Dan Pettypiece

Lady Gens start girls hockey season with win and loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens are back on the ice for another WECSSAA hockey season and the first week saw a win and a loss.

The Lady Gens played in a pair of 3-1 game, one being a win over Lajeunesse and the second a loss to Kingsville. In last Wednesday’s win over Lajeunesse, the Lady Gens got goals from Layne Sinasac, Cassidy Atkinson and Sydney Doyle.

“I was pretty happy to start off with a win,” said head coach Dan Pettypiece. “We have a young team, younger than last year.”

General Amherst’s Sam Connell (87, left) takes a shot during third period action against Lajeunesse last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

The Lady Gens are made up of one Grade 12 player, two Grade 11 players with the rest in Grades 9 and 10. Pettypiece said many of the younger players still have to “feel their way” through high school hockey and adapt to the speed of the game. He said the Grade 9’s are a “strong group” but they are still learning.

Much like last year, Pettypiece said the team is comprised of a lot of girls who are respectful and fun to coach.

“It’s a really nice group to work with,” said Pettypiece. “They are very respectful and attentive. I think we are going to have a lot of fun with them this year.”

Pettypiece said last year’s team helped re-energize the coaches and reminded him of his love of coaching.

“When it’s enjoyable, you don’t want to leave it,” he said.

The Lady Gens “took their lumps” in a tournament earlier this season, losing to Villanova and Sandwich before beating Kingsville. The Cavaliers returned the favour in league play last Thursday, in a game that had to be rescheduled due to a fog day earlier the week.

As the Lady Gens are young again this year, Pettypiece said they are tempering their expectations with them. They are learning game-by-game.

“For the most part, you have to be patient with them,” he said.

Cassidy Atkinson (67, right) fires home a second period goal last Wednesday
afternoon in the Lady Gens’ 3-1 victory.

Abby Laframboise said after last Wednesday’s victory over Lajeunesse that “I thought the girls did a really well for the first home game” but noted there is room for improvement.

“It’s nice to start off with a win,” said Laframboise.

Carlie Hayes thought they played well against Lajeunesse, but also agreed there was room for improvement.

“It was a good start for sure,” she said after last Wednesday’s game.

The Lady Gens now have five straight road games. They were in Tecumseh last Monday, after this issue of the RTT went to press, for a game against Tecumseh Vista Academy and play in Windsor versus Lajeunesse Dec. 3.

Their next game at the Libro Centre isn’t until Jan. 14 against the Essex Red Raiders.

Back to Basics girls hockey school wraps up

Special to the RTT

 

Back to Basics Girls Hockey School recently wrapped up its third season.

This was the first season operating out of the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle because the town of Amherstburg had chosen to reduce summer ice service to the community this year. Nonetheless, director Bill Atkinson was pleased with the enrollment even though it dropped a bit from the over 60 participants from last year. One of the motivating factors for him running the school was the fact that he has three girls in hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience.  He also recognized the need for all female hockey programs in the area.

(Submitted photo)

Co-director Dan Pettypiece said it was great getting back on the ice with the girls again this summer.  Bill and Dan have always been on the same page in regards to teaching skating and hockey skills.

“One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” they said. “Too many programs just seem to run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting going on. This prohibits skill development and as the players move up in the older divisions they become frustrated and some end up walking away from the game. Our goal is to slow the players down, break down the skills into smaller parts and try to get them to perform drills correctly with proper technique. If a program doesn’t have that philosophy it can have less of an impact on a player’s improvement.”

(Special to the RTT)

The clinic featured two age groups – 5-8 years and 9-16 years – working on their skills for an hour and half each session. Pettypiece said it was a perfect way to cap off the summer and get the girls ready for the upcoming season.  Bill and Dan would like to thank the Town of LaSalle and especially the staff at the Vollmer for their great service.  We would also like to thank the parents & participants for following us to the Vollmer this year.

Lastly, we would like to wish the girls a safe and enjoyable hockey season. See you at the rink.

Trio of Lady Gens play in WECSSAA all-star game

Special to the RTT

The General Amherst girls hockey team was represented by three players at the recent WECSSAA            All Star Game in LaSalle.

Carly Renaud, Emily Pontini and Jaycie Stanek were chosen to play in the annual event.  Unfortunately Emily was not able to play in the game due to a prior school commitment.  Carly and Jaycie played in the game which featured the cream of the crop of the best hockey players in the league.

Jaycie Stanek (left), Emily Pontini (centre) and Carly Renaud (right) represented General Amherst in the WECSSAA girls all-star game. (Submitted photo)

In a very exciting game the Blue team scored with 25 seconds left in the game to defeat the Red team 6-5.  Although Carly and Jaycie’s Red team was defeated it was still a great experience for both of them.  Andromeda Dean the coach and league convenor from Sandwich did an outstanding job organizing the event.

—Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

General Amherst girls compete in junior hockey tournament

 

The General Amherst girls played in a junior hockey tournament for Grade 9’s and 10’s, organized by the Belle River Nobles in Lakeshore April 11-12.

Originally 12 players signed up to participate but due to injuries and illness we were only able to ice nine skaters and a goalie.  But true to Amherst spirit and determination, they battled on to the end.  Graduating seniors Carly Renaud and Emily Pontini coached the team as way of giving back to the program.  Their strong dedication to the program was evident as they organized and ran practices leading up to the tournament.  They dealt with a very short bench and kept the girls focused on playing hard till the final buzzer sounded.

On Wednesday, Amherst played their first game against Kingsville. They played a solid game and were able to defeat Kingsville 2-0.  Abby Bondy scored both goals for Amherst.  Jaiden Stiles played a great game in goal posting the shutout.  The Amherst defence corps of Abby Laframboise, Cassidy Zelle, Renae Hammond and newcomer Mia McGrath played a solid game in front of their goalie.  Taylor Dufour also made her return to hockey after taking a year off and played hard throughout the tournament.  Halle Higgins came out of her comfort zone and made her debut playing her first ever hockey game.

Carly Renaud and Emily Pontini give the General Amherst team encouragement during a junior hockey tournament game for high school girls. (Submitted photo)

Later that day we played our second game versus a strong Sandwich team.  Sandwich was able to come away with a hard fought 2-0 victory. Once again Jaiden Stiles played a solid game in goal for Amherst but we were not able to capitalize on our chances against a strong Sandwich team which was allowed to use their grade 11 goalie for the tourney. (They did not have a Grade 9 or 10 goalie)

On Thursday, Amherst played their third game of the tourney against another strong team from L’Essor.  Once again in spite of having a short bench Amherst played a spirited game but came away with a 3-1 loss.  Scoring for Amherst was Abbie Drouillard assisted by Cassidy Zelle. Jaiden Stiles played her usual solid game in goal.

Although we did not advance to the semifinals this tournament the coaching staff was very pleased with their effort and how they showed great potential for the future. With 10 players returning next year as well as a strong group of players coming in from Grade 8, we look forward to next year and can’t wait to get started.

The players and coaches would like to thank Carly and Emily for their time and commitment in coaching this team.  Their leadership and enthusiasm will be missed and we wish them great success in the future.  We would also like to thank the parents for their support throughout the season and a special thank you to John Holzel for his time and expertise in taking our team photo.  Have a great summer if it ever comes and see you in November.

 

-Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

(attached photo shows Carly Renaud & Emily Pontini giving the team encouragement)

Weekly girls hockey clinic has new name, new location

 

A girls hockey clinic is returning for a third season this summer.

The clinic which has operated out of the Libro Centre the last two years has moved to the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle due to the fact there will no longer be summer ice in Amherstburg for the first time in over 40 years.

The clinic has a new name this year. It’s called “Back to Basics Girls Hockey Clinic.” The director of the program with over 20 years of coaching and operating hockey schools is Bill Atkinson. The co-director is Dan Pettypiece with over 40 years of coaching and hockey school experience. Bill worked for Dan for approximately 15 years back in the old Tri-Com Hockey School days and after years away from the business he decided to jump back in.

One of the motivating factors for him was the fact that he has three girls in hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience. He also recognized the need for all female hockey programs in the area. Bill is very passionate about teaching the skills especially skating. He has always enjoyed teaching skill development and these clinics provide an environment for that to happen. Skill development is something coaches don’t usually have enough time to do during the season.

Dan Pettypiece and Bill Atkinson will be running the Back to Basics Girls Hockey Clinic this summer, but it will be at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle due to no summer ice at the Libro Centre.

Bill and Dan have always been on the same page in regards to teaching skating and hockey skills.

One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” they state. “Too many programs just seem to run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting going on. This prohibits skill development and as the players move up in the older divisions they become frustrated and some end up walking away from the game. Our goal is to slow the players down, break down the skills into smaller parts and try to get them to perform drills correctly with proper technique. If a program doesn’t have that philosophy it can have less of an impact on a player’s improvement.”

The clinic will again feature two age groups – 5-10-year-olds and 11-15-year-olds. New for this year we will introduce a beginners program for newer players ( –14) that have just started playing this year or are starting this coming season. It will feature six one-hour sessions.

Back to Basics Female Hockey Clinic will take place in August. The six 90 minute sessions will take place on Tuesdays Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Thursdays Aug. 23 and 30. The beginner program will be at 5 p.m. on the same dates, the 5 -10 year old group will be at 6 p.m. and the 11–15-year-old group will be at 7:30 p.m.

The program will focus on power skating but they will also work on hockey skills. The program also offers specialized goaltending instruction (with their own instructor). The program fee is $120 for the beginners program and $175 for the hockey clinic.

Bill believes that making the girl’s programs affordable and giving them the chance to compete against other girls helps make the program a success. It’s important to have all girls programs because many girls do not feel comfortable playing hockey and training with the boys programs. The first year the program had one group with 36 players, the second year had two groups with over 60 players.

We were sold out each year,” he said.

For Bill and Dan it’s the perfect way to cap off the summer working with the girls and getting them ready for the coming hockey season. Also serving as instructors at the clinic this year will Carson Clark-Bartolo, Allison Langille, Chad Mayrand and goaltending instructors Jason Dion and Adam Frye. Additional instructors will be added later.

If you wish to have more information or to register, e-mail us at backtobasicshockeyclinic@gmail.com or see our Facebook page Back to Basics Hockey Clinic @backtobasicshockeyclinic.