General Amherst

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.

Lady Gens win one and tie one in WECSSAA action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The rebuilding General Amherst girls hockey team has had positive results so far.

The Lady Gens first game of the week was a 2-2 tie with the visiting Essex Red Raiders.

Cate Hubbell gave the Lady Gens a first period lead before Essex tied it and the pattern repeated itself in the second period as Carly Renaud scored for General Amherst followed by a tying goal from the Red Raiders.

“It was a much better game,” said Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece, in comparing it to the team’s first game against Massey.

The improved effort against Essex including simple things like starting the game on time. Against Massey, there were players that were late to take the ice but that wasn’t the case against Essex.

“The effort was there. The battle was there,” said Pettypiece. “We had some chances to win it at the end.”

Pettypiece said the young Lady Gens team is showing improvement one step at a time.

Alex Laframboise takes a shot on goal during the third period of last Wednesday’s game against Essex.

“We can’t expect them to change overnight,” said Pettypiece. “It’s going to take time.”

Renaud said after the Essex game that “we struggled in the beginning” but also believed the Lady Gens are showing improvement.

The Lady Gens won 2-0 Monday at home versus Lajeunesse.

“The girls continue to make improvements as the season rolls along. Again patience will be the

key with this young group. We are starting to get some goal production from other players. Balanced scoring will be a great asset as the season continues,” said Pettypiece.

Scoring for Amherst against Lajeunesse were Breana Farias with her first assisted by Stanek and Renaud and Abbie Drouillard with her first high school goal unassisted.

Jaiden Stiles earned the shutout and continued to give the Lady Gens very steady goaltending.

“We were missing three regulars, including two on defence, for today’s game due to illness so we called on affiliated players Autumn Guthrie and Phoebe Trealout to play in this game,” Pettypiece said Monday afternoon. “Both played solid games and Autumn scored only to have it called back because the net had moved.”

Pettypiece said the team has continued to build on the game before “which is a very positive sign leading into next week where they will tested heavily with some tough competition in the Crusader’s Hockey tournament in London. The coaching staff are hoping this tournament will help the

team bond and come together as a team.”

The next WECSSAA game for the Lady Gens is not until Dec. 11 when they play Kingsville in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.

 

Rebuilding year forecasted for Lady Gens hockey team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens opened the 2017-18 WECSSAA girls hockey season with a 1-1 tie but the season may be more difficult than years past.

The graduation of some key players off of last year’s team has given the Lady Gens a younger roster and one that its head coach Dan Pettypiece said will require some patience.

“The biggest thing I’m going to have to adjust to and the girls are going to have to adjust to is that we are in a rebuilding state,” said Pettypiece after Monday afternoon’s 1-1 tie with Massey.

Pettypiece said there are six Grade 9 players on this year’s Lady Gens squad and they are going to make mistakes.

“Today’s game showed that,” he said.

Instead of making plays when they had the opportunity, the Lady Gens rushed with the puck and gave it away. They have to learn to be patient, said Pettypiece, adding he’d rather see players have the puck taken from them than to just give it away.

“Right now, they are fighting the puck,” he added.

The Lady Gens were late getting onto the ice Monday, and Pettypiece said they weren’t ready to play.

The strong teams they’ve had in the last four years have moved on, he added.

“Those days are done. We’re writing a new story now,” said Pettypiece.

Jaycie Stanek had the lone goal against Massey while Jaiden Stiles played well in goal, Pettypiece stated. He said there were things that didn’t go well in that game and possibly cost them a chance to win. He added they were missing a couple of players as well.

“This team is going to take time to gel,” he said. “It’s about being patient with them and them being patient with themselves.”

General Amherst hosts Essex today in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst women’s softball player heading to Madonna University

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

When she started playing softball at the age of five, Brooklyn Prescott never dreamed she’d get this far.

“I’m so proud of myself for everything I’ve gone through and all of the hard work,” said Prescott. “It feels great, it’s a huge relief to finally get what I’ve been working hard for. This was the goal, but I never thought I would get here, so I’m excited.”

Brooklyn Prescott, currently a Grade 12 General Amherst student, signs her agreement to go to Madonna University to play softball after acquiring a scholarship package from both the athletic department and her for her merit.

After attending a camp at Madonna University in Grade 11, she started attending their games, went on to attend winter camps and through conversations with Jerry Abraham, women’s softball coach at Madonna University, she formed a rapport.

“I’ve watched her play a lot and travel, and she just fit in with our players,” said Abraham. “She’s a quality young lady and a quality player. She’s just a gem of a person. She’s a multiple asset for us. She’s a pitcher, she hits the ball well, she plays a variety of defensive positions, we’re very excited about it.”

Jerry Abraham, women’s softball coach at Madonna University, signs General Amherst Grade 12 student Brooklyn Prescott to play for him next year.

Abraham said their softball team at Madonna University is very successful, and they have been to a national tournament two of the last four years. He said he plans on also recruiting her sister down the road.

Prescott will be receiving a $10,000 scholarship through softball for the first year, on top of a merit, or academic scholarship, which has yet to be determined exactly.

Brooklyn Prescott (sitting, center) signs her agreement to go to Madonna University to play softball after acquiring a scholarship package from both the athletic department and her for her merit. Her mom Nicole Prescott (left), sister Savannah Prescott (center) and father Mike Prescott were present with flowers and gifts to congratulate and support her October 31.

Abraham explained, Madonna University, much like other Universities in the United States, puts together packages for their players which include merit scholarships, athletic money and other miscellaneous monies they can earn through other scholarships.

“I’m very excited and very proud, she has put in a lot of hard work,” said Prescott’s mom, Nicole. “It’s been many years, a lot of hours that she’s put in, sacrifices she’s had to make and she got her dream.”

Lady Gens eliminated from WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens got to the WECSSAA “AA” playoff semi-finals but could advance no further.

The Lady Gens hosted the Sandwich Sabres last Tuesday night and won 40-31 to advance to the semi-finals Thursday night at Kennedy. In that Thursday night semi-finals, a second quarter surge by the Clippers doomed the Lady Gens and led to Kennedy defeating General Amherst 50-27.

The Lady Gens led 11-6 late in the first quarter but a pair of late three-pointers put Kennedy up 12-11 at the end of the eight-minute quarter. Those three-pointers were part of a 15-0 run the Clippers went on and that 15-0 run was part of an overall 24-2 run that closed the first half and gave Kennedy a 30-13 lead.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (22) lays in two of her nine points during last Thursday night’s
WECSSAA “AA” semi-final game against the Kennedy Clippers.

The Lady Gens played better in the second half but weren’t able to recover from the second quarter.

“I told them before the game that you can’t let them get on a run,” General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio said.

The last 30 seconds of the first quarter was the turning point of the game, he believed. The second quarter was a bad quarter and having a bad quarter per game was a problem this season for Amherst.

“In the second quarter, we just sucked. There’s no other way to say it,” he said.

The Lady Gens reverted to poor habits they were doing earlier in the season, including passes that would not connect. Silvaggio, who was coaching against his son Stephen in the Kennedy game, said his son told him that Kennedy wasn’t doing anything special in the second quarter but it was turnovers by Amherst that helped swing the tide towards the Clippers.

Lexi Dodds scored 12 points against Kennedy while Taja Holmes scored nine points.

The quarterfinal game against Sandwich saw Dani Brindley score 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott had ten points. Dodds and Holmes had eight and seven points respectively. Ramie Tytgat had five points.

“We played an excellent first half,” Silvaggio said after the Sandwich game. “In the second half, we didn’t have that extra step. Sandwich switched defenses and we didn’t run our offense.”

Brooklyn Prescott drives to the basket during the second half of the Nov. 2 playoff game at Kennedy.

The Lady Gens’ defensive intensity was better in the first half of the Sandwich game, Silvaggio added.

A positive sign from this season was a lot of players that received a lot of playing time, about six in total, will return next year.

“There are quite a few kids that improved a lot,” said Silvaggio.

The team will likely have more players to choose from next year and Silvaggio hopes for more consistency out of them.

“If we can get 32 minutes out of them, I think we’ll be good,” he said.

Silvaggio urged the players to work in the offseason at improving their games otherwise improvement will be stunted.

“If they are not going to put in the work in the offseason, we’re not going to get any better,” he believed.

This year’s Lady Gens were a respectful and good group to coach, he added.

Dani Brindley lunges after a loose ball during the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s WECSSAA semi-final game at Kennedy.

“I’d like to thank them for that,” said Silvaggio. “They were enjoyable for us to coach.”

Silvaggio, joined on the sidelines this season by Don Parks and Nicole Rusenstrom, believed that playing in WECSSAA Tier 1 was productive. They went 1-7 in the regular season but the caliber of play helped develop the players and should prove beneficial in the long run, he indicated.

“I am happy we played in Tier 1 this year, because even though we didn’t win many games, we were competitive in every game but one,” he said. “It also forced us to play at a quicker pace and we got to play a higher caliber of basketball, which will help us for the next couple of years. There was a big difference in the caliber of ball between the tiers.”