Ben Larder

Admirals earn four of six points on weekend



By Ron Giofu


Two-thirds of the weekend was good for Amherstburg’s Jr. C hockey team but the conclusion to the weekend was something they want to forget.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won two of three games over the weekend. They went to Dresden Friday night and won 4-3 in overtime and then defeated the Blenheim Blades 5-2 Saturday night at the Libro Centre.

Their game Sunday night was against the Mooretown Flags and saw the Flags come into Amherstburg and capture a 4-0 victory.

Amherstburg defenseman Austin Jennings (left, 10) carries the puck into the Mooretown zone during third period action Sunday night. At right is Flags’ defenseman Hayden MacDonald (4).

Austin Jennings was the hero last Friday as he tied the game with a powerplay goal early in the third period and won it in overtime for the Admirals. Travis Campbell and Caleb Paquette also scored for Amherstburg while Ben Larder made 41 saves in goal for the Admirals.

Cory Burns scored twice while Josh Talerico, Bryce McGregor and Amilio Acampora scored in Saturday night’s 5-2 win, Acampora’s goal being his first in Jr. C. Larder made 36 saves in that win.

A second period altercation Saturday night that saw defenseman Dean Patterson leave the bench and join in resulted in Patterson and head coach Paul Bortignon being suspended two games each. Assistant coaches Matt Fox and Rob Bondy ran the bench Sunday night.

Bortignon watched Sunday night’s game from the stands and was not impressed with what he saw.

“This weekend, we won two of three games and that’s kind of where it ended,” he said after Sunday’s game. “We can’t talk about the effort (against Mooretown) because there wasn’t one.”

Bortignon said Mooretown controlled Sunday’s game from start to finish, adding the poor performance from the Admirals is something that usually happens once a year and will be quickly be put behind them. While it was the third game in three nights, Bortignon said that is not an excuse as fatigue may cause mental mistakes but the Admirals had a poor effort top to bottom.

“(Mooretown) owned the game for 60 minutes,” he said.

Larder was one of the lone highlights for the Admirals Sunday, as he made 35 saves.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Holzel (14) shoots the puck in the direction of Mooretown goalie Nolan Hakr during the first period of Sunday night’s Jr. C hockey game at the Libro Centre. Mooretown won 4-0.

The effort was much different the first two games of the weekend, Bortignon indicated. He said they worked hard for the entire game Friday night and came out of Dresden with a win, something that is tough to do as the Jr. Kings are 7-1-0-1 on home ice.

Bortignon said “we picked up where we left off” Saturday night and turned in another solid effort in the 5-2 win over Blenheim.

Amherstburg (8-8-2-1, 19 points) travels to Wallaceburg to play the last-place Lakers Wednesday night. Despite a 1-15 record, Bortignon said Wallaceburg is playing better as of late and stated the Admirals will have to put in a full 60 minute effort.

The Admirals return home Sunday for a 7 p.m. game with the Petrolia Flyers.

Admirals go 1-1-1 over the past week



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won one, lost one and tied another game over the past week.

The Admirals’ week concluded Sunday night at the Libro Centre where the local Jr. C team tied the Dresden Jr. Kings 2-2. The teams were even at one after one period as Josh Talerico (Amherstburg) and Will Tetzlaff (Dresden) traded goals.

Amherstburg forward Cory Burns (blue jersey) scores on Dresden goalie Brendan Johnston 35 seconds into the second period.

The teams also traded goals in the second period as Cory Burns scored for Amherstburg while Derek Shaw tallied for Dresden. The teams were scoreless in the third period and the three-on-three seven-minute overtime period.

“I thought we were OK,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “We still didn’t get that 60-minute effort.”

Bortignon noted the Admirals didn’t score on the powerplay despite having seven opportunities, including a full five-on-three man advantage in the second period. They also went 0-for-6 Friday night in Dresden, a far cry from the powerplay that went 6-for-8 in an 8-2 win in Petrolia last Thursday.

Amherstburg got goals from eight different players in Petrolia, with goal scorers being Jack Hubbell, Bryce McGregor, Carter Comeau, Ryan Alexander, Burns, Luc Warnock, Kadin Ritchie and Kyle Meloche.

The Petrolia game was the first since a hard skating practice after Bortignon said they were outworked in a loss in Wheatley that was reported in the Oct. 11 issue.

Amherstburg’s David Cooke (22, left) battles for the puck with Dresden’s Dayne Davis during the third period Oct. 15.

The first of two games last week against Dresden was on the road and ended in a 5-2 loss. Ryan Holzel and Burns scored 38 seconds apart for the Admirals in the third period. Bortignon said they had a good first period that night and noted all of the goals Dresden has scored against them this season have been from about six-feet from the net.

Bortignon said they have not had the practice time they’ve wanted and have been battling injuries as about six players are out including some lost to injury Sunday night.

“It’s frustrating but you’ve got to move forward with the cards you are dealt,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals (3-5-2-1, nine points) have a full week off as they don’t play again until this Sunday night at home against Essex so that will give them some of the practice time they need. Bortignon did credit goalie Ben Larder for playing well, noting Larder has been “a big time bright spot for us.”


Admirals defeat Essex, lose to Wheatley



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals split the first two games of their four-game road trip over the past week.

The Admirals’ most recent game was Monday night where they were defeated 4-1 by the Wheatley Sharks.

After the teams played to a scoreless first period, the Admirals hit the scoreboard first thanks to a goal from Josh Talerico just over a minute into the second period. Justin Pinsonneault scored a powerplay goal for Wheatley with just under four minutes remaining in the middle frame to send it to the third period tied at one.

The Sharks sent their fans home happy with three goals in the third period, all unassisted. Carter Mastronardi, Parker Boyle and Ryan Zsebok scored for Wheatley, giving them the victory.

Catalin Morin stopped 27 of 31 shots in the Amherstburg net Monday night.

Amherstburg goalie Ben Larder makes a first period save last Tuesday night. The Admirals defeated the Essex 73’s 3-2.

The Admirals started the week last Tuesday night (Oct. 3) in Essex, where they snapped a streak of five games without a win by downing the 73’s 3-2.

Essex’s William Stadder scored a powerplay goal in the first period but Ryan Alexander tied it for Amherstburg in the second period. Brett Smith scored another powerplay goal for the 73’s early in the third period but Talerico and Bryce McGregor scored within a four-minute span of each other midway through the final frame to give the Admirals the victory.

Ben Larder stopped 27 of 29 shots for Amherstburg.

“I think they stayed composed,” Admirals coach/GM Paul Bortignon said after the game.

Bortignon acknowledged they had a “rough go” heading into the game, noting a 5-2 loss to the Dresden Kings Sept. 29 but said they played better against Lakeshore Oct. 1 and that continued in Essex.

“I think we could have fallen apart in the third after the 2-1 goal,” said Bortignon. “Larder was fantastic again tonight.”

Admirals’ captain Dylan Muzzatti carries the puck through the neutral zone during Amherstburg’s 3-2 win in Essex last Tuesday night.

A number of other players also played well, with Bortignon adding they played with ten forwards against Essex.

“That’s a testament to the guys in the room,” he said. “We found a way to get the two points here tonight.”

Amherstburg (2-4-1-1, six points) concludes their four-game road trip this week before returning home to the Libro Centre Sunday night. The Admirals are in Petrolia Thursday and Dresden Friday for a pair of 7:30 p.m. games before welcoming the Kings to Amherstburg Sunday for a 7 p.m. game.

Admirals tie game with Lakeshore 2-2 despite overtime efforts


By Jolene Perron

After suffering a 5-2 loss against Dresden last Friday, the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals returned to their home ice against Lakeshore and put up a fight in their overtime 2-2 loss.

Against Dresden, vice president and assistant coach Matt Fox described the game as “a wake-up call” for the team.

“I think a couple of lapses in the second period cost us and put us behind the eight ball and then we were just trying to play catch up the rest of the game,” said Fox. “It was a decent effort, not as good as we wanted but as long as we stick to the process the results will come.”

The team took that game with them as a lesson going into Sunday night’s game against Lakeshore, where the first period went scoreless.

Josh Talerico skates down the ice, keeping the puck away from a Lakeshore player, close behind.

Admirals captain Dylan Muzzatti opened up the scoring for the night with a goal on a power play at 11:52, assisted by Michael Hatch and Bryce McGregor. That goal wasn’t answered by Lakeshore until 14:53 in the third period, when Jarrett Tazzman gave Lakeshore their first goal. In less than 40 seconds, Amherstburg came back with their second goal by Josh Talerico, assisted by Luc Warnock and Ryan Alexander.

The last goal of the game came at 18:19 of the third period by Lakeshore’s Kyler Carter.

The game went into a seven-minute three-on-three overtime period, which remained scoreless resulting in a tie game.

Admirals goalie Ben Larder stopped 44 of 46 Lakeshore shots on the night.

“The three on three is always a little bit different just because you put guys in tough situations,” explained Fox. “It was fast, and we would have liked to get one goal there on the power play at the end but we will take the tie and move on to Tuesday.”

The Admirals now embark on a four-game road trip, which started last night in Essex after this issue of the RTT went to press. They are in Wheatley next Monday night before games in Petrolia and Dresden on back-to-back nights Oct. 12-13.

The next home game for the Admirals is Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. versus Dresden.