Ben Larder

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.

Admirals win seventh straight game, 12th out of last 13

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals closed out the 2017 portion of their schedule with their seventh straight victory and 12th win out of their last 13 games.

The Admirals downed the last place Wallaceburg Lakers 4-1 Friday night at the Libro Centre thanks to two goals from Cory Burns and single goals from Dylan Muzzatti and Ryan Alexander. The win put them in first place in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division with a 20-8-2-2 record, good for 44 points.

Goalie Catalin Morin recorded his first win in about three months and made 17 saves. Wallaceburg got its goal from Ryan Nicholson in the final minute of the game to break the shutout.

They were one point up on both the Lakeshore Canadiens and Essex 73’s after that game, though the 73’s had a chance to regain first place Tuesday night, after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

Amherstburg forward Zack Yott (17, dark jersey) gets a scoring chance on Wallaceburg goalie Patrick Timpany during the first period of last Friday night’s game at the Libro Centre. The Admirals won the Jr. C hockey game 4-1.

“Who would have thought we’d finish (2017) in first place with the way we played at the start of the season?” asked Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “That’s obviously pretty important for this group.”

Bortignon said that should give the Admirals momentum as they look to finish the 2017-18 season strong. The 40-game regular season concludes at the end of January.

“We’ve had a great run and we’re going to focus on coming together and getting even better in 2018,” said Bortignon.

While acknowledging Wallaceburg’s struggles this season, Bortignon said the fact the Lakers picked up a 2-0 win last Wednesday night against Lakeshore was enough of a wake-up call for the Admirals not to let their guard down.

“That’s all we needed to get ready for this one,” he said. “Obviously, (Wallaceburg) isn’t up in the standings like other teams but a win is always good in this league.”

Bortignon said they were shorthanded three times in the third period and said they don’t want to pick up bad habits going forward, but was happy with the defensive effort and the Lakers’ low shot total.

The Admirals also played last Wednesday, a 3-2 win over the visiting Dresden Jr. Kings. After Dresden opened the scoring on a Will Tetzlaff goal, Travis Campbell, Michael Hatch and Josh Talerico scored before the first period was over to give Amherstburg a 3-1 lead. Cory Lucier cut it to 3-2 just 35 seconds into the second period but the teams were scoreless after that.

Ben Larder made 33 saves on the night for the Admirals.

“We got the win but it was not the best of efforts,” Bortignon said after Wednesday night’s game. “It was sloppy at both ends.”

Broden Meloche (71) of the Admirals drives to the net during the third period of last Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Dresden Jr. Kings at the Libro Centre. Also pictured is Dresden’s Cory Lucier.

The Admirals had two big penalty kills in the game’s final ten minutes, said Bortignon, and managed to shake off some rust that had accumulated over the Christmas break.

“You don’t want to make excuses, but it showed,” said Bortignon, of the layoff.

He added: “That’s one game where the guys kept fighting and fighting and they fought for the win and the two points.”

The Admirals battle the Canadiens in Lakeshore Friday night and the 73’s come to the Libro Centre Sunday night. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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.

Admirals pick up pair of 4-1 victories over past week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won twice last week, each by a score of 4-1.

The most recent of the 4-1 wins was Sunday night at the Libro Centre, when the Admirals knocked off the Petrolia Flyers. Ben Larder made 37 saves in the win with Ryan Alexander, Cory Burns, Luc Warnock and Josh Talerico finding the back of the net for Amherstburg.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Holzel (14, left) gets a scoring chance on Petrolia Flyers’ goalie Riley Collins during the third period of Sunday night’s game. The Admirals downed Petrolia 4-1.

Amherstburg snapped Petrolia’s seven-game winning streak by defeating the Flyers Sunday night.

The other game of the week was last Wednesday night in Wallaceburg. Burns, Dylan Muzzatti and Warnock put Amherstburg up 3-0 after one period with Talerico adding a third period goal in that 4-1 win. Larder made 30 saves against the Lakers.

“We looked at these as must-win games,” Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “It was definitely a big week for us and four big points for us.”

Bortignon said the win in Wallaceburg “went as planned” as the Admirals built an early lead and was pleased with Sunday night’s effort against Petrolia as well, noting they snapped the Flyers winning streak.

“I thought we did a good job in the first two periods and getting on (Petrolia’s) D (defense),” said Bortignon.

Bortignon said their intensity seemed to reduce after they built a 4-0 lead but still got a big win.

“In this league, any time you win a game is a big win,” he said.

Cory Burns (9, left) and Ryan Alexander (16, right) celebrate Burns’ second period goal Sunday night.

The Admirals started off the second half of their schedule well, Bortignon added, and will look to continue that Thursday night in Blenheim. The Blades have struggled somewhat this season but picked up a big win on home ice Sunday night against the Lakeshore Canadiens and Bortignon said Amherstburg will have to play hard for 60 minutes Thursday night.

The Admirals (10-8-2-1, 23 points) will host Wallaceburg Sunday night and will travel to Wheatley next Monday night.

In a related note, Ken Manley won an iPad courtesy of a Score-O game sponsored by Storey & Denomme Family Dentistry in the second intermission. Jay Proctor took the shot on Manley’s behalf. It was the third iPad given away this season.

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.