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 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 still work-in-progress on the basketball court



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs senior boys basketball team are still searching for their first win of the season after a pair of games last week.

The Bulldogs hosted the St. Joseph Lasers last Tuesday evening and lost 62-31. The game was close through one quarter as the Lasers only had an 11-9 lead after the first eight minutes. The lead grew to 25-15 by the half but the Lasers took control in the third quarter and outscored the Bulldogs 25-7 in the third to pull away.

“We started quite aggressively,” said General Amherst head coach Ben Pelger. “In the second half, we lost our intensity.”

Griffin Muzzin (11, left) looks for someone to pass to during Jan. 9 WECSSAA Tier 2 boys basketball action versus St. Joseph.

The physical nature of the Lasers was tough for the Bulldogs to handle in the second half, he added.

“We lost the battles under the boards,” he said.

Pelger said they need to work on boxing out and improving their shooting. The Bulldogs have good shooters, he added, but they haven’t had their best game yet.

The Bulldogs played hard defensively in the first half, said Griffin Muzzin, but they didn’t play as well in the third quarter. He believes if they had hung in there and have been able to make more shots, the game could have had a different outcome.

Muzzin said the team is having a good time playing and “that’s all that matters.” He said they have to work hard, play with more intensity, work on reducing turnovers and get the ball to the basket.

General Amherst dropped to 0-6 two days later, as they travelled to Belle River and lost 54-31 to the Nobles.

The Bulldogs were in Kingsville Tuesday, after this issue went to press, but host Brennan Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs also are at L’Essor next Monday.

The junior Bulldogs also played St. Joseph and Belle River last week, losing 81-27 to St. Joseph and 34-20 to Belle River.

Bulldogs lose home opener to Cardinal Carter



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs took to their home court for the first time this season last Tuesday but dropped a 70-34 decision to Cardinal Carter.

The senior boys basketball team trailed 37-17 at the half with the visiting Cougars extending their lead further in the third quarter. Cardinal Carter outscored General Amherst 25-12 over the third eight-minute quarter.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 0-2 in WECSSAA Tier 2 play.

“It was a tough game,” said General Amherst coach Ben Pelger. “We competed against a team that should be playing Tier 1.”

Pelger said the Bulldogs looked “a little bit rusty” against Cardinal Carter.

“Hopefully we can raise our game and have better games in the future,” said Pelger.

General Amherst was able to take a lot of shots against Cardinal Carter, but Pelger added that not enough of them went in.

“We still need to do a lot of work defensively and rebounding,” said Pelger.

General Amherst’s Jackson Campbell dribbles under the Cardinal Carter basket during last Tuesday’s senior boys basketball game in Amherstburg. Cardinal Carter won the game 70-34.

The Bulldogs are aiming for a 5-5 season, said Pelger, noting the team is both a mix of new and experienced players. Pelger said there are three returning seniors, four players that moved up from the junior team and five new players.

Pelger also coaches the junior boys team, which also dropped to 0-2 last Tuesday night after a 50-26 loss to Cardinal Carter’s junior team. The juniors are also hoping for a 5-5 record this season.

“That’s a really promising team,” said Pelger. “They are playing hard every game. It’s a good group of guys. The Grade 9 and 10’s get along well. They are all there to improve and get better for the future.”

The two teams are trying to get General Amherst back to a championship level on an annual basis, Pelger added.

The teams played Monday at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The senior team lost to the Vortex 54-34 while the junior team fell 56-36.


Bulldogs pick up two wins and a tie in recent WECSSAA boys hockey action


By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team’s last three games have been on the road and they have picked up points in all of them.

The most recent game was last Wednesday afternoon, a 4-4 tie in Essex. General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said they were down 4-0 after two periods but made the necessary adjustments during the second intermission.

Not only did the Bulldogs kill off an early penalty in the third period, Garrett said Josh DiCarlo went end-to-end to score a shorthanded goal to make it 4-1. Brandon Salvati and Nick Bozin added goals in short order to make it a 4-3 game with Garrett stating DiCarlo tipped in a shot just 30 seconds before the curfew buzzer sounded to give Amherst a point.

The previous game was Dec. 7 and it was a 3-1 win over the defending WECSSAA champion Belle River Nobles at the Atlas Tube Centre. Max Clifford, Brock Beaudoin and Russ Morencie each scored for General Amherst in the win.

“We killed off three 5-on-3’s,” said Garrett, who added the third 5-on-3 was actually a 6-on-3 as Belle River pulled their goalie late in the game.

Garrett said DiCarlo, Beaudoin and Clifford all had strong games while Will Bratt “played phenomenal” in goal.

“It was one of those games where it was a great all-around effort,” said Garrett. “We were good defensively, good offensively and we got good goaltending.”

The Bulldogs got a lot of other scoring opportunities as well, he added.

“It’s always nice to beat them in their barn,” said Garrett.

The other game over the last two weeks was a Dec. 6 game against the Brennan Cardinals. The Bulldogs won 5-1 with Isaac Hammond, Clifford, Nate Lenson, DiCarlo and Salvati scoring goals.

The Bulldogs are 3-1-1 thus far on the 2017-18 WECSSAA Tier 1 boys hockey season. They host Kingsville this Thursday at 3 p.m. in their final league game before the Christmas break.

The Bulldogs will also square off against the Amherstburg Police Service Friday from 12-2 p.m. at the Libro Centre in a charity game for Special Olympics. Admission is a $2 donation.