Jaycie Stanek

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

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.

Lady Gens pick up wins over Kingsville, Essex

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens picked up a pair of road wins earlier this week.

The Lady Gens began the week in Harrow for a game against the Kingsville Cavaliers. General Amherst played the game without star forward Savannah Bouzide but still came away with a 3-1 victory.

“Kingsville had come into the game on a four-game winning streak with four straight shutouts,” explained assistant coach Dan Pettypiece. “We played a very smart game after falling behind 1-0 in the first. We made some adjustments in the lineup and were able to tie the score early in the second period. Kingsville took a penalty about half way through the third and we were able to capitalize on the power play. Thirteen seconds later we scored an insurance goal and then locked it down defensively the rest of the third.”

General Amherst forward Savannah Bouzide (19) scores her team's seventh and final goal during Amherst's win in Essex last Tuesday.

General Amherst forward Savannah Bouzide (19) scores her team’s seventh and final goal during Amherst’s win in Essex last Tuesday.

Pettypiece added that Megan Wismer, making her second straight start after recovering from an upper body injury, played a very strong game in goal giving the Lady Gens a chance to weather the storm in the first period.

Leading the attack was Katie Stevenson with her first Hat trick of her hockey career.  Assisting on Katie’s goals were Jaycie Stanek (3) and Carly Renaud (2).

Defensively, Pettypiece stated that Brianne Fields, Emily Hamelin, Cate Hubbell and Abby Laframboise were very solid throughout the game “with Abby playing her best high school so far.”

Pettypiece called it “an important victory for the team” as they played with only two lines. In addition to Bouzide, Alex Laframboise was also unable to play in the Kingsville game.

“They played a smart, simple hockey game which is something coach Scott Hamelin has been stressing throughout the season,” said Pettypiece.

The Lady Gens returned to the ice the next day, defeating the Essex Red Raiders the next day at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

Bouzide returned to the lineup and scored four goals with Stanek adding three more. Picking up assists in the game were Renaud, Emily Hamelin and Hubbell.

“We’re trying to get the idea across to them they are firing on all cylinders, they are going to be tough to beat,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst's Carly Renaud (6) gets a scoring chance during the third period of her team's 7-1 win in Essex Jan. 17.

General Amherst’s Carly Renaud (6) gets a scoring chance during the third period of her team’s 7-1 win in Essex Jan. 17.

Three teams playing at Tier 1 level – Belle River, Leamington and L’Essor – will be dropping back to the AA level for playoffs and Pettypiece said those teams will be tough to beat. However, he believes the Lady Gens can do it if they play as they are able.

General Amherst still has a strong nucleus from last year and Pettypiece believes “they can do damage in the playoffs.” He hopes for strong efforts heading into the WECSSAA playoffs as they went into last year’s playoffs “a little stale” and that may have cost the girls a trip to OFSAA.

“It has to be a true team effort going forward,” he said. “It’s tough to stop us when we are playing well.”

They now break for exams after that and return with two regular season games, including the rescheduled game against Tecumseh Vista Academy. That game was to be played Jan. 23 but was postponed due to an equipment failure at the Libro Centre.

Lady Gens tie Lajeunesse in final game before Christmas break

 

Special to the RTT

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens tied Lajuenesse 2-2 Monday afternoon at Central Park Arena in their final game before the Christmas break.

The Lady Gens are now 2-0-2 on the season and have six points.

“We played with only 10 skaters including three of our affiliated players. With Megan Wismer still recovering from a concussion, three regulars out for medical reasons, the players really pulled together and played a gutsy game,” said assistant coach Dan Pettypiece. “Emily Hamelin survived a shaky start and played her best game in goal so far, making many difficult saves late in the game to preserve the tie. She has been a great leader for this team this season and it has been great watching her evolve over the past three seasons into a very solid player.”

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Leading the attack for the Lady Gens were offensive sparkplug Jaycie Stanek with two goals assists went to Abby Laframboise (2), Cassidy Zelle and Brianne Fields.

“Brianne played a great game on defense and was on the ice for most of the game. She is another excellent leader for this team,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst will return to action Jan. 9 at 3:30 p.m. in Amherstburg versus Sandwich. Pettypiece said the team wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lady Gens pick up second straight shutout to open 2016-17 hockey season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens are back on the ice and have recorded shutouts in their first two games.

Their second shutout, a 7-0 win over the visiting Massey Mustangs recorded last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre, was the more unlikely of the two given their goalie had never played the position before.

Jaycie Stanek (4, right) of General Amherst drives to the net during action last Thursday afternoon against Massey. The Lady Gens downed the Mustangs 7-0 in a game played at the Libro Centre.

Jaycie Stanek (4, right) of General Amherst drives to the net during action last Thursday afternoon against Massey. The Lady Gens downed the Mustangs 7-0 in a game played at the Libro Centre.

Emily Hamelin, usually a right winger, had to strap the pads on and go between the pipes for last Thursday’s game due to regular goalie Megan Wismer being out with a concussion. The decision to put Hamelin in goal came the previous weekend.

Hamelin explained that she is the captain of the team so that was the reason she got the duties as back-up goalie.

“I was really nervous,” she said, when learning she was going into the game as goalie.

Hamelin was tested early in the game and stopped a first period breakaway.

“I was just hoping she would hit my chest or my pads,” said Hamelin.

After the win, Hamelin admitted “it was kind of fun” and that she may have to be the goalie for another game, depending on when Wismer is able to return.

However, she will always remember her debut as a goalie.

“I didn’t think I was going to get a shutout coming into the game so that was good,” said Hamelin.

Savannah Bouzide opened the scoring against Massey at the 8:36 mark of the first period when she drove to the net and tipped home a centering pass from Carly Renaud.

The Lady Gens put four more goals on the board in the second period. Jaycie Stanek scored her first of three goals on the day just eight seconds into the period to make it 2-0. Later in the period, General Amherst would score just eight seconds apart when Katie Stevenson scored at the 6:25 mark of the period and Bouzide backhanded home her second of the game at 6:33.

Stanek made it a 5-0 game at the 7:49 point of the second period.

Stanek completed her hat trick 5:13 into the third period and Cate Hubbell rounded out the scoring three-and-a-half minutes later.

Renaud picked up three assists in the game.

General Amherst’s Abby Laframboise brings the puck up the ice during her team’s 7-0 win over Massey last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Abby Laframboise brings the puck up the ice during her team’s 7-0 win over Massey last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

The Lady Gens had opened the season with a 4-0 win against Sandwich Nov. 21 in a game played at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle. Assistant coach Dan Pettypiece said the Lady Gens will be competitive this year, a prediction he didn’t always have.

“We thought it was going to be more of a transition year for us,” said Pettypiece.

Bouzide was originally thought to be an affiliate player (AP) for the Lady Gens due to other commitments but she is now expected to play more for the Lady Gens than originally thought.

“It turns out she may play a lot more of our games,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst lost six seniors off of last year’s team and that, coupled with early expectations on Bouzide’s availability, caused the coaches to drop the Lady Gens back into the Tier 2 division of WECSSAA.

“We just thought it would be better for us to stay down here,” he said. “We’ll know at the end of the year if it will be a good thing.”

Pettypiece said they expect to lose a lot of players of this year’s team but they have a good group of Grade 9 players plus more that could join the program in future years.

“It’s going to be a big transition,” he said.

For this year, Pettypiece believed they will be fine and is noticing returning players that are stepping up their game from last year. He said Stanek is playing with more confidence and isn’t showing the tentativeness she had in her game last season.

The Lady Gens host Cardinal Carter Thursday at 3:30 p.m. before closing the calendar year with road games against Kingsville and Lajeunesse.