Mooretown Flags

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.

Admirals have three-game winning streak snapped by Wheatley



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals entered Sunday night’s game against the Wheatley Sharks on a three-game winning streak but could not extend it any further.

The Admirals lost 4-3 to the Sharks at the Libro Centre though head coach/GM Paul Bortignon believed his team played well. After Dylan Muzzatti gave the Admirals the lead in the first period, Carter Mastronardi’s tip-in tied it for Wheatley before the opening 20 minutes was complete.

Amherstburg forward Ryan Holzel goes head over heels after scoring a goal in Mooretown Saturday night. The Admirals won this game 4-2. (Photo by John Holzel)

Jake Pickersgill and Antonio Ciampa gave Wheatley a 3-1 lead in the third period but Ryan Alexander cut it to a 3-2 game with a goal for Amherstburg. Ryan Zsebok restored Wheatley’s two-goal lead but the Admirals kept fighting and Caleb Paquette scored with roughly 18 seconds left in the game to round out the scoring.

It was the third game in four nights for the Admirals, who defeated Blenheim and Mooretown on the road last Thursday and Saturday nights.

“In a week with three games, to come out with four out of six points is not bad,” said Bortignon.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16) lunges for a puck in front of Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto during PJHL Stobbs Division action Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Wheatley won this game 4-3.

Bortignon said they may have been “a step behind” Sunday night but didn’t want to use the fact they played three games in a week as an excuse

“We battled right up until the final buzzer and we came up a shot short,” he said after Sunday night’s game. “I think we made the goalie look better than he was tonight.”

Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto, an Amherstburg native and former Admiral, made 32 saves on the night. Ben Larder made 23 saves in the Admirals’ net.

“Overall, our defense was good today. (Wheatley) got a couple of bounces in the high slot. I think we were the better team but we came up a shot short.”

The Admirals won 4-1 last Thursday in Blenheim last Thursday in a game that Bortignon said featured a solid 60-minute effort from his team. Travis Campbell returned from injury with a pair of goals while Cory Burns and Travis Campbell also scored. Larder made 27 saves in that game.

Saturday night’s game was in Mooretown and saw the Admirals record a 4-2 win thanks to goals from David Cooke, Paquette, Holzel and Muzzatti. Larder made 39 saves in that game.

“I think we controlled the game for the most part,” said assistant coach Matt Fox, who filled in for Bortignon Saturday night.

The Admirals had penalty trouble at points Saturday, Fox said, but once they escaped that in the third period, they took over and scored three goals.

“We got the result we wanted,” he said.

Caleb Paquette gets a scoring chance against Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto in the third period of Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

The Admirals (6-6-2-1, 15 points) opened their dressing room after the game with local children trick-or-treating and getting candy from the players.

The local Jr. C hockey team’s lone game this week is Friday in Lakeshore at 7 p.m. They follow that up with games on three straight nights Nov. 10-12, with the Nov. 10 game being in Dresden. Their next home game is Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. versus Blenheim with Mooretown coming to Amherstburg the following night, also at 7 p.m.

Admirals lose two games on home ice over the weekend


By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals lost a pair of PJHL Stobbs Division games on the weekend, both on home ice.

The Admirals welcomed the Mooretown Flags to the Libro Centre Sunday night and lost 3-2. Bryce McGregor opened the scoring for the Admirals three minutes into the game but Brett Farr scored a powerplay goal just before the ten minute mark and the game was even after 20 minutes.

In the second period, Cory Burns scored a powerplay goal just over two minutes in to put Amherstburg up 2-1 but Josh Vale tallied late in the period to tie it for Mooretown. Nolan Farr scored just 16 seconds into the third period and that proved to be the winner.

Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell (19) drives around Blenheim’s Carter Wright
during Saturday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

Ben Larder stopped 35 of 38 Mooretown shots while the Admirals put 37 shots at the Mooretown goal.

The first of the back-to-back home games didn’t go the Admirals’ way either, as they dropped a 6-5 overtime decision to the Blenheim Blades Saturday night. The Admirals outshot the Blades 38-29 on the night but Blenheim went three-for-five on the powerplay, as opposed to Amherstburg going one-for-seven with the man advantage.

Dede Cato and Burns had hat tricks for their respective clubs, with Cato’s third of the night coming just 19 seconds into overtime.

The teams were tied at three after one period, with Burns scoring twice and Kadin Ritchie adding the other for Amherstburg. Ethan Paxton, Cato and Nick Delyzer scored for the Blades in a period that went back-and-forth.

Blenheim scored the only two goals of the second period with Colton Shoemaker and Cato giving the visitors a 5-3 lead heading for the third. The Admirals fought back with Burns and Austin Jennings scoring just 1:23 apart to tie the game.

“Well, they shot the puck last,” Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon remarked after Saturday night’s game.

Bortignon said they didn’t play a full 60 minutes Saturday but was happy with the way they bounced back in the third period.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Holzel (14) evades a collision with Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson during Saturday night’s game at the Libro Centre.

“I thought our third period was our best of the season. We worked hard in the third and had a couple of chances to win it,” said Bortignon.

Larder got the start for the Admirals Saturday night but was pulled just over nine minutes in after allowing three goals on eight shots. Bortignon said all three goalies that played Saturday night for both teams looked shaky early on as both teams allowed goals they would like to have back.

Burns had a “fantastic” night, according to his coach, with Ryan Alexander, Ryan Holzel and Luc Warnock also being singled out for strong efforts.

The Admirals were in Essex Sept. 19 for a game against the 73’s but fell 5-2. Justin Bondy and Anthony Cristofaro gave Essex a 2-0 lead after one period but Amherstburg made it a 3-2 after two periods as Caleb Paquette and Brock Beaudoin had second period goals for the Admirals.

Bondy had his second of the game in the second while his Essex teammates scored two in the third with goals being credited to Michael Vieira and Luke Gecse, the latter going into an empty net.

The Admirals are in Dresden Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. game before returning to Amherstburg Sunday for a 7 p.m. game against the Lakeshore Canadiens.

Admirals need OT to win first game of season



By Ron Giofu


One game, one win for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals but they needed overtime to do it.

Michael Hatch scored 13 seconds into overtime Sunday night to give the Admirals a 2-1 victory over the visiting Mooretown Flags. Mooretown opened the scoring in the first period thanks to a Ryan Lyle goal with Caleb Paquette tying the game for the Admirals at the 2:42 mark of the second period. The teams played a scoreless third period to send the game into the extra session.

“Obviously two points is the way we wanted to start the season,” said Amherstburg head coach Paul Bortignon. “It’s a good starting point. We don’t want to be chasing points later in the year.”

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals celebrate their first victory of the season Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Michael Hatch’s goal 13 seconds into overtime gave the Admirals a 2-1 win over the Mooretown Flags.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals celebrate their first victory of the season Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Michael Hatch’s goal 13 seconds into overtime gave the Admirals a 2-1 win over the Mooretown Flags.

Bortignon called starting goalie Catalin Morin the best player on the ice, stating the young goalie handled himself well in his first Jr. C assignment. Morin stopped 29 of 30 Mooretown shots.

“He did a phenomenal job. He made some great saves, handled the puck pretty well and communicated well on the back end,” said Bortignon.

The team is also awaiting word on another goalie as the Admirals are hoping to clear up Connor O’Reilly’s eligibility issues and add him to the roster.

“We’re doing what we need to do to get him added to our roster,” said general manager Wes Ewer.

Bortignon said the Admirals expected Mooretown to come out and work hard.

“You know they are going to work hard for 60 minutes,” he said.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti gets a second period scoring chance on Mooretown goalie Nolan Hakr Sunday night.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti gets a second period scoring chance on Mooretown goalie Nolan Hakr Sunday night.

The Admirals’ energy picked up in the second and third periods, he added, and they got more pucks to the net. Defensive zone communication has to get better, Bortignon pointed out, but he said they are happy to get the two points. Winning games like that also show the character of the Admirals’ lineup.

“For a first game, I can live with it,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals have two big games this weekend, with Blenheim coming to the Libro Centre Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Essex the next night at 7 p.m. Bortignon believes Blenheim will be looking for revenge after the Admirals ousted them from the playoffs the last two years while Essex is always a playoff-type atmosphere whenever the two teams play.

Admirals gearing up for 2016-17 regular season



By Ron Giofu


The regular season starts this Sunday for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the team is finalizing its roster.

The Admirals won their first pre-season game Friday night with a 7-3 decision over the Lakeshore Canadiens in Lakeshore but returned home last Sunday night and dropped a 4-1 final score to the visiting Essex 73’s. They played the 73’s again, this time in Essex, Tuesday night after this edition went to press.

Amherstburg’s Cory Burns (left) tries a backhand pass through an Essex defender in Sunday night’s pre-season game against the 73’s at the Libro Centre. The Admirals lost 4-1.

Amherstburg’s Cory Burns (left) tries a backhand pass through an Essex defender in Sunday night’s pre-season game against the 73’s at the Libro Centre. The Admirals lost 4-1.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon pointed out there were seven regulars out of the lineup Sunday night and while he was pleased with the effort, the result could have been better. He believed the game was “sloppy” and said Sunday night the coaches and management were looking at who is going to claim the few roster spots that were still up for grabs.

Bortignon said after the game there were about two spots left.

“It’s definitely good competition, healthy competition,” he said.

The Admirals have lost the last two league finals to the 73’s, last year in a back-and-forth seven game series, and are looking to improve on that.

“Ultimately our goal is to get over the hump and win a championship,” said Bortignon. “Obviously, there is a long way to go. We’ve got to navigate through a 40-game season.”

The Admirals would like to have home ice throughout the playoffs but that requires them coming in first during the regular season. Bortignon said they will shoot for that goal and if they don’t hit it, they will re-assess and set new goals. He added they will take the season one game at a time.

Sunday night’s game saw admission gained through a donation to the Miracle League of Amherstburg. General manager Wes Ewer said they raised approximately $400, adding the team will be at the Miracle League diamond this Saturday to help out.

The Jr. C team’s third annual “Fall Classic” golf tournament will be held at Sutton Creek Golf Club Oct. 1 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $125 per person and $35 for the dinner only. Foursome information can be e-mailed to

The regular season opener this Sunday night starts at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre with the opponents being the Mooretown Flags.