Jr. C

Admirals bolster lineup with newest signees

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Admirals will have some new faces in the lineup and the local Jr. C franchise is excited to add them.

Forwards Dean DeLuca and Ty Moss have signed with the Admirals while defenseman Aaron Jacobs has re-signed with the team. DeLuca played with the Amherstburg Stars midget major team last season while Moss comes out of the Windsor AAA hockey program. Jacobs played with the Admirals last year.

Admirals general manager/head coach Paul Bortignon said the team is pleased with the latest additions.

“To sign three guys like this is a good start for us going forward,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon hopes that DeLuca and Moss can be top nine forwards with the club, if not in the top six. While the Admirals led the PJHL Stobbs Division in scoring last season, there were points in their playoff series loss to the Mooretown Flags where they needed a goal and couldn’t get one.

The Admirals will take a different approach offensively next season, Bortignon added, as they plan on putting a lot of pucks to the net and players as well.

That style of play could suit DeLuca, who describes himself as a power forward who likes to go in the corners and drive the net. He added he looks for bounces and deflections in front of the net and patterns his game after Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks. DeLuca said he likes how Kesler bangs bodies and still scores goals.

The Amherstburg Admirals officially signed new players Saturday morning. From left: head coach/GM Paul Bortignon, co-owner Matt Fox, Aaron Jacobs, captain Austin Jennings, Dean DeLuca, Ty Moss and co-owner Gaspare Spada.

Moss describes himself as a two-way forward in the mold of Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. Moss said he wants to make sure he is good defensively but also be able to put the puck in the net in the offensive end.

Moss said signing with Amherstburg is a good “first step out of minor hockey” and believes he can develop and become a better hockey player with the Admirals.

“It’s a good place to start in junior hockey,” said Moss.

DeLuca is happy to stay close to home to start his junior hockey career.

“It’s nice to play in my hometown,” said DeLuca. “It’s going to be fun to try and move up and do something different.”

For Jacobs, he said he is pleased to return to the Admirals lineup.

“I love it here,” said Jacobs. “It’s one of my favourite places to play. I want to finish my career here with a championship, maybe two.”

Jacobs said the Admirals are a close group and called it “a great organization.”

“I love Amherstburg,” he said. “I come here to fish a lot. I like coming out here.”

Jacobs joked he doesn’t go on the Pointstreak website to check out statistics “because I don’t get a lot of points.” He said he doesn’t like getting scored on but hopes to expand his game offensively this upcoming season as well.

Co-owner Matt Fox said the team is excited to add talented players like Moss, DeLuca and Jacobs and believes the team is being steered in the right direction.

“It’s a big step forward,” he said of the new players.

“We got some good pieces today,” Bortignon added after the players officially signed Saturday morning.

Bortignon said the Admirals were “humbled” last season and they are going to take a game-by-game approach this upcoming season and set their goals that way.

Admirals earn four of six points on weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Two-thirds of the weekend was good for Amherstburg’s Jr. C hockey team but the conclusion to the weekend was something they want to forget.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won two of three games over the weekend. They went to Dresden Friday night and won 4-3 in overtime and then defeated the Blenheim Blades 5-2 Saturday night at the Libro Centre.

Their game Sunday night was against the Mooretown Flags and saw the Flags come into Amherstburg and capture a 4-0 victory.

Amherstburg defenseman Austin Jennings (left, 10) carries the puck into the Mooretown zone during third period action Sunday night. At right is Flags’ defenseman Hayden MacDonald (4).

Austin Jennings was the hero last Friday as he tied the game with a powerplay goal early in the third period and won it in overtime for the Admirals. Travis Campbell and Caleb Paquette also scored for Amherstburg while Ben Larder made 41 saves in goal for the Admirals.

Cory Burns scored twice while Josh Talerico, Bryce McGregor and Amilio Acampora scored in Saturday night’s 5-2 win, Acampora’s goal being his first in Jr. C. Larder made 36 saves in that win.

A second period altercation Saturday night that saw defenseman Dean Patterson leave the bench and join in resulted in Patterson and head coach Paul Bortignon being suspended two games each. Assistant coaches Matt Fox and Rob Bondy ran the bench Sunday night.

Bortignon watched Sunday night’s game from the stands and was not impressed with what he saw.

“This weekend, we won two of three games and that’s kind of where it ended,” he said after Sunday’s game. “We can’t talk about the effort (against Mooretown) because there wasn’t one.”

Bortignon said Mooretown controlled Sunday’s game from start to finish, adding the poor performance from the Admirals is something that usually happens once a year and will be quickly be put behind them. While it was the third game in three nights, Bortignon said that is not an excuse as fatigue may cause mental mistakes but the Admirals had a poor effort top to bottom.

“(Mooretown) owned the game for 60 minutes,” he said.

Larder was one of the lone highlights for the Admirals Sunday, as he made 35 saves.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Holzel (14) shoots the puck in the direction of Mooretown goalie Nolan Hakr during the first period of Sunday night’s Jr. C hockey game at the Libro Centre. Mooretown won 4-0.

The effort was much different the first two games of the weekend, Bortignon indicated. He said they worked hard for the entire game Friday night and came out of Dresden with a win, something that is tough to do as the Jr. Kings are 7-1-0-1 on home ice.

Bortignon said “we picked up where we left off” Saturday night and turned in another solid effort in the 5-2 win over Blenheim.

Amherstburg (8-8-2-1, 19 points) travels to Wallaceburg to play the last-place Lakers Wednesday night. Despite a 1-15 record, Bortignon said Wallaceburg is playing better as of late and stated the Admirals will have to put in a full 60 minute effort.

The Admirals return home Sunday for a 7 p.m. game with the Petrolia Flyers.

Former owner returns to Admirals

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

A former owner of the town’s Jr. C hockey club is now a current owner once again. 

Co-owners Matt Fox and Wes Ewer made it official on Thursday that they and Gaspare Spada have agreed to terms that will see Spada back on board as an owner of one-third of the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

When asked why have Spada come back in now, Ewer simply had this to say: “Why? I say why not?  It was not a tough decision for Matt and I to make.”

Ewer went on to say that Spada approached him and Fox about coming back into the ownership group a couple months ago and it didn’t take the two long to agree.  

“We see so much value in having Gaspare back on board from an operations standpoint. He is the only reason Matt and I are where we are with this team today. He took a chance on (general manager/head coach) Paul (Bortignon), Matt and myself four years ago and I think it has worked out pretty well. He brings so much entrepreneurial experience that we couldn’t turn down the help on the business side,” said Ewer.  “With my new role being more business focused, I am very excited to have Gaspare help continue to push us in the right direction.”

The team had “a minor set-back” last year after being swept by the Essex 73’s in the second round, but the progress and steps that have been made as a team over the past four years are certainly nothing to be ashamed of, the ownership group states. Under Spada as an owner, the team saw its first finals appearance and then made it back there the following season after Ewer and Fox took over.  

“Gaspare brings a lot to the table for Wes and I,” said Fox, who is also an assistant coach. “He is a very passionate hockey guy and a very smart business person; it is a great fit to have him joining our ownership group.” 

The three owners believe they share a lot of ideas.

“My ultimate goal was always to be the best organization in the league. On the ice was of course to win a championship but more importantly off the ice, was to have a great place for players and families to play and be a part of, to have volunteers treated respectfully and give them the ownership to feel like part of the team. When the team wins we all win,” said Spada.  

Ever since Spada sold his shares, he felt like something was missing.  

“I’ve had an incomplete feeling since I sold the team. Hockey is in my blood and not winning a title doesn’t sit well with me,” he said. “I feel I can add some knowledge on the business side that can contribute to the success of the organization. With the support of my family, I felt that being involved in an ownership capacity again, was the right move.”  

When asked what challenges he sees in the future of the team, Spada replied: “Every year there are challenges with players, volunteers, finances and many aspects of running this business. However with the three of us pulling in the same direction, I’m confident that any challenges that appear, will be handled successfully.”

Spada thanked Ewer and Fox “for allowing me back into the mix” and he said he looks forward to “working with them to achieve that ultimate goal.”

The three-man ownership group is confident they won’t miss a beat.

“It is business as usual,” said Ewer. “Although he wasn’t an owner the past two years, Gaspare didn’t really go anywhere. His family is a big part of our organization and he himself never stopped helping us.”

Admirals-Flyers game postponed

By RTT Staff

If you were planning to head to Sunday night’s game between the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the Petrolia Flyers, there has been a change of plans.

Due to the weather conditions, the game between the two Jr. C hockey clubs has been postponed. A make-up date will be announced at a later date.

admirals

The Admirals next game is scheduled for Wednesday night (Dec. 14) in Wallaceburg with Amherstburg also scheduled to have a road game this Friday night (Dec. 16) in Dresden.

Their next home game is next Sunday night (Dec. 18) against the Wheatley Sharks.

Mixed results for Admirals over the weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won one game and lost the other over the weekend as the Jr. C hockey club was on each end of 3-2 decisions.

The weekend concluded Sunday night with a 3-2 win over the visiting Dresden Jr. Kings at the Libro Centre. After Kadin Ritchie opened the scoring for Dresden in the second period, Amherstburg scored three straight goals with Jordan Luciw and Curtis Prymack scoring in the second period and Cory Burns in the third period.

All of the Admirals’ goals Sunday night were on the powerplay.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti (15) looks for a play in the Dresden zone as Dresden’s Austin Bentley (8) gets his stick in Muzzatti’s feet.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti (15) looks for a play in the Dresden zone as Dresden’s Austin Bentley (8) gets his stick in Muzzatti’s feet.

Geoffry VandenBoorn scored with about 28 seconds left in the third but the Jr. Kings could get no closer.

The Admirals began the weekend Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the Blenheim Blades, also at the Libro Centre.

Nick Delyzer and Dustin Maines gave the Blades a 2-0 lead after one period but Amherstburg tied it in a penalty-filled second period thanks to powerplay goals from Kasey Basile and Luciw but a powerplay goal from Blenheim’s Drew Marlatt in the third period gave the visitors the victory.

The Admirals debuted new jerseys on the weekend, playing in their new home jerseys Saturday night while giving the home fans a look at the new road jerseys Sunday night. The hype the franchise tried to build for the new jerseys didn’t spread to the players as much as the coaches would have liked.

“We let two points slip away last night,” Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon said following Sunday’s game. “It was an OK weekend. Let’s leave it at that.”

Bortignon said the game against Blenheim was “a bleak effort” and didn’t want to blame a ten-day layoff for the loss, noting they had a good week of practice.

“We didn’t have a lot of jump (against Blenheim),” said Bortignon. “We were flat. Fundamentally, we couldn’t string passes together.”

The team lost Dean Patterson to injury and Travis Campbell to suspension following Saturday’s game but added a returning Ryan Wismer Sunday. Bortignon added Burns had another solid effort Sunday.

“He’s kind of been our most consistent guy this season,” his coach said.

Admirals’ defenseman Ryan Wismer (2)  carries the puck into the Dresden zone during third period action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 3-2 after losing by that same score to Blenheim Saturday night.

Admirals’ defenseman Ryan Wismer (2)
carries the puck into the Dresden zone during third period action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won 3-2 after losing by that same score to Blenheim Saturday night.

The Admirals travel to Petrolia Thursday to play against a Flyers team that is battling for points, said Bortignon. He called this Friday night’s game in Lakeshore another “litmus test” for the Admirals, noting they passed the first test in Essex Nov. 1. He wants the Admirals to approach the Lakeshore game as if it is a playoff game.

The Mooretown Flags return to the Libro Centre Sunday for a 7 p.m. game.

The Admirals have also added a new player, with Jake Cummings being added in a trade with Wallaceburg last week. Bortignon said Cummings is “a Windsor kid” that adds depth to the lineup.

“He’s a kid that is going to work hard for 60 minutes,” said Bortignon, of Cummings, noting he can also play centre or wing.

The Admirals acquired Cummings for monetary considerations.