Cory Burns

Admirals honour overage players, prepare for playoffs



By Christian Bouchard


Four Amherstburg Admirals celebrated a bittersweet victory Sunday night.

Cory Burns, Travis Campbell, Austin Jennings and Ben Larder are all aging out of the league and played in their final regular season home game before playoffs begin in February.

The Admirals were led to victory by the overagers in Sunday’s 5-1 victory over the Wheatley Sharks. Burns, Campbell and Jennings would each score for the Admirals while Ben Larder recorder recorded 24 saves for the win and also added an assist.

The win improves the Admirals record to 28-9-0-3, good for 59 points for the season, which is a new franchise record in points and tied for most wins. The Admirals also set a new franchise record for fewest goals against, with 88. It was also the first time the Admirals allowed fewer than 100 goals in a season.

Admirals overage players Austin Jennings, Cory Burns, Travis Campbell and Ben Larder were joined by their families and team co-owners Matt Fox, Gaspare Spada and Wes Ewer for a special ceremony honouring them prior to Sunday night’s home game with Wheatley. It was the final regular season game of the 2018-19 season for the Admirals.

The Admirals have secured a top four spot in the playoffs, ranging from the second to fourth seed.  With a couple games remaining in the regular season for other teams, the Admirals wait to find out who their first round matchup will be.

While the Admirals remain patient, they have one thing on their minds: winning a championship.

“To win a championship for this town would mean everything,” said Ben Larder, the franchise leader in wins, save percentage and shutouts. “It’s something I always wanted and something I’ll work endlessly to achieve.”

According to head coach Paul Bortignon, the four overage players did an excellent job this season leading by example and teaching the younger players what it takes to build a championship team.

Amherstburg’s Ty Moss (left) reacts after one of his team’s five goals versus Wheatley.

“The OAs did a great job,” added Bortignon. “I always believe you’re going to go as far as your OAs take you and we got a great group this year. Hopefully that leads to 12 more wins in the Stobbs division playoffs.”

Since entering the division in 2013, the Admirals have never won a Stobbs Division championship. Despite several seasons of tough losses, the Admirals players and coaches said they’ve learned from the past and think they have the team to win a championship this year.

“This team wants it more than any other team I’ve ever been a part of,” said Burns, the Admirals franchise leader in points. “We don’t want to relive the pain from last year.”

The Admirals playoff schedule and matchup has not yet been posted.

The Jr. C hockey team has also released its playoff video. It can be found here:









Admirals play well during busy stretch



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Admirals have been busy as of late and the results have been mostly positive.

After a 3-1 win over Petrolia Dec. 30, the Admirals went to Wheatley last Wednesday night and picked up a 5-2 victory. Dean DeLuca had two goals for Amherstburg while Travis Campbell, Cory Burns and Max Clifford also scored.

The only blemish over the weekend was a 5-2 loss in Lakeshore Friday night. Austin Jennings and Reid Steiler had the Amherstburg goals. The Admirals bounced back on the weekend at home with a pair of wins, starting with a 5-4 win Saturday night versus Blenheim. Caleb Paquette,Jennings, Josh DiCarlo, Amilio Acampora and Stieler scored for the Admirals but coach Paul Bortignon said they didn’t end the game they way they wanted, as they allowed three goals late in the game.

Amherstburg’s Josh Talerico (24, blue jersey) and Bryce McGregor (18) look for a scoring chance during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Dresden.

Jared Ratko played well Saturday night for the Admirals but Bortignon said his teammates “left him out to dry” late in that game.

The Admirals bounced back Sunday night with a solid 2-1 win over Dresden. Clifford and Josh Talerico got the Amherstburg goals. Dresden thought they tied it with 1:26 to play but the officials waved the goal off after it was ruled to be directed in with a glove.

“That’s a big win for us. We took three of four over the week,” said Bortignon after Sunday night’s game. “Friday night was tough but we bounced back (Saturday) night. Tonight, we battled hard and that’s nice to see. We were down bodies but the key was our depth.”

Bortignon said the win over Dresden was a “great effort” and that started with goalie Ben Larder and spread throughout the entire lineup.

Amherstburg’s Christian McBride tries to put one home during the Admirals’ 3-1 win over Dresden Dec. 30.

The Admirals are part of an outdoor series of games this Saturday as they play the Wallaceburg Lakers at Lanspeary Park in Windsor starting at 1:45 p.m. Bortignon said it was a good idea by the league to showcase itself. Bortignon said they don’t know what to expect in an outdoor game but “I think our guys will have fun with it.”

Other games at Lanspeary Park include Petrolia battling Lakeshore Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Wheatley playing Blenheim at 5 p.m. Saturday, after the Admirals-Lakers game.

The Admirals return home Sunday night to host the Wheatley Sharks at 7 p.m.

Admirals continue to “Burn(s)” opponents



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals were busy this past weekend.

Amherstburg had their biggest test this weekend as they played four games in five nights.

The Admirals completed a weekend series which included a road game against second place Dresden Jr. Kings Friday and back-to-back home games against the Blenheim Blades and defending league champions, third place Lakeshore Canadiens on Saturday and Sunday. The Admirals were also on the road to play first place Essex Tuesday night.

“It shows us what we got, playing in a short span against some of the top teams in the league,” said Burns “It’s a measuring stick weekend to show us where we are. I truly believe we’re up there and a game like that shows even when we don’t have our best stuff, we find ways to win.”

The Admirals had a strong third period Friday as they thumped Dresden 6-2. Cory Burns led the offensive explosion as he had three goals and two assists.

Burns continued his scoring touch Saturday as he would score the lone goal for the Admirals, despite their 46 shots on Blades goalie Chris Dewulf.

Max Clifford scores a third period goal vs the Lakeshore Canadiens Sunday night.

Amherstburg would bounce back Sunday night against Lakeshore with a 2-1 victory. Max Clifford tied the game in the third period, setting the scene for a Cory Burns overtime goal with three seconds remaining.

As of Sunday night, Burns has a 6-game point streak which includes 2 hat tricks, a goal in 6 straight games, 10 goals and 15 points.

Burns credits his teammates with getting him the puck in good spots, which is allowing him to capitalize on his opportunities.

Cory Burns battles Lakeshore’s Brendan Soto for the puck during the Admirals 2-1 victory Sunday night.

Amherstburg capped off their series of games against top teams in the league with a game in Essex Tuesday night. That game was played after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

After Sunday night’s game, the Admirals are now 11-4-0-2 on the season, good for 24 points. According to Burns, as the Admirals approach the halfway mark in the season, the team is right where they need to be.

“We got games in hand and we just keep proving we’re one of the top teams in the league as well,” added Burns.

The Admirals will host the Mooretown Flags Sunday night at the Libro Centre at 7 p.m.



Admirals split games over the weekend



By Christian Bouchard


After losing to last year’s defending league champions, the Amherstburg Admirals bounced back with a resounding 6-1 win over the Petrolia Flyers.

The Admirals fought hard but would fall 3-1 to the Lakeshore Canadiens Friday night. Their luck would fare better as they would get six goals on Sunday and another great performance by Ben Larder in net to pick up two points on Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association night in front of approximately 500 fans.

Cory Burns scores a first period goal against the Petrolia Flyers Sunday night.

The Admirals showed their depth as six different players found the back of the net. Goals were scored by Cory Burns, Max Clifford, Caleb Paquette, Brett Smith, Bryce McGregor and Josh Talerico.

“The team has bonded, we’re much closer together and it shows on the ice,” said Admirals goalie Ben Larder.

The 21-year-old netminder was just 4:21 away from his fourth shutout this season. He has now won his last five games while starting and has an impressive 1.74 goals against average this season.

With the win, the Admirals are now 4-0-0-1 at home. While head coach/general manager Paul Bortignon and Admirals leading scorer Cory Burns have stated the importance of protecting home ice all season long, Larder said it is also important to play for each other.

“It’s pedal to the metal, doing everything you can for the other guys on the team, because that’s who we play for,” said Larder.

Broden Meloche carries the puck up the ice during Sunday night’s win over Petrolia.

The Admirals host their rival, the Essex 73’s next Sunday. The Admirals lost the only previous meeting between the two teams this year by a final score of 6-3.

“We’re a different team than we were in the season opener,” added Larder. “Yes, we came out flat against them in the first game of the season but that’s just one game.”

To celebrate the holidays, the Admirals are welcoming kids 11 and under free admission to the game with a costume and will be holding a trick-or-treating event following the game in the Admirals dressing room.



Admirals avenge playoff loss with overtime win



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals have waited months to host the Mooretown Flags.

After letting a 3-1 series lead slip away and losing in Game 7 to the Mooretown Flags last year in the first round of the playoffs, Cory Burns and his Admirals teammates have patiently waited for this re-match.

“I think everyone that was on this team last year had this game circled,” said Burns, last year’s league leading goal scorer for the Admirals. “When a team knocks you out like they did to us last year it fires you up even more to get this win.”

Cory Burns (9) celebrates Caleb Paquette’s (A) second period goal with Josh Talerico (24) and Michael Hatch (far right) in Sunday’s overtime win.

The Admirals got off on the right foot when Brett Smith scored midway through the first period to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.

Ben Larder’s shutout streak would be no more when Mooretown scored with 2:42 remaining in the first period, tying the game. Larder’s 216 minutes and 48 seconds without allowing a goal is the longest streak in Admirals history.

After an early second period goal for the Flags, Caleb Paquette would score for the Admirals to tie the game. With neither team scoring in the third period, the Admirals headed to overtime where Cory Burns would eventually score the game winning goal with 15 seconds remaining.

With the win, the Admirals are now 3-0-0-1 on home ice and have picked up a total of seven out of a possible eight points.

“We want teams to fear coming into this building,” added Burns. “This year at home we’ve been very good.”

The Amherstburg Admirals celebrate Cory Burns overtime winner Sunday night versus the Mooretown Flags. The Admirals also travelled to Wallaceburg last Wednesday night and came away with a 2-0 victory.

The Admirals next game is Friday night on the road as they take on the defending league champions, the Lakeshore Canadiens for the first time this year.

The Admirals will return to home ice Sunday night as they host the Petrolia Flyers for Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association Night. Every player wearing their AMHA hockey jersey will get in free with a canned good. Puck drop at the Libro Centre is scheduled for 7 p.m.