Pat Garrett

Bulldogs eliminated from WECSSAA boys hockey playoffs



By Ron Giofu


The season is over for the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team.

The Bulldogs faced off with the Brennan Cardinals last Thursday afternoon at the WFCU Centre in Windsor but lost 3-1 in the one-game knockout round of the WECSSAA playoffs. Noah Duggan had the only goal for General Amherst.

“I felt like Brennan came out looking to win a playoff game,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett. “We didn’t have the same sense of urgency they had.”

After the Cardinals went up 2-1, the Bulldogs played better and controlled the play more but Garrett didn’t believe they were able to create a lot of quality scoring chances.

General Amherst’s Sebastian Tronchin (left) enters the Brennan zone during last Thursday afternoon. Brennan won 3-1 and eliminated the Bulldogs.

While disappointed with the result, Garrett said he is not disappointed in the team. He said it is the first time in his 14 years of coaching the boys hockey team at Amherst that the team has gone out that early and said he felt bad for the players in the dressing room that happened.

“I would have liked to have seen a semi-final playoff spot,” he said.

A key moment in the game was a second period five-on-three powerplay that the Bulldogs failed to score on.

General Amherst had only one Grade 12 player this year so the bulk of the team is eligible to return next season, he noted, adding that Grade 9 student Sebastian Tronchin led the team in scoring.

“I feel the future is in good shape,” said Garrett. “I think this year was our rebuilding year without us realizing it.”

While losing to Brennan stings, Garrett added that “you have to take your lumps sometimes” and they are looking to be better next year. He thanked the parents and guardians for their help this year as well.

The Grade 9 and 10 players will be back on the ice in April, Garrett said, as there is a tournament in Lakeshore for younger players.

Mixed results for Bulldogs hockey team last week



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team had mixed results in two games last week.

The Bulldogs were at home to the St. Joseph Lasers last Tuesday afternoon but had to play the game with a shortened bench as they only had about ten players available. A number of players weren’t able to play due to having other games with travel teams they play on while some missed the game due to injury or doctor’s appointments.

The lack of players showed over the course of the game as the Bulldogs ended up on the short end of an 8-2 decision at the Libro Centre. Sebastian Tronchin and Tyler Fraser scored the Bulldogs.

“We were definitely shorthanded,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett. “That’s a team we can beat if we have a full squad.”

General Amherst’s Cassidy Atkinson (67, black jersey) looks for a scoring chance in front of the Holy Names goal last Wednesday.

Garrett said he was proud of the players that took part in the game but it was tough to stay in the game with six forwards, three defencemen and one goalie.

The fight for better playoff positioning resumed for the Bulldogs last Thursday afternoon in LaSalle as General Amherst battled the Sandwich Sabres to a 5-5 tie at the Vollmer Complex.

Fraser had a pair of goals in that game for General Amherst while Max Jones, Jake Peddie and Jacob Howson also scored for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs enter the WECSSAA boys hockey playoffs following the exam break.

Bulldogs now 2-5-1 after a win and a tie last week


By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs are now 2-5-1 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season after a win and a tie last week.

The Bulldogs’ first game of the week was a 6-4 win over the Kingsville Cavaliers last Tuesday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Owen Schipper led the way with three goals while Brandon Salvati had a pair. Aiden Bastien also scored for General Amherst.

“We had a great game and the boys played hard,” said Schipper. “It was a good team effort.”

General Amherst’s Owen Schipper takes a shot during last Tuesday afternoon’s game against the Kingsville Cavaliers. Schipper had a hat trick in the game, which was a 6-4 victory for the Bulldogs.

Schipper said linemates Jacob Peddie and Jacob Howson helped him out. He added that they are trying to pile up points in the second half of the season as they are trying to win the WECSSAA title.

Bulldogs head coach Pat Garrett said they had almost everyone in the lineup, an accomplishment this year as they have been missing players for one reason or another.

Garrett also said they are trying to pick up points this month, noting they play schools closer to General Amherst’s size.

“It would be nice to get on a roll heading into the playoffs,” he said, adding he was “very happy” with the win over Kingsville.

The Bulldogs returned to the Libro Centre last Thursday afternoon and came away with a 2-2 tie with Essex. Josh Peddie and Schipper had the goals in that game.

The Bulldogs were at home to St. Joseph Tuesday after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They also play Sandwich at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle Thursday at 2:30 p.m. before finishing the regular season on the road next Monday with a 3:30 p.m. game versus Brennan at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.

Special Olympics hockey game sees police battle General Amherst



By Ron Giofu


Special Olympics Ontario will benefit from a charity hockey game that was held at the Libro Centre before the holidays.

General Amherst High School’s boys hockey team faced off against the Amherstburg Police Service team, though the latter contained officers from other departments as well as family members and supporters. The police team also featured the services of Amherstburg Admirals’ co-owner Wes Ewer and General Amherst principal Melissa DeBruyne.

Mike Cox, the long-time Amherstburg police officer who was also a major part in Special Olympics fundraising over the years, said with the exception of about a three or four year period after the former AMA Arena closed and the Libro Centre opened, the game has been going on for “as long as I can remember.”

The Amherstburg police team and the General Amherst boys hockey team gather for a group photo following their charity hockey game for Special Olympics Dec. 21.

Over the past number of decades, the police played the fire department, the Admirals, General Amherst and even the Detroit Red Wings alumni. He thanked his colleagues for helping out and taking over much of his former duties in organizing Special Olympics fundraisers including Nick D’Amore, Don Brown and Melissa Taylor.

One of the fond memories Cox had included the year two-time Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta played for the high school team.

“It’s not often you get to skate with someone who has a couple of gold medals,” said Cox. “She’s such a good person, just a fantastic person.”

Raising money for Special Olympics has long been a love for Cox, and is something he plans on continuing in his post-policing career.

“If we can raise a few dollars to support the cause, it’s something we love to do,” said Cox. “I’ll still be involved with Special Olympics and the Essex County Heroes.”

General Amherst boys hockey team coach Pat Garrett (left) presents an award to Mike Cox in recognition of Cox’s service to the school community.

Cox is hopeful the Special Olympics hockey game continues under the Windsor police banner.

“It’s the community. That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “The more contact with police only makes for a better community.”
General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett, who presented Cox with a plaque in recognition for his service over the years, said it was a great cause the team and school were happy to be part of.

“I think it was a fun day,” said Garrett, noting the work put in by fellow teacher Greg Scott’s fitness and recreational leadership class to make it happen.

Garrett noted DeBruyne was also supportive of the event, adding that honoring Cox “was very important.”

For more photos from the game, please visit our Facebook photo album.

Bulldogs drop to 1-5 after high scoring loss against Holy Names



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs found their offense just prior to the holiday break but their opponents had more.

The Bulldogs dropped a 7-5 decision to the Holy Names Knights Dec. 20 at South Windsor Arena. The two teams started out of the gate quickly, scoring seven of the 12 goals in the opening period of the game as the Bulldogs led 4-3 heading to the second period.

“It looked like it was going to be a shootout,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett. “The scoring stopped in the third period.”

After tough one-goal losses at their tournament in Windsor earlier in the week, Garrett was happy to see the offense find the net albeit in a losing effort. He believes the young team is on the right track and could make some noise in the 2019 portion of their WECSSAA schedule.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate one of their five goals scored against Holy Names. The Bulldogs lost 7-5.

“I feel the guys are right on the cusp of coming together,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs scored nine goals in their first five games and managed five against Holy Names, so the General Amherst coach sees that as a good sign.

Garrett said he “front loaded” the schedule with games against the larger schools and hopes the Bulldogs will get on a roll in the second half of the schedule against teams closer to their size and ability.
“Momentum means a lot,” he said.

Garrett added he is excited for the second half of the season and hopes they can get on a run heading to the playoffs.

General Amherst is now off for the Christmas break and resumes play with a pair of home games early in 2019. They host the Kingsville Cavaliers Jan. 8 and the Essex Red Raiders Jan. 10, both at 2:30 p.m. at the Libro Centre.