Jr. C

Admirals win fifth straight game, set franchise records



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals are heating up and setting records.

After winning their last five games, the Admirals are in third place in the Bill Stobbs division of the PJHL.

The Admirals defeated the first place Dresden Kings with a dominating 8-0 road victory Friday night before returning to home ice Sunday to take on the Wheatley Sharks for the first time this season. The Admirals scored three third period goals and Jared Ratko made 34 saves to secure the Admirals second consecutive shutout victory.

Josh DiCarlo (8) and Josh Talerico (24) celebrate DiCarlo’s first Jr. C goal for his hometown team. Amherstburg defeated Wheatley 4-0 Sunday night.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Cory Burns was awarded the Player of the Month award for the month of November. Burns played in seven games while recording 10 goals and six assists. The veteran would also add assists in Sunday’s victory making him the franchise leading point scorer with 150 points.

“An individual award is nice to be recognized but ultimately, I’m looking for us to win a team award such as a championship,” said Burns.

In addition to Burns setting the franchise record for points, Captain Auston Jennings also recorded two assists Sunday, making him the franchise leader in assists with 98.

The Admirals also added to their scoring depth by signing Amherstburg native Josh DiCarlo over the weekend. The 17-year-old was paired with Burns on the top line and wasted no time as he scored his first goal for his hometown team Sunday night.

“I love playing for the hometown,” said DiCarlo. “When I was a little kid, I watched the Admirals and I always dreamed of playing for them. Now that dream is a reality.”

Cory Burns accepts his award for Player of the Month before Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre, won by the Admirals 4-0.

Despite the offensive talents, the Admirals are also showing off their defense as well. The Admirals are leading the Bills Stobbs division in fewest goals allowed as Ben Larder and Jared Ratko have combined for a total of 49 goals against in 25 games.

“That goes right to our goaltending,” added Burns. “We’ve had good goaltending all year and we put a lot of work in the defensive zone at practice. We’ve shut things down and it shows on our home ice for sure.”

The Admirals also travelled to Wallaceburg last Wednesday night where they picked up a 5-2 win over the winless Lakers.

The Admirals are now 17-5-0-3 for the season and a league best 10-1-0-1 on home ice. Amherstburg’s next game is this Sunday as they host the Mooretown Flags at 7 p.m., at the Libro Centre.

Admirals down 73’s on penalty shot in OT



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals avenged their season opening loss to the Essex 73’s with a thrilling overtime win on Sunday.

Amherstburg got the scoring started as Dean Deluca scored in the dying minutes of the first period. Essex would score the next two goals before Austin Jennings would tie the game on the powerplay. Cory Burns would give the Admirals the lead in the third, but Josh Pope-Ferguson would score with 1:40 remaining in regulation to force overtime.

After getting tripped on a breakaway, Michael Hatch was awarded a penalty shot, which would be the game winning goal.

Essex goalie Jax Dhont breaks his stick in frustration as the Amherstburg Admirals celebrate Michael Hatch’s penalty shot goal in overtime to defeat the 73’s 4-3 in overtime Sunday night.

“We all knew it was a big game after losing to Essex in the season opener but when we had to step up, we rose to the challenge,” said Hatch.

A total of 18 penalties were called for 71 minutes. With 673 in attendance, Hatch said the game had a playoff atmosphere.

“The fans were around the glass cheering loud and penalties were getting called everywhere,” said Hatch. “The pace of the game just kept picking up as it progressed, and we were able to get a quality team win to win in overtime”.

With the win, the Admirals are now 9-3-0-1 on the season and 5-0-0-1 on home ice.

Caleb Paqutte takes a shot on Essex goalie Jax Dhont in the Admirals 4-3 victory in overtime Sunday night at the Libro Centre.

The Admirals are off until Nov. 3 when they visit the Mooretown Flags and the Dresden Jr. Kings on Nov. 9. The Admirals will return to home ice for a home-and-home series when they host the Blenheim Blades Saturday, Nov. 10 and the Lakeshore Canadiens Nov. 11.

“We’re on a roll right now. We just have to continue defending home ice and we’ll see what happens as we move forward in the season.”



Admirals split games over the weekend



By Christian Bouchard


After losing to last year’s defending league champions, the Amherstburg Admirals bounced back with a resounding 6-1 win over the Petrolia Flyers.

The Admirals fought hard but would fall 3-1 to the Lakeshore Canadiens Friday night. Their luck would fare better as they would get six goals on Sunday and another great performance by Ben Larder in net to pick up two points on Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association night in front of approximately 500 fans.

Cory Burns scores a first period goal against the Petrolia Flyers Sunday night.

The Admirals showed their depth as six different players found the back of the net. Goals were scored by Cory Burns, Max Clifford, Caleb Paquette, Brett Smith, Bryce McGregor and Josh Talerico.

“The team has bonded, we’re much closer together and it shows on the ice,” said Admirals goalie Ben Larder.

The 21-year-old netminder was just 4:21 away from his fourth shutout this season. He has now won his last five games while starting and has an impressive 1.74 goals against average this season.

With the win, the Admirals are now 4-0-0-1 at home. While head coach/general manager Paul Bortignon and Admirals leading scorer Cory Burns have stated the importance of protecting home ice all season long, Larder said it is also important to play for each other.

“It’s pedal to the metal, doing everything you can for the other guys on the team, because that’s who we play for,” said Larder.

Broden Meloche carries the puck up the ice during Sunday night’s win over Petrolia.

The Admirals host their rival, the Essex 73’s next Sunday. The Admirals lost the only previous meeting between the two teams this year by a final score of 6-3.

“We’re a different team than we were in the season opener,” added Larder. “Yes, we came out flat against them in the first game of the season but that’s just one game.”

To celebrate the holidays, the Admirals are welcoming kids 11 and under free admission to the game with a costume and will be holding a trick-or-treating event following the game in the Admirals dressing room.



Admirals host fifth annual golf tournament



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals traded in their sticks for clubs as they celebrated their fifth annual Fall Classic golf tournament this past weekend.

Admirals players, coaches, families and friends golfed at Sutton Creek Golf Club on Sunday for the team’s annual fundraiser. Cory Burns and his team won the overall tournament shooting 18 under par and a total of 54 strokes.

While final numbers are not available yet, general manager/head coach Paul Bortignon estimates 13-14 groups participated.

Victoria Hilton goes for the green during the fifth annual Fall Classic golf tournament presented in wet conditions Sunday at Sutton Creek Golf Course in McGregor.

“Aside from the weather, I thought everything went well,” said Bortignon. “We had a ton of support from the community and all the guys had fun”.

Just a few days before their season opener, the Admirals have set the roster to the 23-player limit. He added they are excited about the players they’ve added and with the returning players but stated there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare before the season opener in Essex, which was played Tuesday night after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

Ty Moss and Dean Deluca were among many of the rookies who Bortignon said would have a lot of impact for the team. He added Andrew Clark, a 2000 player from Windsor, is more than likely going to be the biggest surprise.

“What he brings on the penalty kill, in energy alone, and especially in the face-off circle, I think he’s going to wow some people in the organization this year,” added Bortignon.

Admirals goalie Ben Larder chips one towards the hole.

With the addition of a handful of rookies being added to the roster, the Admirals will rely heavily on veteran presence to lead the team. Now entering his fifth year with the team, Bortignon said he’s thrilled with what he’s seen from his team’s leaders.

“I really think the leadership we have this year with Austin Jennings as our Captain, Travis Campbell, Cory Burns and Caleb Paquette wearing the As, it may be the best leadership we’ve had in five years,” said Bortignon.

Along with players taking on bigger leadership roles, he stressed the importance of taking it one game at a time and trying to get as many points as possible early in the season.

“When you look at the last 30 games last year, we had the best record in the league,” he said. “That still put us in the fourth spot going into playoffs. If you can get one of the top three seeds in the league, that saves you a round of torture in the playoffs. So for us, that’s a huge goal.”

The Admirals concluded the pre-season with a 5-2 win in Wheatley last Friday. The Admirals’ first home game is Sept. 23 against the Dresden Kings at 7 p.m.


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.