Amherstburg Admirals

Admirals-Flags playoff schedule released

 

The playoff schedule has been finalized for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals first round PJHL Stobbs Division playoff series.

The Admirals, who finished the 2017-18 regular season in fourth place with 54 points (25-11-2-2 record), will face off against the fifth place Mooretown Flags (24-12-1-2, 51 points).

The schedule for the best-of-seven series is as follows:

GAME 1 (Wed., Feb. 7) — Mooretown at Amherstburg, 7 p.m.

GAME 2 (Sat., Feb. 10) — Amherstburg at Mooretown, 7:30 p.m.

GAME 3 (Sun., Feb. 11) — Mooretown at Amherstburg, 7 p.m.

GAME 4 (Wed., Feb. 14) — Amherstburg at Mooretown, 8 p.m.

*GAME 5 (Thurs., Feb. 15) — Mooretown at Amherstburg, 7 p.m.

*GAME 6 (Sat., Feb. 17) — Amherstburg at Mooretown, 7:30 p.m.

*GAME 7 (Sun., Feb. 18) — Mooretown at Amherstburg, 7 p.m.

*if necessary

Ticket prices will be $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, $4 for youth 6-12 and free for children five and under.

Mooretown won the season series between the two teams three games to two. Mooretown won 3-2 Sept. 24, 4-0 Nov. 12 and 3-2 Dec. 2 while the Admirals won 4-2 Oct. 28 and 4-3 Jan. 13. The road team won four of the five games the two teams played in the 2017-18 regular season.

Admirals conclude regular season with 11-0 rout of Wallaceburg

By Jonathan Martin

Four Amherstburg Admirals have played their last regular season home game.

Dylan Muzzatti, Ryan Holzel, Ryan Alexander and Dean Patterson are aging out of the league, which means their final playoff season is just over the horizon.

“We’ve all been in the league for quite some time now,” said Muzzatti, who is also the team’s captain. “It’s a pretty sad day for us. We’ll miss the Sunday nights here in Amherstburg, for sure.”

Dylan Muzzatti and Dean Patterson were joined by members of their families for their final regular season home game with the Admirals.

The day wasn’t all bad news for the Admirals, though. Goalie Jared Ratko earned his first career shutout with an 11-0 win over the Wallaceburg Lakers. The game was also head coach and general manager Paul Bortignon’s hundredth career win and saw Caleb Paquette score his hundredth point among the five points he scored on the night. Cory Burns carried the night with five points.

Zack Yott and Alexander each scored twice for the Admirals. Other goals were scored by Carter Comeau, Paquette, Burns, Travis Campbell, Holzel, Austin Jennings and Reid Stieler.

“We wanted the two points to lock up home-ice advantage in the first round,” said Bortignon. “I thought our guys responded well in the first and that just sort of carried over in the second and third.”

Muzzatti said a big part of the team’s synergy came from the knowledge that it was the last time they would play together on home ice.

Ryan Alexander and Ryan Holzel were joined by members of their families for their final regular season home game with the Admirals.

“We were all pretty emotional and I think we all just wanted to put everything into it one last time,” he said. “Now, everything resets. We have to take it game-by-game, day-by-day and understand that from now on (the other teams) are going to be more prepared … both mentally and physically.”

Muzzatti said he believes the Admirals have the players to overcome that obstacle. Bortignon said winning the playoffs, a first for the Admirals, would be sports poetry.

“To go out as champions would be ideal,” he said. “It’s emotional for us. These four guys have … been with us since day one (except for Muzzatti, who joined in year two). If we could go out winning the championship, that would be pretty sweet for them.”

The playoff schedule has not yet been posted.

Kids Curing Cancer Hockey Day raises over $4,820

By Ron Giofu

 

Kids With Cancer (KCC), a local group of youth supported by parents and family members, held their “hockey day” as another way to give back.

KCC held the event for the first time last year and brought it back in 2018 with all levels of hockey participating. The event was held in partnership with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) and the Amherstburg Admirals.

Baillargeon, a Grade 8 student at Malden Central Public School, was one of the seven or so volunteers helping out.

“We have all the kids wearing arm bands,” she said.

The even raised $4,820.45 this year, $479 more than in 2017.

Kierstyn, Ty and Lauren Baillargeon stand with a display featuring Mason Macri and the Fight Like Mason Foundation.

The team that raises the most money wins a pack of tickets for an upcoming Windsor Spitfires game. Players with the most donations get put into a draw for a prize donated by Canadian Tire. People could also buy raffle tickets for an Spitfires’ jersey autographed by last year’s Memorial Cup winning team. There was also a goalie stick signed by Spitfires goalie Michael DiPietro being raffled off.

Baillargeon said that Accurate Creations helped make the arm bands that the players wore and Western Secondary School helped with the sewing of the bands. She said they wouldn’t have been able to have them if not for the assistance of those two groups.

Baillargeon also recently hosted “Lauren Baillargeon and Friends” at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Amherstburg. It was a Sunday afternoon concert where they tried to raise funds as well.

With the support of her family, Baillargeon began Kids Curing Cancer nearly five years ago after the death of her grandfather Dan Gerard. Kids Curing Cancer has raised over $25,000 for a number of charities and causes since its creation, Baillargeon explained, including for Windsor Regional Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.

Lauren Baillargeon, founder of Kids Curing Cancer, ties an arm band during KCC’s “Hockey Day” held all day Sunday at the Libro Centre.

This year’s charity of choice is the Fight Like Mason Foundation, a charity created in memory of Mason Macri. Macri succumbed to cancer June 27, 2016 when he was only four-years-old and the Fight Like Mason Foundation was created shortly thereafter.

Baillargeon explained that her family, including siblings Kierstyn and Ty, have done various things over the years to raise money including hair cuts, family “boot camps,” shopping sprees, key chain sales, and CD sales as well as concerts.
The main pasta dinner fundraiser will be Feb. 17 at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. That event is sold out.

Baillargeon said the Fight Like Mason Foundation is focusing on personalizing IV poles and dressing them up with superhero themes to comfort children battling with cancer. There are also stuffed animals dressed as superheros going into ambulances, Baillargeon added.

Many people have helped make events like the hockey day a success, she continued.

“It’s not just us doing it,” said Baillargeon. “Everyone is making it happen.”

Admirals win two of their last three games

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Admirals had a busy week with three games and won two of them.

The Admirals (24-11-2-2, 52 points) were in Wheatley Monday night and captured a convincing 6-1 win over the Sharks. Caleb Paquette scored a hat trick for the Admirals. Broden Meloche, Travis Campbell and Cory Burns added the other Amherstburg goals. Ben Larder picked up the win in goal.

Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell fights through a pair of Lakeshore players en route to getting a scoring chance on Canadiens’ goalie Erik Morneau Sunday.

The Admirals lone home game of the week was Sunday night but they fell short against the Lakeshore Canadiens, losing 3-1. Connor Rosaasen scored just 1:20 into the game for the Canadiens with Matt Smith giving Lakeshore a 2-0 lead after two.

Cory Burns cut the Admirals’ deficit to 2-1 at the 1:35 mark of the third period but despite a better effort in the third period, Amherstburg could get no closer. Steven Sartor scored an empty net goal for Lakeshore with just over four seconds left.

Despite taking the loss in net, Admirals goalie Ben Larder had a strong night as he made several key saves to keep his team in the game.

There were no penalties in Sunday night’s game.

“We showed up for 20 minutes,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “If wasn’t for Ben Larder, it probably would have been five or six to nothing after two periods.”

Bortignon said the rest of the Admirals players didn’t do enough to support their goalie Sunday night.

“Tonight, he was the best player on the ice by far. We’re not going to beat the best team in the league playing like that.”

The Admirals were “flat” in the first two periods Sunday night and Bortignon said they are 0-3 in their last three games combined against Essex and Lakeshore.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16, right) drives around Lakeshore’s Colin Sartor during the first period of Sunday night’s PJHL Stobbs Division game at the Libro Centre. Lakeshore won the game 3-1.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow but we are still focused on getting the last four points,” he said Sunday night.

The Admirals were in Wallaceburg last Wednesday to battle the last place Lakers and came away with a convincing 8-2 win. Travis Campbell and Bryce McGregor each scored two goals. Ryan Holzel, Cole Welsh, Dylan Muzzatti and Broden Meloche also scored for Amherstburg. For Welsh, it was his first with the Admirals.

“We came out with energy,” Bortignon said of last Wednesday night’s contest.

Amherstburg did good things offensively and played well defensively also, as they played a “clean” game with not a lot of turnovers.

The Admirals conclude the regular season this Sunday night at home against Wallaceburg. It will be the final regular season home game for overage players Muzzatti, Dean Patterson, Holzel and Ryan Alexander.

 

Admirals pick up wins over Mooretown and Petrolia

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg’s Jr. C hockey team picked up all four points that were up for grabs on the weekend, but their coach/GM still sees room for improvement.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals travelled to Mooretown Saturday night and came away with a 4-3 win but had to have late game heroics by Ryan Holzel in which to do it. After Cory Burns, Josh Talerico and Caleb Paquette scored in the first period to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead, they held it until the third period when Mooretown took advantage of Amherstburg penalty trouble and managed to tie the game.

Amherstburg defenseman Reid Stieler (7, left) battles for the puck with Petrolia’s Trent Jardine Sunday night.

However, Holzel scored with just 3:25 left in regulation time to give Amherstburg the win. Ben Larder stood tall in the Admirals’ net, stopping 46 of 49 shots.

The Admirals returned home Sunday night and hammered the visiting Petrolia Flyers 9-3. Dean Patterson and Paquette each scored twice with Bryce McGregor, Michael Hatch, Broden Meloche, Ryan Alexander and Holzel also scoring for Amherstburg.

Goalie Jared Ratko picked up his first win as an Admiral.

Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon said the coaches want to see a better effort over 60 minutes every night.

“Obviously at this point, we’re fighting for every point,” he said. “It’s good to get the four points.”

Bortignon said the third period in Mooretown wasn’t as good as it should have been but “we fought back to get the win.” Even in the 9-3 win Sunday night, they didn’t play as well in the third period.

“We strung together 40 minutes in some games,” he said.

The Admirals have to do a better job locking down defensively and putting games away, he believed.

Amherstburg continued to make roster moves before the deadline, one of the more recent being the addition of Keegan MacVoy. Bortignon said MacVoy has got Jr. B experience and he helps bolster their blue line even further.

“For us, it was a no brainer to add him to our defense corps,” said Bortignon.

MacVoy said the Admirals were hungry to win these last two games after having lost the previous weekend to Lakeshore and Essex. He said he was happy to join the Admirals.

“I’ve been excited especially for this game,” he said after Sunday’s win over Petrolia in which he had one assist. “I’m excited to play in front of my hometown.”

Amherstburg’s Kyle Meloche (12, left) gets a scoring chance Jan. 14 against Petrolia. Amherstburg won the game 9-3.

MacVoy said they are gearing up to make a run at the PJHL Stobbs Division championship.

“I believe this team can win it all,” he said.

The Admirals (22-10-2-2, 48 points) have to increase their work ethic, MacVoy added, and stay out of the penalty box. He said there is a lot of skill on the Admirals but they have to avoid taking penalties.

The Admirals are in Wallaceburg Wednesday night before returning home to battle Lakeshore Sunday night. They travel to Wheatley to battle the Sharks next Monday night.