Mooretown Flags

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.

Admirals improve to 2-2 after tough road schedule

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

The Amherstburg Admirals split a pair of games over the weekend, improving their record to 2-2.

Amherstburg couldn’t avenge their Game 7 loss in the playoffs to the Mooretown Flags Saturday as they lost 4-2 on the road. The Admirals allowed 40 shots in the loss, an area in which head coach/GM Paul Bortignon said needs to improve.

Defense was the name of the game in the Admirals home opener as they picked up a 5-0 win against an undefeated Dresden in front 614 fans. The Admirals outshot the Kings 40-15 as Ben Larder picked up his first shutout of the season.

Ty Moss celebrates his third period goal versus Dresden in the Admirals home opener. The Admirals defeated the Kings 5-0.

“We gave up 40 shots to Mooretown so to come back the next night against a team that was 4-0 and get four by a goalie like (Dresden’s Brett) Brochu who was playing lights out is huge for us,” said Bortignon.

The offensive was led by captain Austin Jennings who had two goals and an assist in the victory. Other Admirals goals were scored by Ty Moss, Josh Talerico and Christian McBride, who scored his first junior goal of his career.

Despite the offensive explosion, Bortignon said he was more impressed with the team’s effort on defense.

“Whenever you can give up 15 shots or less, that’s going to win you a lot of games,” added Bortignon.

With so much emphasis on defense, Ben Larder said it allowed him to have a great bounce back game.

Kyle Meloche (12, right) goes for a poke check on a Dresden player during Sunday night’s home opener.

“I’m happy with the effort in front of me, the boys helped me out a lot,” said Larder. “They did a great job killing penalties and blocking shots. I’m just trying to keep pucks out of the net. Winning the game is the goal, especially against a team that is 4-0”.

The Admirals hit the road this Thursday night to take on the Petrolia Flyers before returning home on this Sunday night to host the Wallaceburg Lakers. Puck drop for Sunday night’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre.

Admirals suffer heartbreaking season-ending loss

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The weekend proved to be a heartbreaking one for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

The Admirals, who led the PJHL Stobbs Division quarterfinal three-games-to-one after a 4-0 win in Mooretown Feb. 14, couldn’t close out the series and that included a pair of weekend losses. The final one was a Game 7 loss on home ice Sunday night to the Flags.

Brett Farr’s goal 6:42 into the third period proved to be the game’s only goal.

Mooretown forced Game 7 with a 5-2 win in their rink Saturday night. Bryce McGregor and Broden Meloche had the Amherstburg goals in Game 6 but the bigger loss that night was Ryan Alexander, who suffered a broken leg in the game. Despite his injury and the fact that injury required surgery earlier in the day, Alexander attended Game 7 in a wheelchair to cheer his teammates on.

Josh Talerico (24) takes a shot on Mooretown goalie Jake Wilkins in Game 5.

“When you get into a Game 7, you are really leaving everything to chance,” said Admirals general manager/head coach Paul Bortignon. “I think our guys battled hard.”

Bortignon said they had the emotion of having to make up for the loss of Alexander, plus defenseman Austin Jennings played with a partially separated shoulder Sunday night.

“I think our guys did a good job of battling for 60 minutes,” Bortignon said, adding the only goal was a shot from the point that looked like it hit something in front and went in.

The teams limited each other’s scoring chances, he continued, and that it was a closely contested Game 7.

“That was probably the most evenly matched game of the series,” said Bortignon.

The injury bug started hitting the Admirals dressing room after Game 4 and that hampered the team, but Bortignon also gave credit to the opposition.

“Mooretown did a good job capitalizing on their opportunities,” said Bortignon. “(Mooretown goalie) Jake Wilkins was a difference maker in the last three games.”

Amherstburg’s Caleb Paquette splits through the defense during the third period of Game 7 Feb. 18.

Despite leading the PJHL Stobbs Division in offense this season, Bortignon said a problem they had during the season reoccurred in the playoffs including Game 7. He said when they needed a timely goal late, they couldn’t score one.

“You can’t take anything away from Mooretown. They did a great job,” said Bortignon. “We were a game short and couldn’t find the goals when we needed them.”

The Admirals had hoped to close out the series last Thursday night at the Libro Centre but lost 4-2 to the Flags. Mooretown built a 3-0 lead in that game – with the first goal coming just eight seconds in – and didn’t look back, although Amherstburg made it a one-goal game in the second period on goals by Caleb Paquette and Alexander.

Dylan Muzzatti (15) and Travis Campbell (19) console each other after the Admirals’ Game 7 loss.

“We weren’t ready to go,” said Bortignon, after Game 5. “We’ll take responsibility for that. When you get scored on eight seconds in, it’s a coach’s mistake.”

Bortignon said there may have been guys in the locker room looking ahead but gave Mooretown credit after last Thursday’s game as well.

“We lost to a good team tonight,” he said.

In Game 4 last Wednesday, Bortignon said they built a three-goal lead after two periods and were able to get the victory.

“(Goalie) Ben (Larder) was outstanding,” he said.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals salue the crowd at the Libro Centre after Sunday night’s 1-0 loss to the Mooretown Flags in Game 7 of the PJHL 
quarterfinals. The Admirals lost the series four games to three and their 2017-18 season is now over.

McGregor, Brett Smith, Cory Burns and Josh Talerico scored for the Admirals in Game 4.

In the five years the Admirals franchise has been in Amherstburg, it is only the second time the team has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The other time was their first season in Amherstburg, when they lost in seven games to the then-Belle River Canadiens. The team was able to rebound after that and have two straight appearances in the finals as well as a semi-final appearance.

With the win, Mooretown now plays the Lakeshore Canadiens in one PJHL Stobbs Division semi-final series while the Essex 73’s take on the Dresden Jr. Kings in the other semi-final.

Caleb Paquette is turned aside by Mooretown goalie Jake Wilkins in Game 7, won by Mooretown 1-0 Feb. 18.

As for the future, the Admirals lose Alexander, Ryan Holzel, Dean Patterson and captain Dylan Muzzatti as they will be too old for Jr. C hockey next year. Bortignon said they do return players like Larder, Burns and Jennings and said those players, among others, will be solid building blocks for the future. He added that management and coaches will be looking for impact players for next year’s team that can contribute immediately.

The Admirals thanked the fans for the support all season, including the over 700 fans that turned out at the Libro Centre for Game 7. Bortignon said the training and equipment staff including Don Mouck, Stu Bertram and Grant Wood are appreciated for their work as are all the volunteers and supporters of the team.