Paul Bortignon

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 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 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 get big win over Essex 73’s

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Two rivals squared off Sunday night at the Libro Centre in PJHL Stobbs Division hockey action with Amherstburg coming out on top.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals knocked off the Essex 73’s 3-2 in overtime with Ryan Alexander slipping the puck past Essex goaltender Tyler Ryan 2:02 into the extra period.

Amherstburg’s Ryan Alexander (16) scores the game winning goal on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan Sunday night. The Admirals won 3-2 in overtime.

The Admirals never trailed in Sunday’s game. After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for four goals in the second period. Dylan Muzzatti scored on the powerplay to give Amherstburg a 1-0 lead 2:22 into the second period. Essex’s William Stadder tied it exactly 12 minutes later but David Cooke scored on his former team just over a minute later to restore Amherstburg’s lead.

Essex tied it with under one minute left in the second period on a goal from Adam Gaiarin.

The Amherstburg Admirals celebrate their 3-2 overtime win over the Essex 73’s Oct. 22.

The teams were scoreless in the third period.

“It’s a big win,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “It’s a big confidence building win for us.”

Bortignon said the Admirals (4-5-2-1, 11 points) are getting healthy and he said they had a good week of practice.

“It paid off tonight,” he said.

It “starts and ends with the back end” for the Admirals, said Bortignon, and the team was bolstered by the return of defenseman Dean Patterson. Patterson rejoined the team Sunday night and “is a huge addition for us,” Bortignon noted.

“He’s a guy who adds instant leadership. He was a big part of our win tonight.”

Goaltender Ben Larder stopped 29 of 31 Essex shots and Bortignon said Larder was outstanding against the 73’s.

Ryan Holzel (14, left) gets a scoring chance on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan.

“With the addition of Patterson and the goaltending stepping up, it’s huge for us,” said Bortignon.

Amilio Acampora and Caleb Paquette returned from injury and injected speed into the lineup as well. Bortignon said they’ve played a lot of the year thus far with only ten forwards due to injury.

“It’s nice to be healthy and nice to be able to put four lines out there on a consistent basis,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals will only have one practice this week as they play in Blenheim Thursday, are at Mooretown Saturday before returning home this Sunday for a game against Wheatley.

“Those are teams who have knocked us off the first time we played them,” said Bortignon. “We need to take the same mentality (as they had against Essex) in those games and if we do, we have a chance to get close to six points if not all six.”

Bortignon added the crowd against Essex was strong and that the Admirals appreciate the support from the community.

“Hopefully they enjoyed the result,” he said.

Admirals go 1-1-1 over the past week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won one, lost one and tied another game over the past week.

The Admirals’ week concluded Sunday night at the Libro Centre where the local Jr. C team tied the Dresden Jr. Kings 2-2. The teams were even at one after one period as Josh Talerico (Amherstburg) and Will Tetzlaff (Dresden) traded goals.

Amherstburg forward Cory Burns (blue jersey) scores on Dresden goalie Brendan Johnston 35 seconds into the second period.

The teams also traded goals in the second period as Cory Burns scored for Amherstburg while Derek Shaw tallied for Dresden. The teams were scoreless in the third period and the three-on-three seven-minute overtime period.

“I thought we were OK,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “We still didn’t get that 60-minute effort.”

Bortignon noted the Admirals didn’t score on the powerplay despite having seven opportunities, including a full five-on-three man advantage in the second period. They also went 0-for-6 Friday night in Dresden, a far cry from the powerplay that went 6-for-8 in an 8-2 win in Petrolia last Thursday.

Amherstburg got goals from eight different players in Petrolia, with goal scorers being Jack Hubbell, Bryce McGregor, Carter Comeau, Ryan Alexander, Burns, Luc Warnock, Kadin Ritchie and Kyle Meloche.

The Petrolia game was the first since a hard skating practice after Bortignon said they were outworked in a loss in Wheatley that was reported in the Oct. 11 issue.

Amherstburg’s David Cooke (22, left) battles for the puck with Dresden’s Dayne Davis during the third period Oct. 15.

The first of two games last week against Dresden was on the road and ended in a 5-2 loss. Ryan Holzel and Burns scored 38 seconds apart for the Admirals in the third period. Bortignon said they had a good first period that night and noted all of the goals Dresden has scored against them this season have been from about six-feet from the net.

Bortignon said they have not had the practice time they’ve wanted and have been battling injuries as about six players are out including some lost to injury Sunday night.

“It’s frustrating but you’ve got to move forward with the cards you are dealt,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals (3-5-2-1, nine points) have a full week off as they don’t play again until this Sunday night at home against Essex so that will give them some of the practice time they need. Bortignon did credit goalie Ben Larder for playing well, noting Larder has been “a big time bright spot for us.”