boys hockey

Bulldogs eliminated from WECSSAA boys hockey playoffs



By Ron Giofu


The season is over for the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team.

The Bulldogs faced off with the Brennan Cardinals last Thursday afternoon at the WFCU Centre in Windsor but lost 3-1 in the one-game knockout round of the WECSSAA playoffs. Noah Duggan had the only goal for General Amherst.

“I felt like Brennan came out looking to win a playoff game,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett. “We didn’t have the same sense of urgency they had.”

After the Cardinals went up 2-1, the Bulldogs played better and controlled the play more but Garrett didn’t believe they were able to create a lot of quality scoring chances.

General Amherst’s Sebastian Tronchin (left) enters the Brennan zone during last Thursday afternoon. Brennan won 3-1 and eliminated the Bulldogs.

While disappointed with the result, Garrett said he is not disappointed in the team. He said it is the first time in his 14 years of coaching the boys hockey team at Amherst that the team has gone out that early and said he felt bad for the players in the dressing room that happened.

“I would have liked to have seen a semi-final playoff spot,” he said.

A key moment in the game was a second period five-on-three powerplay that the Bulldogs failed to score on.

General Amherst had only one Grade 12 player this year so the bulk of the team is eligible to return next season, he noted, adding that Grade 9 student Sebastian Tronchin led the team in scoring.

“I feel the future is in good shape,” said Garrett. “I think this year was our rebuilding year without us realizing it.”

While losing to Brennan stings, Garrett added that “you have to take your lumps sometimes” and they are looking to be better next year. He thanked the parents and guardians for their help this year as well.

The Grade 9 and 10 players will be back on the ice in April, Garrett said, as there is a tournament in Lakeshore for younger players.

Bulldogs drop to 1-5 after high scoring loss against Holy Names



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs found their offense just prior to the holiday break but their opponents had more.

The Bulldogs dropped a 7-5 decision to the Holy Names Knights Dec. 20 at South Windsor Arena. The two teams started out of the gate quickly, scoring seven of the 12 goals in the opening period of the game as the Bulldogs led 4-3 heading to the second period.

“It looked like it was going to be a shootout,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett. “The scoring stopped in the third period.”

After tough one-goal losses at their tournament in Windsor earlier in the week, Garrett was happy to see the offense find the net albeit in a losing effort. He believes the young team is on the right track and could make some noise in the 2019 portion of their WECSSAA schedule.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate one of their five goals scored against Holy Names. The Bulldogs lost 7-5.

“I feel the guys are right on the cusp of coming together,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs scored nine goals in their first five games and managed five against Holy Names, so the General Amherst coach sees that as a good sign.

Garrett said he “front loaded” the schedule with games against the larger schools and hopes the Bulldogs will get on a roll in the second half of the schedule against teams closer to their size and ability.
“Momentum means a lot,” he said.

Garrett added he is excited for the second half of the season and hopes they can get on a run heading to the playoffs.

General Amherst is now off for the Christmas break and resumes play with a pair of home games early in 2019. They host the Kingsville Cavaliers Jan. 8 and the Essex Red Raiders Jan. 10, both at 2:30 p.m. at the Libro Centre.

Bulldogs fall to 0-3 after loss against undefeated St. Anne team



By Ron Giofu


The toughest part of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team schedule is the early portion but they are fighting their way through it.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Anne Saints last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The win boosted St. Anne’s record to 5-0.

Jacob Howson scored the Bulldogs only goal of the game, as he poked home a rebound midway through the third period. The Bulldogs were without their number one goal Jacob Lister as he missed the game due to illness.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett believes the young team is making progress.

Jacob Howson of the General Amherst Bulldogs breaks in for a scoring chance during last Thursday afternoon’s WECSSAA boys hockey game against the St. Anne Saints.

“I think we’re coming,” said Garrett. “I think our backup goalies did a great job.”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 heading into the third period and Garrett said their goal at that point was just to win the third period, which they did.

“I’m really impressed with the young players,” he said. “The Grade 9’s and 10’s played well. That’s exciting for the future.”

Garrett called the 2018-19 WECSSAA schedule “front loaded” with the games with the larger, stronger schools at the beginning and the games with schools similarly sized to General Amherst towards the latter portion of the season. The Bulldogs have four league games over the next two weeks heading into the Christmas break as well as a tournament.

“We’re going to get an opportunity to put six or seven games together,” he said. “I think we’ll be a much better team once we get those games in.”

Drake McGowan gets a shot on goal during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

Garrett said they only have a handful of skaters and one goalie back from last year, but he is happy with the talent level he sees on the young Bulldogs team. He notes most of the team are new faces and that they are performing better than expected.

“It’s quite a bit different,” he said of this year’s team, as they usually have more players that returned from the previous year.

The Bulldogs played Tuesday against L’Essor at Tecumseh Arena after the print issue of the RTT went to press. They host Tecumseh Vista Academy at the Libro Centre Thursday at 2:30 p.m.


General Amherst taking young team into 2018-19 WECSSAA boys hockey season



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs dropped to 0-2 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season last week but the coaches were not disappointed with what they saw.

The Bulldogs, who dropped their opening game 4-1 at Belle River two weeks ago, faced off with the St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats last Thursday afternoon at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle. The teams were close for the first half of the game before the Wildcats opened it up and came away with an 8-2 victory.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said they missed about six players in the game, including their entire top line, due to illness or other commitments.

“I can’t say enough about our Grade 9’s and 10’s,” said Garrett. “They didn’t play poorly.”

Assistant coach Joe Shaw agreed, noting they were also missing their number one goalie. He added the Grade 10 players “did pretty well” and that “I’m not disappointed with this game at all.”

Shaw pointed out the Bulldogs only had two lines to put out on the ice against the larger Villanova squad.

General Amherst’s Sebastian Tronchin celebrates a first period goal during last Thursday’s game at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle. Villanova won the game 8-2.

“They played hard,” Shaw said of the Bulldogs. “The Grade 9’s and 10’s played well.”

Garrett said they played well in Belle River as well with goalie Jacob Lister having a good game.

This year’s team has only two Grade 12 players, Garrett noted.

“I’ve had OFSAA teams with nine Grade 12’s,” he said. “It’s a big difference.”

Garrett added it’s the first time in the 14 years he’s been coaching the Amherst hockey program that he’s had more Grade 9’s and 10’s than 11 and 12’s.

“It’s exciting to see that many Grade 9’s came out and made the team,” he said. “That almost never happened in the past. We’ve got really good Grade 9’s this year and really good Grade 10’s.”

The Bulldogs’ home opener is Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. against the St. Anne Saints.

Bulldogs boys hockey team’s season ends in disappointing fashion



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team’s season ended in disappointing style last week.

The Bulldogs were swept in two straight games in the WECSSAA “AA” finals by the Belle River Nobles. The first game in the best-of-three series was at the Libro Centre Feb. 28 and saw the Nobles come away with a 4-3 overtime victory.

The Nobles took a 3-0 lead in that game and General Amherst came back to tie it at three and forced overtime thanks to a strong third period.

“We put together a period of hockey where we were impossible to beat,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett. “We dominated the first two minutes of overtime and then Belle River gets a fluky goal and wins it. It was pretty disappointing.”

Brock Beaudoin scored twice for the Bulldogs while Isaac Hammond had the other.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett discusses strategy during a timeout in the third period of a recent game at the Libro Centre. The Bulldogs advanced to the WECSSAA “AA” finals but lost in two straight games to the Belle River Nobles in the best-of-three series.

The next day, the two teams faced off at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore for Game 2. Things started well for the Bulldogs as they scored the first goal. General Amherst had a 2-1 third period advantage but Garrett said penalty trouble due to “significantly undisciplined play” led to them being down 4-2 in a short period of time.

Game 2 ended up 5-2 and the Nobles were WECSSAA champs.

Josh DiCarlo and Beaudoin scored for the Bulldogs.

“Every year you have a goal to win,” said Garrett. “I really felt we had the group to take a WECSSAA championship.”

The Bulldogs hoped for another chance last Tuesday afternoon as Belle River faced off with Lambton Central for the SWOSSAA “AA” championship. A Belle River win would have seen the Bulldogs have an opportunity to challenge for the region’s second OFSAA berth but the Nobles fell short and officially ended the Bulldogs’ season.

“I would have liked to have seen us move on but I would have liked to see us move on as WECSSAA champions,” said Garrett.

Garrett, who coached the team with Joe Shaw this year, praised not only the commitment of the players this season but the parents as well. He pointed out it was a long season as it started back in November but the parents and grandparents stuck with the team and showed continued support.