Dylan Muzzatti

Admirals win seventh straight game, 12th out of last 13

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals closed out the 2017 portion of their schedule with their seventh straight victory and 12th win out of their last 13 games.

The Admirals downed the last place Wallaceburg Lakers 4-1 Friday night at the Libro Centre thanks to two goals from Cory Burns and single goals from Dylan Muzzatti and Ryan Alexander. The win put them in first place in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division with a 20-8-2-2 record, good for 44 points.

Goalie Catalin Morin recorded his first win in about three months and made 17 saves. Wallaceburg got its goal from Ryan Nicholson in the final minute of the game to break the shutout.

They were one point up on both the Lakeshore Canadiens and Essex 73’s after that game, though the 73’s had a chance to regain first place Tuesday night, after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

Amherstburg forward Zack Yott (17, dark jersey) gets a scoring chance on Wallaceburg goalie Patrick Timpany during the first period of last Friday night’s game at the Libro Centre. The Admirals won the Jr. C hockey game 4-1.

“Who would have thought we’d finish (2017) in first place with the way we played at the start of the season?” asked Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “That’s obviously pretty important for this group.”

Bortignon said that should give the Admirals momentum as they look to finish the 2017-18 season strong. The 40-game regular season concludes at the end of January.

“We’ve had a great run and we’re going to focus on coming together and getting even better in 2018,” said Bortignon.

While acknowledging Wallaceburg’s struggles this season, Bortignon said the fact the Lakers picked up a 2-0 win last Wednesday night against Lakeshore was enough of a wake-up call for the Admirals not to let their guard down.

“That’s all we needed to get ready for this one,” he said. “Obviously, (Wallaceburg) isn’t up in the standings like other teams but a win is always good in this league.”

Bortignon said they were shorthanded three times in the third period and said they don’t want to pick up bad habits going forward, but was happy with the defensive effort and the Lakers’ low shot total.

The Admirals also played last Wednesday, a 3-2 win over the visiting Dresden Jr. Kings. After Dresden opened the scoring on a Will Tetzlaff goal, Travis Campbell, Michael Hatch and Josh Talerico scored before the first period was over to give Amherstburg a 3-1 lead. Cory Lucier cut it to 3-2 just 35 seconds into the second period but the teams were scoreless after that.

Ben Larder made 33 saves on the night for the Admirals.

“We got the win but it was not the best of efforts,” Bortignon said after Wednesday night’s game. “It was sloppy at both ends.”

Broden Meloche (71) of the Admirals drives to the net during the third period of last Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Dresden Jr. Kings at the Libro Centre. Also pictured is Dresden’s Cory Lucier.

The Admirals had two big penalty kills in the game’s final ten minutes, said Bortignon, and managed to shake off some rust that had accumulated over the Christmas break.

“You don’t want to make excuses, but it showed,” said Bortignon, of the layoff.

He added: “That’s one game where the guys kept fighting and fighting and they fought for the win and the two points.”

The Admirals battle the Canadiens in Lakeshore Friday night and the 73’s come to the Libro Centre Sunday night. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Admirals keep rolling with two road victories

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals’ hot streak continued over the past week with a pair of wins away from home.

The Admirals have now won three straight games and eight of their last nine with their most recent victory being a 7-2 win in Blenheim Sunday night. Josh Talerico scored a goal in each of the three periods to lead Amherstburg’s offensive attack against the Blades with Travis Campbell adding two goals in the game as well.

Caleb Paquette and Dylan Muzzatti also scored Sunday night.

The Admirals built a 2-0 lead after one period and led 4-2 after two periods before pulling away with three goals in the third period.

Ben Larder stopped 30 of 32 shots in the Admirals’ net against Blenheim.

Bryce Broad and Drew Marlatt scored second period powerplay goals for the Blades.

The Admirals’ previous game of the week was last Thursday night, a 4-2 victory in Petrolia. The Flyers had a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kole Keating but Ryan Holzel tied it for the Admirals before the opening 20 minutes had concluded.

After a scoreless second period, Mark McNally gave Petrolia a 2-1 lead early in the third period but Amherstburg took over from there and scored three goals to put the game away. Kyle Meloche, Muzzatti and Paquette scored third period goals for Amherstburg.

Larder also stopped 30 of 32 shots in the Petrolia game.

The Admirals (16-8-2-2, 36 points) play twice at the Libro Centre this weekend against Essex County opponents. The Essex 73’s are in town Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. game while the Lakeshore Canadiens come to Amherstburg Sunday night for a 7 p.m. game. Those games are the first two games of a four-game homestand for the Admirals.

Admirals get big win over Essex 73’s

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Two rivals squared off Sunday night at the Libro Centre in PJHL Stobbs Division hockey action with Amherstburg coming out on top.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals knocked off the Essex 73’s 3-2 in overtime with Ryan Alexander slipping the puck past Essex goaltender Tyler Ryan 2:02 into the extra period.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16) scores the game winning goal on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan Sunday night. The Admirals won 3-2 in overtime.

The Admirals never trailed in Sunday’s game. After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for four goals in the second period. Dylan Muzzatti scored on the powerplay to give Amherstburg a 1-0 lead 2:22 into the second period. Essex’s William Stadder tied it exactly 12 minutes later but David Cooke scored on his former team just over a minute later to restore Amherstburg’s lead.

Essex tied it with under one minute left in the second period on a goal from Adam Gaiarin.

The Amherstburg Admirals celebrate their 3-2 overtime win over the Essex 73’s Oct. 22.

The teams were scoreless in the third period.

“It’s a big win,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “It’s a big confidence building win for us.”

Bortignon said the Admirals (4-5-2-1, 11 points) are getting healthy and he said they had a good week of practice.

“It paid off tonight,” he said.

It “starts and ends with the back end” for the Admirals, said Bortignon, and the team was bolstered by the return of defenseman Dean Patterson. Patterson rejoined the team Sunday night and “is a huge addition for us,” Bortignon noted.

“He’s a guy who adds instant leadership. He was a big part of our win tonight.”

Goaltender Ben Larder stopped 29 of 31 Essex shots and Bortignon said Larder was outstanding against the 73’s.

Ryan Holzel (14, left) gets a scoring chance on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan.

“With the addition of Patterson and the goaltending stepping up, it’s huge for us,” said Bortignon.

Amilio Acampora and Caleb Paquette returned from injury and injected speed into the lineup as well. Bortignon said they’ve played a lot of the year thus far with only ten forwards due to injury.

“It’s nice to be healthy and nice to be able to put four lines out there on a consistent basis,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals will only have one practice this week as they play in Blenheim Thursday, are at Mooretown Saturday before returning home this Sunday for a game against Wheatley.

“Those are teams who have knocked us off the first time we played them,” said Bortignon. “We need to take the same mentality (as they had against Essex) in those games and if we do, we have a chance to get close to six points if not all six.”

Bortignon added the crowd against Essex was strong and that the Admirals appreciate the support from the community.

“Hopefully they enjoyed the result,” he said.

Admirals down Petrolia 5-3 in regular season opener

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Integrity Admirals defeated the Petrolia Flyers 5-3 in the PJHL Stobbs Division regular season opener, but it is clear the Admirals are looking for a better effort going forward.

Ryan Alexander had a hat trick for Amherstburg Sunday night, including the opening goal 9:20 into the first period. Caleb Paquette made it a 2-0 game 50 seconds later. A bad bounce for Amherstburg led to a Connor Lovell goal and made it a 2-1 game but Alexander scored again at the 19:19 mark of the opening period making it a 3-1 game at the first intermission.

Amherstburg’s Caleb Paquette (6, left) rounds the Petrolia net with the puck while being watched by Eric Marsh.

The Flyers tied it on goals by Eric Campbell and Eric Marsh in the second period but captain Dylan Muzzatti’s goal gave the Admirals the lead after 40 minutes. Muzzatti also had two assists on the night.

Alexander scored a powerplay goal with approximately three minutes to play in the third period to round out the scoring.

Amherstburg outshot Petrolia 39-26 on the night.

“We came out pretty strong for the first little bit. We died down after that. We didn’t play a full 60 minutes,” said Alexander.

Alexander credited his teammates for the hat trick.

“None of the goals were unassisted,” he said. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”

The Admirals did a good job picking each other up but Alexander emphasized they have to have a better effort in future games.

“I’m glad we got the two points but we’ve got to have better efforts down the road,” he said. “Down the road, we can’t get away with playing ten minutes out of a full 60.”

Alexander said “expectations are always as high as they can be” for the season and that while they have some new faces this year, they have players with a good work ethic that will get better as the 2017-18 season goes on.

Amherstburg forward Cory Burns (9) crashes the net during Sunday’s 5-3 win over Petrolia. The Admirals got three goals from Ryan Alexander and single goals from Dylan Muzzati and Caleb Paquette in the season opening win.

Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon also pointed out they didn’t have the best effort on the night.

“What I told our guys was to be happy with the result but don’t be happy with the effort,” said Bortignon. “The effort wasn’t quite there tonight.”

If they have similar efforts in future games, the Admirals likely will be on the opposite end of the result, Bortignon believed. He attributed the less than stellar effort to first game jitters but said there was more intensity from the rookies through the veterans during the pre-season.

“Overall, it was not good enough,” he said. “We obviously have to get better and get better in a hurry.”

Bortignon was happy with the two points and the Admirals’ penalty killing, but didn’t think they were as good as they should be five-on-five or on the powerplay.

“It’s tough to pick out a lot of positives in a game like that,” he added.

Assistant coach/co-owner Matt Fox said the team was pleased with the attendance, noting they got a lot of support from the town.

“It was great to see,” said Fox.

The Admirals were in Essex Tuesday night, after this issue of the RTT went to press. They have two weekend games at the Libro Centre this weekend, hosting Blenheim Saturday and Mooretown Sunday. Both weekend games are at 7 p.m.

Admirals run winning streak to seven games after pair of wins

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals have now won seven straight games after a pair of road wins in recent days.

The most recent victory for the Admirals (17-8-0, 34 points) was a 6-3 triumph over the Wheatley Sharks Monday night.

Alixe Saliba of the Sharks reaches ahead in an attempt to steal the puck from the Admirals' Austin Jennings (10) during the second period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jennings had an assist in Amherstburg's 6-3 win, their seventh in a row. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

Alixe Saliba of the Sharks reaches ahead in an attempt to steal the puck from the Admirals’ Austin Jennings (10) during the second period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jennings had an assist in Amherstburg’s 6-3 win, their seventh in a row. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

Amherstburg built a 4-1 lead over the Sharks after the first period. Travis Campbell got it rolling for the Admirals just 32 seconds into the game with Jordan Luciw and Caleb Paquette scoring 23 seconds apart later in the period to put their team up 3-0. After Wheatley made it 3-1 on a goal by Jake Pickersgill, captain Curtis Prymack scored on a powerplay to once again put the Admirals up by three goals.

The two teams would trade goals in each of the final two periods with Wheatley getting a goal from Cole Butler in the second period only to have Cory Burns answer for the Admirals. Campbell got his second of the game in the third period with Alixe Saliba scoring for the Sharks.

The Admirals' Aaron Jacobs (4) and Sharks' Nick Tavolieri-Essex battle along the boards for control of the puck in the third period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jacobs had an assist in Amherstburg's 6-3 victory. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

The Admirals’ Aaron Jacobs (4) and Sharks’ Nick Tavolieri-Essex battle along the boards for control of the puck in the third period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jacobs had an assist in Amherstburg’s 6-3 victory. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

The Admirals were in Blenheim Sunday night where they recorded their sixth win in a row, downing the Blades 5-2.

Lucas Bersuk scored the only goal of the first period to give Amherstburg a 1-0 lead. Ryan Alexander made it 2-0 almost eight minutes into the second period but Blenheim’s Derek Hueni made it 2-1 just 27 seconds later.

The Admirals would give themselves some breathing room later in the second period thanks to powerplay goals from Luciw and Dylan Muzzatti.

The two teams traded goals with less than four minutes to play. Campbell scored at the 16:31 mark with Nick Delyzer scoring 26 seconds later.

Catalin Morin stopped 24 of 26 Blenheim shots to pick up the victory in goal. He also picked up the win Monday night.

The Admirals are back home this Sunday as they have a 7 p.m. game with the Petrolia Flyers at the Libro Centre.