Blenheim Blades

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.

Mixed results for Admirals over the weekend



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won one game and lost the other over the weekend as the Jr. C hockey club was on each end of 3-2 decisions.

The weekend concluded Sunday night with a 3-2 win over the visiting Dresden Jr. Kings at the Libro Centre. After Kadin Ritchie opened the scoring for Dresden in the second period, Amherstburg scored three straight goals with Jordan Luciw and Curtis Prymack scoring in the second period and Cory Burns in the third period.

All of the Admirals’ goals Sunday night were on the powerplay.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti (15) looks for a play in the Dresden zone as Dresden’s Austin Bentley (8) gets his stick in Muzzatti’s feet.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti (15) looks for a play in the Dresden zone as Dresden’s Austin Bentley (8) gets his stick in Muzzatti’s feet.

Geoffry VandenBoorn scored with about 28 seconds left in the third but the Jr. Kings could get no closer.

The Admirals began the weekend Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the Blenheim Blades, also at the Libro Centre.

Nick Delyzer and Dustin Maines gave the Blades a 2-0 lead after one period but Amherstburg tied it in a penalty-filled second period thanks to powerplay goals from Kasey Basile and Luciw but a powerplay goal from Blenheim’s Drew Marlatt in the third period gave the visitors the victory.

The Admirals debuted new jerseys on the weekend, playing in their new home jerseys Saturday night while giving the home fans a look at the new road jerseys Sunday night. The hype the franchise tried to build for the new jerseys didn’t spread to the players as much as the coaches would have liked.

“We let two points slip away last night,” Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon said following Sunday’s game. “It was an OK weekend. Let’s leave it at that.”

Bortignon said the game against Blenheim was “a bleak effort” and didn’t want to blame a ten-day layoff for the loss, noting they had a good week of practice.

“We didn’t have a lot of jump (against Blenheim),” said Bortignon. “We were flat. Fundamentally, we couldn’t string passes together.”

The team lost Dean Patterson to injury and Travis Campbell to suspension following Saturday’s game but added a returning Ryan Wismer Sunday. Bortignon added Burns had another solid effort Sunday.

“He’s kind of been our most consistent guy this season,” his coach said.

Admirals’ defenseman Ryan Wismer (2)  carries the puck into the Dresden zone during third period action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 3-2 after losing by that same score to Blenheim Saturday night.

Admirals’ defenseman Ryan Wismer (2)
carries the puck into the Dresden zone during third period action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 3-2 after losing by that same score to Blenheim Saturday night.

The Admirals travel to Petrolia Thursday to play against a Flyers team that is battling for points, said Bortignon. He called this Friday night’s game in Lakeshore another “litmus test” for the Admirals, noting they passed the first test in Essex Nov. 1. He wants the Admirals to approach the Lakeshore game as if it is a playoff game.

The Mooretown Flags return to the Libro Centre Sunday for a 7 p.m. game.

The Admirals have also added a new player, with Jake Cummings being added in a trade with Wallaceburg last week. Bortignon said Cummings is “a Windsor kid” that adds depth to the lineup.

“He’s a kid that is going to work hard for 60 minutes,” said Bortignon, of Cummings, noting he can also play centre or wing.

The Admirals acquired Cummings for monetary considerations.

Admirals win two, lose one over the past week


By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won their first two of the three games played over the past week but lost the third one Monday night.

The Admirals lost a 5-2 game in Wheatley Monday night in a game where the Sharks scored four unanswered goals in the third period to pull away for the victory. Zack Yott gave Amherstburg a 1-0 lead after one but Nick Tavolieri-Essex tied it for Wheatley in the second period. Cory Burns’ shorthanded goal 5:55 into the third game Amherstburg a 2-1 lead but goals from Darrin DiMenna, Cole Butler, Tavolieri-Essex and Delaney MacDonald put Wheatley ahead to stay.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Amherstburg.

The Admirals lone home game of the week was a dramatic 4-3 overtime win Saturday night against the Blenheim Blades, who are currently first place in the PJHL’s Western Conference Stobbs Division.

The two teams traded goals in the first period with Blenheim’s Brayden Hopkins scoring first but Dylan Muzzatti tied it for the Admirals about ten minutes after the Hopkins goal.

Though Amherstburg didn’t have a powerplay goal on the night, they did build momentum from a string of Blenheim penalties in the second period and scored two goals. Aidan Ryan and Dean Patterson found the back of the Blades’ net during a period in which the Admirals outshot their opponents 22-5.

Bryce Broad and Braeden Allore tied it for Blenheim in the third period but Jordan Luciw was the hero in overtime, scoring 4:41 into the extra period to give Amherstburg the victory.

“That’s a feel good win,” said Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon. “After giving up a two-goal lead, the guys stuck with their effort. That win was fantastic for us especially against the best team in the league record-wise.”

Amherstburg's Jordan Luciw (left) skates past Blenheim's Braeden Allore during Saturday night's Jr. C hockey game at the Libro Centre. Luciw would score the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Admirals a 4-3 victory.

Amherstburg’s Jordan Luciw (left) skates past Blenheim’s Braeden Allore during Saturday night’s Jr. C hockey game at the Libro Centre. Luciw would score the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Admirals a 4-3 victory.

The Admirals are back in Wallaceburg Wednesday, the same place where they won 6-2 last Wednesday, and then head to Dresden Friday before returning home Sunday night for another game against Wallaceburg. Bortignon said the Admirals will still look to compile points and move up in the standings despite a busy week. Having four games in five nights, counting Monday night’s game in Wheatley, “won’t be easy” but if the team plays as it did in the game against Blenheim, Bortignon believes they can get some more “good, quality wins.”

The Admirals prepared for Saturday’s game as if it was a playoff game, Bortignon added, and it paid off. He said Luciw was the best player on the ice against the Blades.

“He showed what an overage leader can do,” said Bortignon.

The team received solid performances from AP players Kyle Meloche and Garret Blunt as well as Ryan, with Bortignon stating they “did a phenomenal job when called up. Big hats off to (Ryan, Meloche and Blunt),” said Bortignon. The Admirals had some openings in the lineup with James Brooks and Mitch Holden no longer being with the team.

The Admirals win in Wallaceburg saw Ryan Alexander lead the way with two goals.

The Jr. C team also held its annual golf tournament Sunday at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. The tournament was originally scheduled for Oct. 1 but wet weather caused it to be pushed back. A total of 84 golfers participated with roughly 20 more coming for the dinner afterward. A final total on what was raised was not available as of press time.

Cory Burns (18) directs a shot towards Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson last Saturday night during the Admirals' 4-3 win.

Cory Burns (18) directs a shot towards Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson last Saturday night during the Admirals’ 4-3 win.

“The parents came through with the donation of prizes,” said tournament co-ordinator Mary Ewer.

They received corporate sponsorships from Morton Industries, National Sports and Mopar, but Ewer said the parents stepped up in a big way.

“This group of parents are phenomenal,” she said. “It’s truly a family effort.”

The Admirals game this Sunday against Wallaceburg is at 7 p.m. with children under 12 in a Halloween costume getting in for free. The children will also receive an opportunity to trick-or-treat in the Admirals dressing room after the game.

The team is also unveiling new uniforms in a few weeks. The new-look Admirals will play their first game in their new uniforms Nov. 12, another Saturday night game with Blenheim.