Brock Beaudoin

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.

Bulldogs end regular season in first, build momentum towards hockey playoffs



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team finished the regular season in first place in their division after three wins last week.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season 8-2-2, good for 18 points. They edged out L’Essor (17 points) and Belle River (16 points) for top spot in the WECSSAA “AA” Cullen Conference.

All three games last week were at the Libro Centre.

The Bulldogs wrapped up top spot with a 4-3 win over the Essex Red Raiders. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Brock Beaudoin, Max Clifford and team captain Josh DiCarlo before Essex rallied to tie the game early in the second period. Beaudoin wired home his second of the game later in the second period and Amherst shut the opposition down the rest of the way.

“It was a big win,” said DiCarlo. “It gave us first place.”

General Amherst forward Max Clifford (right) gets a scoring chance on Essex goalie Chase Cosgrove during the Bulldogs’ final regular season game last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The Bulldogs defeated the Red Raiders to wrap up the regular season in first place in their division.

DiCarlo said they talked all year about finishing in first place heading into the playoffs and they achieved that goal. The Bulldogs received a first-round bye thanks to the victory.

“In the third period, we shut them down,” he said. “We could have had a couple of more goals. We had a lot of opportunities.”

The Bulldogs have momentum heading into the playoffs, he added.

“We’re rolling,” said DiCarlo. “Our better players are starting to put the puck in the net.”

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said it’s been a tight battle and believes his players earned the right to be in first place going into the playoffs.

“They deserve first place,” he said. “The real reward could come in a couple of weeks at the end of the playoffs. I’d like to be there looking at a SWOSSAA game.”

Garrett – who coaches the team with Joe Shaw – pointed out that if they want to win a title, they can’t take any team lightly along the way.

“If you look at the standings, there are about four teams that can legitimately go to the finals,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs squared off with L’Essor Wednesday and won a high-scoring 9-5 affair. Beaudoin, Clifford and DiCarlo each scored twice in the win with Isaac Hammond, Cole Zelle and Max Jones also scored.

Garrett said they were down 4-1 in the first six minutes but managed to find a way to win.

“We came out very flat in an important game,” he said. “The kids made some adjustments and rallied.”

General Amherst’s Brock Beaudoing (19) scores a second period goal during the Bulldogs’ 4-3 victory over the Essex Red Raiders last week. Beaudoin has nine goals in his last four WECSSAA games.

Garrett said they were able to overcome adversity and battle back, with the team’s better players showing why they are the better players.

“All of our big game players are getting the job done,” he said. “You need to be rolling before the playoffs.

The other game of the week was a 6-1 win over the Brennan Cardinals. Russel Morencie and Beaudoin each scored a pair with Jones and Lee Sinasac adding the other goals.

The playoff schedule had not been finalized as of press time.

Bulldogs split two games in WECSSAA boys hockey action



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team heads into the exam break with a 5-2-2 record after a win and a loss last week.

The Bulldogs’ first game of the week was a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the visiting Belle River Nobles. Cole Zelle scored twice in the loss while Josh DiCarlo added the other goal.

“We blew a couple of two-goal leads,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett.

The Bulldogs led 2-0 before Belle River made it a 2-1 game then held a 3-1 lead after two periods. After Belle River had made it 3-2 in the third period, the Nobles pulled their goalie late and made it 3-3. Garrett said the Bulldogs may have become too tense after the tying goal and subsequently allowed the game winner with seconds remaining.

“It was kind of a letdown on our behalf. We let up a little bit,” said Garrett.

Garrett believed the Bulldogs didn’t play poorly against Belle River but hopes not getting any points doesn’t haunt them in the fight for playoff positioning later in the season.

“I think it might be a little bit of a learning lesson for us,” he said of the Belle River game.

In terms of the games developed on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs were on the opposite end of a comeback the next day in Kingsville. The Bulldogs and Cavaliers faced off with Kingsville taking a 3-1 lead on their home ice after two periods before the Bulldogs scored three goals in the third period to win 4-3.

Garrett said it was their first time in Kingsville in several years and the Bulldogs had to adapt to a smaller ice surface. After getting down by two goals after two periods, Garrett said he reminded the Bulldogs of what happened the day before and that they could come back too.

“We went out and played an incredible third period,” he added.

Brock Beaudoin led the way for General Amherst with three goals while Zelle had the other.

After the exam break, the Bulldogs have three games on consecutive days – Feb. 6-8 – with all games being at the Libro Centre. The opponents will be Brennan, L’Essor and Essex respectively with all games scheduled for 3 p.m. starts.

Bulldogs start WECSSAA boys hockey season with win and loss



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team has started the 2017-18 WECSSAA season with a 1-1 record.

The Bulldogs opened the season last Tuesday afternoon on the road with a 4-2 win over L’Essor. The game, played at Tecumseh Arena, saw Brock Beaudoin lead the way for General Amherst with two goals. Josh DiCarlo and Max Clifford each had two goals.

The home opener for the Bulldogs was two days later but it was the Sandwich Sabres who left the Libro Centre Thursday with a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs led 3-1 after two periods on goals from Brandon Salvati, Nate Lenson and Colle Zelle but Sandwich scored three goals in quick succession in the third period for the come-from-behind victory.

Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said the Bulldogs were a bit “flatfooted” in the third period against Sandwich but otherwise was happy with the start of the season.

“I’m excited about the start of the year and the rest of the year for that matter,” Garrett said after Thursday’s game. “I think we’ll be right in the mix. That’s a good group of kids (in the Bulldogs’ dressing room).”

General Amherst’s Isaac Hammond (right) skates past Sandwich’s Connor Fabel last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Sandwich picked up a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Garrett said they were missing DiCarlo against the Sabres but didn’t use that as an excuse. He said the loss and how the loss happened can be used in the Bulldogs’ favour going forward.

“It’s something we can learn from and move on,” he said.

The team saw key members of its defense corps from last year graduate while two other players moved on as well. Despite those losses, a number of players have returned and Garrett said “it goes to show you the depth we had.”

General Amherst’s Nick Bozin brings the puck into the Sandwich zone during the third period of the Nov. 30 game at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

The Bulldogs have three scoring lines, Garrett added, and six mature defenseman with a Grade 10 blueliner also showing he can play well. Garrett said he never feels nervous about who he puts out over the boards.

“That’s a huge bonus for us,” he said.

The Bulldogs are on the road twice this week. They play Brennan today (Wednesday) at the WFCU Centre before going to the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore to battle the Belle River Nobles. General Amherst’s next home game is Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. versus the Kingsville Cavaliers.

General Amherst High School recognizes top student athletes



By Ron Giofu


General Amherst High School has paid tribute to its top athletes from the 2016-17 school year.

The school’s annual athletic banquet was held last Thursday evening at the Ciociaro Club in Oldcastle with athletes from their individual sports honoured as well as the top athletes overall.

The biggest two awards of the evening were the top female and top male athlete of the year awards. Megan Wismer was named General Amherst’s top female athlete and it was an award she was somewhat surprised to receive.

“I wasn’t really expecting it,” she admitted after the banquet.

That said, Wismer was happy to be named this year’s recipient.

“It feels really good to know all of the hard work that I’ve been putting in over the years has been noticed and has paid off,” she stated.

Brock Beaudoin was named the school’s top male athlete.

“I feel pretty good,” said Beaudoin. “I’m kind of surprised I got it.”

Beaudoin said he worked hard and was also pleased to receive his award.

“It’s an honour to be chosen top male athlete,” said Beaudoin. “I feel proud of my accomplishment.”

General Amherst High School held its 2016-17 athletic awards banquet last Thursday evening at the Ciociaro Club. Major award winners included (top row, from left): Shayne Purdy, Ruben Tar, Cole Zelle, Brock Beaudoin, Ethan Hamelin and Abby Orchard. Bottom row (from left): Danielle Brindley, Emma Blanchette, Jackie Wismer, Megan Wismer and Vanessa Pidutti.

General Amherst High School held its 2016-17 athletic awards banquet last Thursday evening at the Ciociaro Club. Major award winners included (top row, from left): Shayne Purdy, Ruben Tar, Cole Zelle, Brock Beaudoin, Ethan Hamelin and Abby Orchard. Bottom row (from left): Danielle Brindley, Emma Blanchette, Jackie Wismer, Megan Wismer and Vanessa Pidutti.




SPIRIT AWARD – Jackie Wismer



MOST DEDICATED ATHLETE – Shayne Purdy and Nia Holmes



TOP MALE JUNIOR ATHLETES – Josh DiCarlo, Lee Sinasac, Brayden LeClerc, Tyler Bratt, Ethan Hamelin

TOP FEMALE JUNIOR ATHLETES – Ramie Tytgat, Abbey Gibb, Vanessa Pidutti, Danielle Brindley, Abby Orchard


Megan Wismer was named top female athlete while Brock Beaudoin was named top male athlete at General Amherst’s athletic award banquet.

Megan Wismer was named top female athlete while Brock Beaudoin was named top male athlete at General Amherst’s athletic award banquet.



Lowest Scoring Average – Marcus Slipchuk



Most Dedicated Male – Tyler Tofflemire

Most Dedicated Female – Mya Palumbo



Most Valuable Player – Reese Jones

Rookie of the Year – Matteo Palumbo



Offensive Player of the Year – Mitchell Wright

Defensive Player of the Year – Spencer Hawkins

Coaches’ Award – Ellis Rosati

Most Valuable Player – Shayne Purdy



Award of Excellence – Ruben Tar



Most Valuable Player – Gracie Clifford

Most Improved – Nia Holmes



Most Valuable Player – Darius Wilson

Outstanding Leadership – Nate Lovell



Rookie of the Year – Jacob Fields

Most Valuable Player – Reid Stieler



Most Valuable Player – Megan Wismer

Corey Meloche Leadership Award – Emily Hamelin



Most Dedicated – Aliyah Allard



Most Dedicated – Nathan Charron

Most Improved – Katie McEvoy



Award of Excellence – Jackie Wismer, Emma Blanchette



Most Valuable Player – Megan Wismer

Rookie of the Year – Danielle Brindley



Top Male – Colton Renaud

Top Female – Reese Jones



Coaches’ Award – Emma Blanchette

Most Valuable Player – Vanessa Pidutti



Offensive MVP – Michael Nasello

Defensive MVP – Nathan Salvati



Most Valuable Player – Mitchell Wright

Rookie of the Year – Trent Kelly



Top Performer – Abbey Gibb

Award of Excellence – Nia Holmes


General Amherst principal Hazel Keefner thanked the coaches and teachers who helped guide the athletes through the years, noting there wouldn’t be sports teams without them. Parents were also thanked for driving players to practices and games and supporting their children.

Keefner also thanked the athletes themselves and said while some were recognized, all were winners for taking part in athletics.

“You are smart for figuring out that participating in sports are a wonderful thing, not just for physical well-being but for mental well-being,” said Keefner.

Greg Scott, head of General Amherst’s athletic department, also thanked the coaches, parents and teachers.

“It’s because of these people that you have these sports teams,” Scott told the audience.