Lakeshore Canadiens

Admirals win two of their last three games



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Admirals had a busy week with three games and won two of them.

The Admirals (24-11-2-2, 52 points) were in Wheatley Monday night and captured a convincing 6-1 win over the Sharks. Caleb Paquette scored a hat trick for the Admirals. Broden Meloche, Travis Campbell and Cory Burns added the other Amherstburg goals. Ben Larder picked up the win in goal.

Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell fights through a pair of Lakeshore players en route to getting a scoring chance on Canadiens’ goalie Erik Morneau Sunday.

The Admirals lone home game of the week was Sunday night but they fell short against the Lakeshore Canadiens, losing 3-1. Connor Rosaasen scored just 1:20 into the game for the Canadiens with Matt Smith giving Lakeshore a 2-0 lead after two.

Cory Burns cut the Admirals’ deficit to 2-1 at the 1:35 mark of the third period but despite a better effort in the third period, Amherstburg could get no closer. Steven Sartor scored an empty net goal for Lakeshore with just over four seconds left.

Despite taking the loss in net, Admirals goalie Ben Larder had a strong night as he made several key saves to keep his team in the game.

There were no penalties in Sunday night’s game.

“We showed up for 20 minutes,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “If wasn’t for Ben Larder, it probably would have been five or six to nothing after two periods.”

Bortignon said the rest of the Admirals players didn’t do enough to support their goalie Sunday night.

“Tonight, he was the best player on the ice by far. We’re not going to beat the best team in the league playing like that.”

The Admirals were “flat” in the first two periods Sunday night and Bortignon said they are 0-3 in their last three games combined against Essex and Lakeshore.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16, right) drives around Lakeshore’s Colin Sartor during the first period of Sunday night’s PJHL Stobbs Division game at the Libro Centre. Lakeshore won the game 3-1.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow but we are still focused on getting the last four points,” he said Sunday night.

The Admirals were in Wallaceburg last Wednesday to battle the last place Lakers and came away with a convincing 8-2 win. Travis Campbell and Bryce McGregor each scored two goals. Ryan Holzel, Cole Welsh, Dylan Muzzatti and Broden Meloche also scored for Amherstburg. For Welsh, it was his first with the Admirals.

“We came out with energy,” Bortignon said of last Wednesday night’s contest.

Amherstburg did good things offensively and played well defensively also, as they played a “clean” game with not a lot of turnovers.

The Admirals conclude the regular season this Sunday night at home against Wallaceburg. It will be the final regular season home game for overage players Muzzatti, Dean Patterson, Holzel and Ryan Alexander.


Admirals drop two straight over the weekend



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals’ winning streak came to a stop on the weekend thanks to a pair of defeats to local rivals.

The Admirals (20-10-2-2, 44 points) had won seven straight heading into Friday night’s game in Lakeshore but lost a 6-4 decision to the Canadiens. Lakeshore jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Kyle Brothers, Jarrett Tazzman and Matt Smith before Travis Campbell and Caleb Paquette got the Admirals on the scoreboard before the first period was out.

Caleb Paquette (6, white jersey) drives to the net during third period action Jan. 5 at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore. Lakeshore defeated Amherstburg 6-4.

In the second period, Kyler Carter expanded Lakeshore’s lead to 4-2 but Cory Burns’ powerplay goal brought the Admirals back to within a goal. Steven Sartor’s powerplay goal of his own gave Lakeshore a 5-3 lead but a third period goal by Austin Jennings of the Admirals made it a 5-4 game.

Tazzman’s empty net goal rounded out the scoring.

“We let our guard down a couple of times and that was it,” said Admirals GM/head coach Paul Bortignon. “You can’t do that against good teams.”
Bortignon believed the Admirals “showed a lot of character in the third” but it just wasn’t their night.

“Some nights you are going to get the calls and we didn’t get the calls,” he added.

There was a flu bug that hit the Admirals Friday night, Bortignon added, but he was proud of the way they competed that night. Two nights later, though, the Admirals had a game that Bortignon called “a wake-up call” as they were thumped 5-0 by the Essex 73’s at the Libro Centre.

“I just think we had no jump,” Bortignon said after Sunday night’s game. “Flat out, we didn’t have it tonight. We were chasing the puck all night. We were chasing them all night.”

The Admirals weren’t prepared to play while the 73’s were, he believed.

Admirals forward Travis Campbell (19) knocks Essex’s Luke Gecse to the ice during the first period of their Jan. 7 game at the Libro Centre. Campbell was assessed a penalty on the play. Essex won the game 5-0.

“We were beaten by the better team tonight,” he said. “They took advantage of all of our mistakes. The score was indicative of that. They dominated for two periods and coasted in the third.”

Riley Meyerink and Anthony Cristofaro had first period goals for the 73’s while William Stadder, Quinn Fazekas and Luke Gecse had third period goals for Essex.

Bortignon said the players have to put Sunday’s game behind them quickly while the staff has to watch the game again and point out their mistakes and correct them in this week’s practices.

Jared Ratko, the team’s new backup goalie, came on in relief in both games and Bortignon said his efforts were a bright spot on the weekend. Newcomer Dylan Kolic also debuted Sunday night against Essex after being signed recently.

“We’re excited to have them for the stretch run,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals – who are battling Essex, Lakeshore, Dresden and Mooretown in a tight battle for the top spots in the PJHL Stobbs Division – don’t play again until Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they play the Flags in Mooretown. Their next home game is Sunday at 7 p.m. when the Petrolia Flyers come to the Libro Centre.

Admirals keep rolling with wins over Essex and Lakeshore



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals’ hot streak continues after a pair of big wins over the weekend.

The Admirals have now won ten out of their last 11 games after beating Lakeshore 6-3 Sunday night and Essex 3-2 Saturday night. The three Essex County-based teams are battling for first place in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division with the Admirals being able to join that mix due to their recent hot streak.

Caleb Paquette led the way for the Admirals Sunday versus Lakeshore, as he scored four of Amherstburg’s six goals.

Caleb Paquette scores one of his four goals Sunday night versus Lakeshore.

“I’ve honestly never scored four goals in a junior hockey game,” said Paquette. “Lakeshore is number one (in the division) so that definitely makes it feel special.”

Paquette said the rest of the team also feels good after picking up that win as well as the win over the 73’s the previous night. He pointed out that he felt good coming into Sunday night’s game with the Canadiens.

“I actually said to Cory Burns that I was going to score,” said Paquette.

The Admirals maintained a good work ethic during both games, he added, and kept the pressure on both the 73’s and Canadiens.

“They are very good teams but we worked harder and came up with the wins,” he said.

Paquette added the Admirals go into the Christmas break with some confidence and believes if they keep working hard, they can continue to play well when they resume their schedule Dec. 27.

Ryan Alexander and Burns also scored against Lakeshore.

Burns also scored a pair against Essex Saturday night, including the game winning goal with just 1:14 to play in the third period. The 73’s led 2-1 going into the third period but Amherstburg scored twice in the final 20 minutes to pull out the victory.

Paquette added the other goal against the 73’s. Ben Larder picked up the wins in goal in both weekend games.

“We talked about this weekend for a while,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon.

Bortignon said they talked about getting all four points if they worked for 60 minutes in both games, and that is what happened.

“Those two wins, those are on those guys,” he said of the players. “They were incredible from the goalie all the way out.”

Bortignon also used the word “incredible” to describe the play of the line of Burns, Paquette and Josh Talerico over the weekend. Their play is among the best Bortignon said they have seen in the current hockey staff’s four years with the team.

Cory Burns scores against Lakeshore Sunday night.

The Admirals knew they would have to get rolling to dig themselves out of an early season hole but the current hot streak is above even their expectations, he believed.

“It shows the character of our team,” said Bortignon.

The attitude of the team has changed, and that started with a 4-0 loss to Mooretown at home Nov. 12. They had a team meeting after that game and have played well since.

“The energy since that loss has been incredible,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals thanked the fans for their support over the weekend and wish the town a Merry Christmas. Their next two games are both at home as Dresden comes to town Dec. 27 and Wallaceburg is in Amherstburg Dec. 29. Both games are at 7 p.m.

Admirals clipped by first place Canadiens


By Ron Giofu


It was a case of “close but no cigar” for Amherstburg’s Jr. C hockey team Friday night.

The Lakeshore Canadiens got a goal from Steven Sartor with just 3:52 left in the third period and that gave the Canadiens a 2-1 win over the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals at the Atlas Tube Centre.

Lakeshore opened the scoring at the 18:11 mark of the first period on a goal by Ameen Fadel but the Admirals tied it thanks to a Travis Campbell powerplay goal 5:41 into the second period.

Ryan Alexander (16, right) makes his way into the Lakeshore zone during third period action Nov. 3 at the Atlas Tube Centre.

“For the most part, we were good with the exception of two shifts,” stated Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “Key mistakes led to two goals.”

In a game against the first place Canadiens, mistakes are magnified by 100, Bortignon believed. He said it was a disappointing game in some respects, noting they converted one of five powerplay opportunities.

The first Lakeshore goal was a result of a missed backcheck, said Bortignon, with the second being the result of poor communication on a defensive zone assignment.

Amherstburg’s Caleb Paquette (6, white jersey) gets a scoring chance on Lakeshore goalie Erik Morneau during the third period of last Friday night’s game at the Atlas Tube Centre.

“You can’t make mistakes like that otherwise it ends up in the back of your net as it did tonight,” Bortignon said after Friday night’s game.

The Admirals competed hard and the defensive zone coverage was solid overall, he added. Another positive was the play of goalie Ben Larder, who made 28 saves on the night.

Amherstburg has to do a better job converting offensive opportunities, Bortignon added, saying they’ve lost a number of one-goal games this season including the most recent game in Lakeshore.

“We had plenty of chances to get the win. That’s the frustrating part,” said Bortignon. “We didn’t capitalize on our chances.”

Admirals goalie Ben Larder (1, right) slides to make a save during the third period of last Friday night’s game in Lakeshore.

The Admirals will be working on fundamentals and special teams in practice this week, Bortignon said, as they want to start winning more consistently to get home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Amherstburg is 6-7-2-1 (15 points) through the first 16 games of the 40-game regular season schedule. They will be busy this weekend with three games in three nights. The Admirals will be in Dresden Friday night before returning home to play Blenheim Saturday and Mooretown Sunday with both home games being at 7 p.m.

Admirals tie game with Lakeshore 2-2 despite overtime efforts


By Jolene Perron

After suffering a 5-2 loss against Dresden last Friday, the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals returned to their home ice against Lakeshore and put up a fight in their overtime 2-2 loss.

Against Dresden, vice president and assistant coach Matt Fox described the game as “a wake-up call” for the team.

“I think a couple of lapses in the second period cost us and put us behind the eight ball and then we were just trying to play catch up the rest of the game,” said Fox. “It was a decent effort, not as good as we wanted but as long as we stick to the process the results will come.”

The team took that game with them as a lesson going into Sunday night’s game against Lakeshore, where the first period went scoreless.

Josh Talerico skates down the ice, keeping the puck away from a Lakeshore player, close behind.

Admirals captain Dylan Muzzatti opened up the scoring for the night with a goal on a power play at 11:52, assisted by Michael Hatch and Bryce McGregor. That goal wasn’t answered by Lakeshore until 14:53 in the third period, when Jarrett Tazzman gave Lakeshore their first goal. In less than 40 seconds, Amherstburg came back with their second goal by Josh Talerico, assisted by Luc Warnock and Ryan Alexander.

The last goal of the game came at 18:19 of the third period by Lakeshore’s Kyler Carter.

The game went into a seven-minute three-on-three overtime period, which remained scoreless resulting in a tie game.

Admirals goalie Ben Larder stopped 44 of 46 Lakeshore shots on the night.

“The three on three is always a little bit different just because you put guys in tough situations,” explained Fox. “It was fast, and we would have liked to get one goal there on the power play at the end but we will take the tie and move on to Tuesday.”

The Admirals now embark on a four-game road trip, which started last night in Essex after this issue of the RTT went to press. They are in Wheatley next Monday night before games in Petrolia and Dresden on back-to-back nights Oct. 12-13.

The next home game for the Admirals is Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. versus Dresden.