girls hockey

Lady Gens hockey season concludes


Special to the RTT

The General Amherst Lady Gens played the first place Sandwich Sabres in the WECSSAA quarterfinals Feb. 12.

This was a one-game knockout to see who would advance to the semi-finals.  The coaches knew going into the game that they were going to be tough to beat but the girls were up to the task and did not quit. They played a tight defensive zone defence and frustrated the powerful Sandwich team in the first period.

General Amherst scored the game’s first goal (Abbie Drouillard assisted by Jaycie Stanek) and continued to frustrate Sandwich with outstanding goaltending by Jaiden Stiles.

Sandwich eventually tied the game in the second period and we went into the intermission between the second and third period with the belief we could still pull out a shocking victory.

Unfortunately, Sandwich scored early in the third period to go up 2-1.  The Amherst girls did not quit and continued to press for the equalizer. With just over a minute to go, the Lady Gens pulled Jaiden for an extra attacker and we continued to pressure Sandwich.

As the final buzzer sounded, there would be no happy ending this time.  Although the girls were disappointed that it ended this way, they were very proud with their effort and refusal to quit.

The coaching staff from the other team and even the referees commended our team for their play against a very strong Sandwich team.

In the dressing room after the game, the Amherst coaching staff found it hard to properly express how proud they were of this group of ladies.  Amherst’s very young team was able to push Sandwich to the limit and gave them a scare (Sandwich went on to win the WECSSAA championship).

The coaches did not feel like this was a loss for this program. Sometimes in hockey and life, failures like this lead to future success. This hopefully will give next year’s team some extra confidence going into the season.  Head coach Dan Pettypiece said he really enjoyed coaching this group of girls this year and although there were ups and downs, he thinks they have a bright future ahead of them.

On that note we are sad to say goodbye to Grade 12’s Carly Renaud, Emily Pontini, Alex Laframboise and Briana Farias. Pettypiece said he would especially like to thank Carly and Emily for their leadership with this young group of girls.

“I’ve had the pleasure to witness both of them grow up in the game of hockey and I know they will have lots to look forward to as they move to the next phase of. their lives,” said Pettypiece.  “Looking ahead to next year we will have most of the girls returning and we are looking forward to a strong new group of rookies coming in from Grade 8.  The future looks very bright for this team.”

The Grade 9’sand 10’s will compete in the Belle River Junior tournament on April 11-12 with the coaching help from the seniors.

“In closing I wish to thank our timekeeper Janice Ferguson, who has volunteered with us for 11 years, our sponsor Drew Coulson of Coulson Design-Build, assistant coach Jason Laframboise for his dedication to the program, our teacher reps  Kary Coulson and Nicole Rusenstrom for their commitment to this team, to Ron Giofu for his great coverage of this team and finally to the parents and grandparents who come out to cheer on the girls.  Your support of this program is very much appreciated,” said Pettypiece.


Lady Gens drop pair of games on the ice to Kingsville



By Ron Giofu


A home-and-home series between the General Amherst Lady Gens and the Kingsville Cavaliers saw the latter win both.

The first game was last Tuesday afternoon at the Libro Centre, a 3-1 win for the Cavaliers. Jaycie Stanek’s goal in the final minute prevented General Amherst from being shut out but it wasn’t enough to get them any points.

Lady Gens head coach Dan Pettypiece said after Tuesday’s game that regular goalie Jaiden Stiles was unavailable so they had to put Autumn Guthrie between the pipes. Guthrie also played several games before the Christmas break due to Stiles missing action with a concussion.

“She stopped a lot of shots from close in,” Pettypiece said.

Pettypiece thought the Lady Gens played well in Tuesday’s game, despite the 3-1 final score.

“I think we out-chanced them, to tell you the truth,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst’s Jaycie Stanek (4, yellow jersey) looks for a scoring chance Jan. 9 against Kingsville. Emily Pontini (2) is also seen in the picture. Amherst lost both ends of a home-and-home series against Kingsville.

The next day, the two teams met in Kingsville and the Cavaliers won again, this time by a 5-2 final score.

The Lady Gens have “internal issues that have to be worked out,” said Pettypiece.

“Right now, it’s trying to mesh the younger kids with the older kids,” he stated.

The veteran players have experienced success in recent seasons and Pettypiece added that there is some frustration now that the team is in a rebuilding season with young players.

“Everyone knew it was going to be a work in progress and it is,” said Pettypiece. “It’s something they have to adjust to.”

Pettypiece said that he believes the Lady Gens can beat any team in the WECSSAA Tier 2 league but they have to play simple hockey and not try to do too much.

“Everything isn’t falling into place right now,” Pettypiece said last Tuesday, “then they get frustrated. They have to play for each other. They can’t play as individuals.”

General Amherst was in Essex Jan. 16. They play St. Joseph at the WFCU Centre in Windsor next Monday and conclude the regular season Feb. 5, also on the road, against Tecumseh Vista Academy at Tecumseh Arena.

Lady Gens battle adversity in recent hockey tournament


Special to the RTT


The General Amherst Girls Hockey team participated in the Lady Crusader Hockey Tournament in London Dec. 5-6.

The coaching staff knew going into this tournament that they would be coming up against some powerful teams and they relayed that message to their senior players before committing to it. Their strong belief was that it would a great team bonding event for the girls especially with all the new Grade 9’s.

If that was our main goal of this tournament we came out as champions. Sometimes (actually most times) it’s not about trophies, medals and banners. It’s more importantly about the experiences you have along the journey. That’s what they remember. That’s what gets etched in their memories for years to come. We lost all five games we played but that’s not the real story of this journey.

   This is how our very young team became the talk of the tournament.                                                 At the end of the second period of the second game, our goalie Jaiden Stiles suffered a concussion after getting a shot off the head. Jaiden’s parents took her to the hospital and they returned home that night with her suffering a mild concussion. We all felt really bad for Jaiden and were faced with trying get someone dressed in her equipment to continue on with the third period or play with six attackers to finish the game.

The General Amherst Lady Gens warm up for a tournament game in London without a goalie. Their goalie – Jaiden Stiles – suffered a concussion during the tournament but the Lady Gens
soldiered on in her absence. (Submitted photo)

When the referee came over to tell us we could also call the game, the girls said resoundingly “Amherst doesn’t quit”. So faced with a 5-0 deficit against a strong Kincardine team, they played with six attackers and at one point made it a 5-2 game until the other team realized they better get going again. After the game I told the girls that in over 40 years of coaching I’ve never been prouder of a team.

That night they continued their bonding by going out for a night of bowling, dinner and hanging out as a team in one of their rooms.

The next day faced with playing three games without a goalie the coaching staff made the decision to ask the Guelph team we were playing if we could borrow their other goalie. They graciously allowed her to play for us. But it wasn’t the same team during this game. They came out flat, with not the same heart and determination they had the day before.

After that game we told them we would have to play with six attackers for the next game (no spare goalie available). That team we saw the day before with no quit in them was back. They played a tough team from Wallaceburg but only lost 8-3. In the dressing room after I witnessed a group of players that lost the game but won the hearts of their coaches, the referees, parents and coaches from other teams. They were laughing and saying how much fun they had. They were the talk of the tournament for all of the heart and grit that they showed.

We asked them if they wanted us to use a goalie from the other team for the last game and they basically said in unison “no we got this.” We finished up with Guelph in the “D” final and lost 10-2 but the legend of the team from Amherst who refused to quit will live on forever. We exceeded our goal of coming together as a team and the girls, coaches and parents will have life long memories to share.

The scores of our games were: St. Mary’s Hamilton 3 Amherst 0 (Jaiden Stiles played a great game in goal); Kincardine 7 Amherst 2 (scoring for Amherst were Sydney Doyle from Breana Farias & Lauren Bratt and Jaycie Stanek from Abby Laframboise); Guelph 6 Amherst 0 (Elise the goalie from the other team played for us); Wallaceburg 8 Amherst 3 (scoring Abby Bondy from Emma Fleming, Jaycie Stanek two goals assisted by Briana Farias); Guelph 10 Amherst 2 (scoring Emily Pontini from Jaycie Stanek & Abby Bondy from Jaycie Stanek).

They won’t remember the scores but they will remember the experience. How they came together as a team and fought for each other in true “Bulldog Spirit.” The coaching staff are so proud and honored to be a part of this program. They represented their school and their town with true grit and determination.


-Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

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.