wheatley last Friday. The Admirals’ first home game is Sept. 23 against the Dresden Kings at 7 p.m.

 

Sr. Cards go 1-2 at Labour Day OBA tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals hit the road Labour Day weekend for their OBA tournament but didn’t come home with the result they wanted.

The Sr. Cardinals went 1-2 in the tournament, played in Port Lambton. The second loss knocked them out of the tournament.

Things started well for Amherstburg, as the Cardinals defeated Clearview 8-1 in the first game, getting 11 hits in the process.

In the second game, the Cardinals lost to Bolton 6-3.

“That’s a game we felt we were a better team,” said Cardinals infielder Nick Price. “We just couldn’t hit.”

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior team played at The Corner Ballpark July 2. It is the former Tiger Stadium site. They also went 1-2 at the recent OBA tournament (Submitted photo)

In their third game, Amherstburg played Harrow.

“They beat us 6-4, said Price. “We had an hour rain delay going into the seventh inning. We scored three runs in the top of the seventh but couldn’t complete the comeback.”

Despite the OBA tournament being over, the season is not for the Sr. Cardinals as the Essex County Senior League (ECSL) playoff tournament is later this month. The Cardinals host Harrow Sept. 21 at the Libro Centre at 7 p.m. for their first playoff game.

The bulk of the ECSL playoff tournament will be in Amherstburg this year, with the championship to be decided at the Libro Centre Sept. 23. Tecumseh is scheduled to have a home game Sept. 21 and there will be two games in Harrow Sept. 22 but the remainder of the games are slated for the Libro Centre’s premier diamond.

Outlook improved for General Amherst senior girls basketball team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Wins have been tough to come by for the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball the last couple of seasons but things appear to be looking up.

Bolstered by an increased number of girls trying out, the team appears to be heading back in the right direction. Head coach Dom Silvaggio said the players that have tried out all have basketball experience.

“Our depth is going to be better than the last few seasons,” said Silvaggio. “Now we have to get them to the next level and get them used to a level they’re not used to playing at.”

General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio speaks to the senior girls basketball team at a practice last week.

The first couple of weeks of the season will be used to help define where people will play with Silvaggio stating that the increased depth gives him increased options of who to put on the floor.

“It’s a step back to where we used to be,” said Silvaggio. “People will have to earn playing time. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

The increase in players means practices are more competitive as well, he continued, and that they can work on more things. Silvaggio added that a difference can be seen in the players who have been turning out to practice consistently.

“I see a dramatic improvement in the kids that have been coming out,” said Silvaggio.

There are six players back from last year’s Lady Gens team – Taja Holmes, Ramie Tytgat, Lexi Dodds, Emma Marshall, Dani Brindley and Maddie Pillon – with Holmes and Tytgat being Grade 12 players. The bulk of the team is made up of Grade 11 players, though there are some Grade 10 athletes.

The Lady Gens will compete in the WECSSAA Tier 1 division again this season and while they were 1-7 in league play last year with an additional playoff win, Silvaggio said many of the games were competitive.

Ramie Tytgat takes a shot during a senior girls basketball practice at General Amherst High School Sept. 6.

“Hopefully, we’ll take one more step this year and see if we can earn a few more wins,” he said.

When playoffs roll around and the Lady Gens are matched up with their “AA” level counterparts, Silvaggio believes they will be in the mix with Essex, Kennedy and Kingsville for a title.

“It’s going to be a dogfight between those four teams,” he said.

As of press time, the 2018 WECSSAA Tier 1 schedule had not been posted on www.wecssaa.com.