Mooretown Flags

Admirals extend winning streak to six games



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals have extended their winning streak to six games.

Ben Larder recorded his league-leading fifth shutout Sunday night to lead the Admirals to a 4-0 victory over the Mooretown Flags. Cory Burns and Jacob Fields each had a goal and an assist while Ty Moss and Josh Talerico would also score for the Admirals.

The win was the Admirals third straight victory via shutout and seventh of the season.

Amherstburg’s Andrew Clark (15) is pursued behind the Mooretown net by Duncan Core (18) of the Flags during Sunday night’s 4-0 Admirals’ victory.

According to Larder, the Admirals continue to stress the importance of protecting their home ice and playing great defense. Sunday’s win improved the teams home record to 11-1-0-1, which is the best home record in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) Stobbs Division.

“I think our defense had more saves than me tonight,” said Larder. “We only allowed 14 shots and that shows how great our defense is. I’m thankful to have guys in front of me blocking shots and helping to keep the puck out of the net.”

Despite Larder’s success, he attributes his success to his teammates who blocked shots throughout the night. In addition, Larder also mentioned how thankful he is for his father’s continued support.

“It’s a three-hour drive to come watch me play and most of the time it has worked out well,” added Larder. “I’m grateful for that and it’s a huge reason for my confidence.”

The Admirals are now 18-5-0-3, good for third place and 39 points. Captain Austin Jennings said he is pleased with the team’s play but understands the importance of the next two games versus the defending league champions Lakeshore Canadiens this Friday night on the road and the first place Essex 73’s Sunday at home.

Admirals forward Broden Meloche passes the puck during the Dec. 16 win over Mooretown.

“It’s a big two points,” said Jennings. “We know it will be a playoff atmosphere and we got a lot of veterans who know what it’s like. We got to come out strong Friday and build on it Sunday night.”

When the Admirals host the 73’s this Sunday night, Jennings wishes to see another packed crowd.

“We got a good core of fans who come out, kids and adults,” added Jennings. “Playing in front of a big crowd always helps. Hearing the goal horn and the roar of the crowd is something special.





Admirals down Mooretown at home, lose to Essex on the road


By Christian Bouchard and Ron Giofu

The Amherstburg Admirals have made it a mission to defend home ice this season.

After falling to the Essex 73’s Tuesday night in Essex, the Admirals responded with a 3-1 victory on home ice against the Mooretown Flags. The Admirals are now 7-1-0-1 at the Libro Centre.

After missing nearly the entire first half of the season due to a hand injury, the Admirals welcomed back veteran Travis Campbell to the lineup.

“I had a few setbacks but I’m thankful to be back,” said Campbell.

Cory Burns celebrates his second period goal against the Mooretown Flags during the Admirals 3-1 victory Sunday night.

The over-ager made an immediate impact by making big hits, including one that sent a Flags player over the boards and into the Mooretown bench.

The offense was once again led by Cory Burns who scored twice, including a powerplay goal. Burns now has an eight-game point streak which includes 12 goals and 18 points. Kyle Meloche would score the third goal for the Admirals on the penalty kill.

Ben Larder would get his ninth win of the season in net, extending his winning streak to nine in games he’s started this season. Larder is second in the league with a goal against average of 1.65.

“The guys in front of me played well,” said Larder. “Twenty shots against says a lot about our defense. They blocked shots and got pucks out quick. Shutting down Brock Perry and their top line was a key aspect to getting the win.”

Larder also noted the return of his fellow over-ager gave him and the team confidence heading into the game with Mooretown.

“We were pretty fired up that he was back,” added Larder. “He’s a big part of the team and it’s great to get him back in the lineup especially after being out for so long.”

The Admirals were in Essex last Tuesday night and dropped a 4-1 decision to the 73’s. Ty Moss scored the lone Amherstburg goal with just 54.8 seconds left in the third period.

Admirals goalie Jared Ratko faces a shot from Essex’s Josh Pope-Ferguson.

“I don’t think this was our best effort,” said head coach/GM Paul Bortignon.

Bortignon said he didn’t want to use playing four games in five nights as an excuse, but he said they weren’t as quick as they usually were and they had some players that were injured.

Jared Ratko played in goal in Essex and while he played well, Bortignon pointed out it was a case of not giving him any goal support.

“We really haven’t scored a lot of goals in front of him,” he said.

As of Sunday night, the Admirals are 12-5-0-2  with 26 points and are in fourth place in the Bill Stobbs division. If the season were to end today, the Admirals would secure home-ice advantage and face the Flags in a repeat of last year’s first-round matchup in the playoffs.

Admirals lose overtime decision in Mooretown



By Ron Giofu


The only game of the week for the Amherstburg Admirals didn’t go the way they had hoped.

The Admirals were on the road last Saturday night in Mooretown but dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Flags. Amherstburg had built a 3-1 lead after two periods on goals by Max Clifford, Josh Jacobs and Dean DeLuca but the Flags got third period goals by Brock Perry and Cameron Rannie, the latter scoring his second of the game at the 16:27 mark of the third period.

Perry would add his second of the game 3:28 into the extra period to give Mooretown the victory.

Amherstburg outshot Mooretown 34-32 on the night.

The Admirals are now 9-3-0-2 on the season, good for 20 points, but they are fifth in the PJHL Stobbs Division behind Dresden, Essex, Lakeshore and Mooretown. However, Amherstburg has games in hand on all four teams ahead of them in the standings.

It will be a busy weekend for the Admirals as they have three games in three days coming up. Amherstburg heads to Dresden Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Jr. Kings. After that, the Admirals return home where they are thus far undefeated this season for a pair of games. The Blenheim Blades comes to the Libro Centre Saturday night while the defending division champion Lakeshore Canadiens come to town Sunday night.

Both of this weekend’s home games start at 7 p.m.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier the following week, with a Nov. 13 tilt in Essex and a Nov. 18 home game versus Mooretown Nov. 18.

Admirals avenge playoff loss with overtime win



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals have waited months to host the Mooretown Flags.

After letting a 3-1 series lead slip away and losing in Game 7 to the Mooretown Flags last year in the first round of the playoffs, Cory Burns and his Admirals teammates have patiently waited for this re-match.

“I think everyone that was on this team last year had this game circled,” said Burns, last year’s league leading goal scorer for the Admirals. “When a team knocks you out like they did to us last year it fires you up even more to get this win.”

Cory Burns (9) celebrates Caleb Paquette’s (A) second period goal with Josh Talerico (24) and Michael Hatch (far right) in Sunday’s overtime win.

The Admirals got off on the right foot when Brett Smith scored midway through the first period to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.

Ben Larder’s shutout streak would be no more when Mooretown scored with 2:42 remaining in the first period, tying the game. Larder’s 216 minutes and 48 seconds without allowing a goal is the longest streak in Admirals history.

After an early second period goal for the Flags, Caleb Paquette would score for the Admirals to tie the game. With neither team scoring in the third period, the Admirals headed to overtime where Cory Burns would eventually score the game winning goal with 15 seconds remaining.

With the win, the Admirals are now 3-0-0-1 on home ice and have picked up a total of seven out of a possible eight points.

“We want teams to fear coming into this building,” added Burns. “This year at home we’ve been very good.”

The Amherstburg Admirals celebrate Cory Burns overtime winner Sunday night versus the Mooretown Flags. The Admirals also travelled to Wallaceburg last Wednesday night and came away with a 2-0 victory.

The Admirals next game is Friday night on the road as they take on the defending league champions, the Lakeshore Canadiens for the first time this year.

The Admirals will return to home ice Sunday night as they host the Petrolia Flyers for Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association Night. Every player wearing their AMHA hockey jersey will get in free with a canned good. Puck drop at the Libro Centre is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Admirals fall to first place Dresden in OT



By Christian Bouchard


The Amherstburg Admirals fell short in a 2-1 overtime loss to the first place Dresden Kings this past weekend.

The Admirals got an early lead as Max Clifford scored less than five minutes into the game. That would be the lone goal for Amherstburg.

Jared Ratko helped extend the home shutout streak to 179 minutes but with just 59 seconds remaining in regulation, Nolen Vandenboorn, the league’s leading goal scorer tied the game sending it to overtime. Vandenboorn would score his second of the night and 14th of the season to defeat the Admirals 2-1 in overtime.

Max Clifford (25, left) scores a first period goal less than five minutes into the game versus the Dresden Kings. The Admirals would lose 2-1 in overtime.

“We were missing three key bodies,” said Paul Bortignon, the Admirals head coach and general manager.

The Admirals were without Kyle Meloche after his penalty and fight in the second period led to a game misconduct. Also missing from the lineup was Caleb Paquette, who was unavailable due to a family function, and Travis Campbell.

Despite the loss, Bortignon is happy with the way his team has defended home ice.

“If you’re going to get five of every six points on home ice you’re going to be a happy coach,” said Bortignon. “I think we can build off that. Those are teaching moments for us.”

As of Sunday night, he Admirals are now 4-2-0-1 and have nine points, a feat that took them 11 games to reach last year.

Kyle Meloche (12, left) gets into a tussle with a Dresden player during Sunday’s game at the Libro Centre.

“We know those points are critical especially come playoff time,” added Bortignon. “We’ll take our record now and be happy with it.”

The Admirals next game is Wednesday night in Wallaceburg before returning home Sunday night to host the Mooretown Flags. Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre starts at 7 p.m.