Jaycie Stanek

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

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!