Blenheim Blades

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 extend winning streak to five games

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals winning streak is now at five games after a win in Wheatley Monday night.

The Admirals won 6-3 thanks to two goals from Ryan Alexander and single goals from Bryce McGregor, Josh Talerico, Dylan Muzzatti and Austin Jennings. The win improves Amherstburg’s record to 13-8-2-1, good for 29 points and fourth place in the PJHL Stobbs Division.

Ben Larder had 28 saves Monday night for the Admirals.

Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell (19) gets a scoring chance on Wallaceburg goalie Patrick Timpany during Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg defeated the Lakers 8-1.

The Admirals opened the week with a 6-3 win in Blenheim last Thursday night. McGregor led the way with his first Jr. C hat trick. Head coach/GM Paul Bortignon said they played a solid game throughout.

“I thought we controlled most of that game,” he said. “We played well through two periods. In the third period, I thought we executed very well.”

Also scoring for Amherstburg were Alexander, Ryan Holzel and Cory Burns.

The offence kept rolling Sunday night when the Admirals welcomed the last place Wallaceburg Lakers to the Libro Centre. Amherstburg used a six-goal second period to propel them to an 8-1 win. Four of the Admirals’ eight goals came on the powerplay.

Zack Yott and Talerico each scored twice versus the Lakers with McGregor, Jennings, Travis Campbell and Holzel also scoring.

“For the first period, I thought we were a little slow,” said Bortignon. “A lot of what we put to the net in the second period found its way in. A lot of guys contributed tonight.”

Josh Talerico (24) scores a third period goal against Wallaceburg Sunday night.

The turning point, he believed, was a second period five-on-three powerplay in which the Admirals scored twice.

Bortignon said he thought the Admirals’ defense were “pretty solid” and made some adjustments after the first period that paid off in the second and third periods. Despite beating the last place team, Bortignon emphasized that all wins are important in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division.

Goalie Chris Mitre relieved Larder with just over five minutes to go against Wallaceburg and got his first taste of Jr. C experience. Mitre was called up from the Amherstburg Stars juvenile team while Catalin Morin recovers from injury.

The Admirals play a pair of games this weekend, one on the road and one at home. Amherstburg is in Mooretown this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. while Wheatley comes to town Sunday at 7 p.m.

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 have three-game winning streak snapped by Wheatley

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals entered Sunday night’s game against the Wheatley Sharks on a three-game winning streak but could not extend it any further.

The Admirals lost 4-3 to the Sharks at the Libro Centre though head coach/GM Paul Bortignon believed his team played well. After Dylan Muzzatti gave the Admirals the lead in the first period, Carter Mastronardi’s tip-in tied it for Wheatley before the opening 20 minutes was complete.

Amherstburg forward Ryan Holzel goes head over heels after scoring a goal in Mooretown Saturday night. The Admirals won this game 4-2. (Photo by John Holzel)

Jake Pickersgill and Antonio Ciampa gave Wheatley a 3-1 lead in the third period but Ryan Alexander cut it to a 3-2 game with a goal for Amherstburg. Ryan Zsebok restored Wheatley’s two-goal lead but the Admirals kept fighting and Caleb Paquette scored with roughly 18 seconds left in the game to round out the scoring.

It was the third game in four nights for the Admirals, who defeated Blenheim and Mooretown on the road last Thursday and Saturday nights.

“In a week with three games, to come out with four out of six points is not bad,” said Bortignon.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16) lunges for a puck in front of Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto during PJHL Stobbs Division action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Wheatley won this game 4-3.

Bortignon said they may have been “a step behind” Sunday night but didn’t want to use the fact they played three games in a week as an excuse

“We battled right up until the final buzzer and we came up a shot short,” he said after Sunday night’s game. “I think we made the goalie look better than he was tonight.”

Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto, an Amherstburg native and former Admiral, made 32 saves on the night. Ben Larder made 23 saves in the Admirals’ net.

“Overall, our defense was good today. (Wheatley) got a couple of bounces in the high slot. I think we were the better team but we came up a shot short.”

The Admirals won 4-1 last Thursday in Blenheim last Thursday in a game that Bortignon said featured a solid 60-minute effort from his team. Travis Campbell returned from injury with a pair of goals while Cory Burns and Travis Campbell also scored. Larder made 27 saves in that game.

Saturday night’s game was in Mooretown and saw the Admirals record a 4-2 win thanks to goals from David Cooke, Paquette, Holzel and Muzzatti. Larder made 39 saves in that game.

“I think we controlled the game for the most part,” said assistant coach Matt Fox, who filled in for Bortignon Saturday night.

The Admirals had penalty trouble at points Saturday, Fox said, but once they escaped that in the third period, they took over and scored three goals.

“We got the result we wanted,” he said.

Caleb Paquette gets a scoring chance against Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto in the third period of Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

The Admirals (6-6-2-1, 15 points) opened their dressing room after the game with local children trick-or-treating and getting candy from the players.

The local Jr. C hockey team’s lone game this week is Friday in Lakeshore at 7 p.m. They follow that up with games on three straight nights Nov. 10-12, with the Nov. 10 game being in Dresden. Their next home game is Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. versus Blenheim with Mooretown coming to Amherstburg the following night, also at 7 p.m.

Admirals lose two games on home ice over the weekend

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals lost a pair of PJHL Stobbs Division games on the weekend, both on home ice.

The Admirals welcomed the Mooretown Flags to the Libro Centre Sunday night and lost 3-2. Bryce McGregor opened the scoring for the Admirals three minutes into the game but Brett Farr scored a powerplay goal just before the ten minute mark and the game was even after 20 minutes.

In the second period, Cory Burns scored a powerplay goal just over two minutes in to put Amherstburg up 2-1 but Josh Vale tallied late in the period to tie it for Mooretown. Nolan Farr scored just 16 seconds into the third period and that proved to be the winner.

Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell (19) drives around Blenheim’s Carter Wright
during Saturday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

Ben Larder stopped 35 of 38 Mooretown shots while the Admirals put 37 shots at the Mooretown goal.

The first of the back-to-back home games didn’t go the Admirals’ way either, as they dropped a 6-5 overtime decision to the Blenheim Blades Saturday night. The Admirals outshot the Blades 38-29 on the night but Blenheim went three-for-five on the powerplay, as opposed to Amherstburg going one-for-seven with the man advantage.

Dede Cato and Burns had hat tricks for their respective clubs, with Cato’s third of the night coming just 19 seconds into overtime.

The teams were tied at three after one period, with Burns scoring twice and Kadin Ritchie adding the other for Amherstburg. Ethan Paxton, Cato and Nick Delyzer scored for the Blades in a period that went back-and-forth.

Blenheim scored the only two goals of the second period with Colton Shoemaker and Cato giving the visitors a 5-3 lead heading for the third. The Admirals fought back with Burns and Austin Jennings scoring just 1:23 apart to tie the game.

“Well, they shot the puck last,” Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon remarked after Saturday night’s game.

Bortignon said they didn’t play a full 60 minutes Saturday but was happy with the way they bounced back in the third period.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Holzel (14) evades a collision with Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson during Saturday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

“I thought our third period was our best of the season. We worked hard in the third and had a couple of chances to win it,” said Bortignon.

Larder got the start for the Admirals Saturday night but was pulled just over nine minutes in after allowing three goals on eight shots. Bortignon said all three goalies that played Saturday night for both teams looked shaky early on as both teams allowed goals they would like to have back.

Burns had a “fantastic” night, according to his coach, with Ryan Alexander, Ryan Holzel and Luc Warnock also being singled out for strong efforts.

The Admirals were in Essex Sept. 19 for a game against the 73’s but fell 5-2. Justin Bondy and Anthony Cristofaro gave Essex a 2-0 lead after one period but Amherstburg made it a 3-2 after two periods as Caleb Paquette and Brock Beaudoin had second period goals for the Admirals.

Bondy had his second of the game in the second while his Essex teammates scored two in the third with goals being credited to Michael Vieira and Luke Gecse, the latter going into an empty net.

The Admirals are in Dresden Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. game before returning to Amherstburg Sunday for a 7 p.m. game against the Lakeshore Canadiens.