playoffs

Lady Gens eliminated from WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens got to the WECSSAA “AA” playoff semi-finals but could advance no further.

The Lady Gens hosted the Sandwich Sabres last Tuesday night and won 40-31 to advance to the semi-finals Thursday night at Kennedy. In that Thursday night semi-finals, a second quarter surge by the Clippers doomed the Lady Gens and led to Kennedy defeating General Amherst 50-27.

The Lady Gens led 11-6 late in the first quarter but a pair of late three-pointers put Kennedy up 12-11 at the end of the eight-minute quarter. Those three-pointers were part of a 15-0 run the Clippers went on and that 15-0 run was part of an overall 24-2 run that closed the first half and gave Kennedy a 30-13 lead.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (22) lays in two of her nine points during last Thursday night’s
WECSSAA “AA” semi-final game against the Kennedy Clippers.

The Lady Gens played better in the second half but weren’t able to recover from the second quarter.

“I told them before the game that you can’t let them get on a run,” General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio said.

The last 30 seconds of the first quarter was the turning point of the game, he believed. The second quarter was a bad quarter and having a bad quarter per game was a problem this season for Amherst.

“In the second quarter, we just sucked. There’s no other way to say it,” he said.

The Lady Gens reverted to poor habits they were doing earlier in the season, including passes that would not connect. Silvaggio, who was coaching against his son Stephen in the Kennedy game, said his son told him that Kennedy wasn’t doing anything special in the second quarter but it was turnovers by Amherst that helped swing the tide towards the Clippers.

Lexi Dodds scored 12 points against Kennedy while Taja Holmes scored nine points.

The quarterfinal game against Sandwich saw Dani Brindley score 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott had ten points. Dodds and Holmes had eight and seven points respectively. Ramie Tytgat had five points.

“We played an excellent first half,” Silvaggio said after the Sandwich game. “In the second half, we didn’t have that extra step. Sandwich switched defenses and we didn’t run our offense.”

Brooklyn Prescott drives to the basket during the second half of the Nov. 2 playoff game at Kennedy.

The Lady Gens’ defensive intensity was better in the first half of the Sandwich game, Silvaggio added.

A positive sign from this season was a lot of players that received a lot of playing time, about six in total, will return next year.

“There are quite a few kids that improved a lot,” said Silvaggio.

The team will likely have more players to choose from next year and Silvaggio hopes for more consistency out of them.

“If we can get 32 minutes out of them, I think we’ll be good,” he said.

Silvaggio urged the players to work in the offseason at improving their games otherwise improvement will be stunted.

“If they are not going to put in the work in the offseason, we’re not going to get any better,” he believed.

This year’s Lady Gens were a respectful and good group to coach, he added.

Dani Brindley lunges after a loose ball during the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s WECSSAA semi-final game at Kennedy.

“I’d like to thank them for that,” said Silvaggio. “They were enjoyable for us to coach.”

Silvaggio, joined on the sidelines this season by Don Parks and Nicole Rusenstrom, believed that playing in WECSSAA Tier 1 was productive. They went 1-7 in the regular season but the caliber of play helped develop the players and should prove beneficial in the long run, he indicated.

“I am happy we played in Tier 1 this year, because even though we didn’t win many games, we were competitive in every game but one,” he said. “It also forced us to play at a quicker pace and we got to play a higher caliber of basketball, which will help us for the next couple of years. There was a big difference in the caliber of ball between the tiers.”

Amherstburg eliminated from PJHL Stobbs Division playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The season is over for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

The local Jr. C hockey team lost in four straight games to the Essex 73’s in the PJHL Stobbs Division semi-final, with the fourth game being a 7-2 loss at the Libro Centre Sunday night.

The 73’s’ first five goals were all off of special teams, four powerplay goals and one shorthanded goal, before pulling away in the third with two even-strength goals.

The teams swapped powerplay goals in the first period with Eric Shaw scoring for Essex followed later in the period by Curtis Prymack for the Admirals, the latter being on a five-on-three powerplay.

Anthony Cristofaro scored on the powerplay in the second while William Stadder scored on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 3-1 Essex after 40 minutes but Amherstburg climbed back into it just 59 seconds into the third period on a Jordan Luciw goal.

Michael Vieira and Cristofaro scored powerplay goals to give Essex a 5-2 lead before Michael Ruttinger and Stadder scored two more goals for the 73’s to round out the scoring.

“Not the storybook ending we wanted,” admitted Admirals coach Paul Bortignon after the game.

The Admirals coaches and management looked at the season positively despite the disappointing loss in the semi-final.

“In a season with highs and lows, as a staff we are proud of the effort our guys brought forth,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon said they were within one goal in the third period Sunday night but things started to come apart after the fourth Essex goals. He said the Admirals still battled hard until the end, despite the final score.

The Admirals have accomplished a lot the last few years, he added, including back-to-back trips to the finals with Kasey Basile, Luke Gangnon, Luciw and Prymack being part of that. All four players have played their last Jr. C game as they were the overage players this season.

Ryan Alexander gets a scoring chance on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan during Feb. 26 action at the Libro Centre. The Admirals kept it close for just over two periods but Essex pulled away midway through the third period to win Game 4 7-2 and the series four games to none.

Ryan Alexander gets a scoring chance on Essex goalie Tyler Ryan during Feb. 26 action at the Libro Centre. The Admirals kept it close for just over two periods but Essex pulled away midway through the third period to win Game 4 7-2 and the series four games to none.

“We are obviously disappointed and not satisfied but we are proud of what we accomplished this year and proud of the players for sure,” said Bortignon.

The staff will take some time to regroup and look to “reload” for the 2017-18 hockey season. They will look for impact players in the off-season and fill the voids from the players that won’t return from this season.

The team thanks the fans and the town for its support this past season and vow to get back to the finals and beyond as soon as possible.

“They have our commitment. We’ll work harder than ever to get back to where we are used to,” said general manager/co-owner Wes Ewer.

Essex outshot Amherstburg 29-20 in Game 4.

The 73’s built a three games to none advantage in the best-of-seven series thanks to a 7-5 win Feb. 21 at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

The series’ third game went back-and-forth with Amherstburg having the lead on a couple of occasions, including taking a 5-4 lead into the second intermission. Essex scored three times in the third period to propel themselves to the win.

The game started on the right note for the Admirals thanks to Ryan Holzel scoring at the 8:59 mark of the period but Michael Ruttinger tied it for Essex less than a minute later.

The Admirals got the lead back just 11 seconds after Ruttinger’s goal thanks to a tally from Cory Burns but Essex would score twice more before the period was out with Matthew Rosati and Michael Vieiera scoring for the 73’s.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals celebrate Curtis Prymack's first period powerplay goal Sunday night. The Admirals lost 7-2 in Sunday's Game 4 and the series in four straight games.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals celebrate Curtis Prymack’s first period powerplay goal Sunday night. The Admirals lost 7-2 in Sunday’s Game 4 and the series in four straight games.

Amherstburg controlled the second period, outscoring the 73’s 3-1 in the period. Luke Gangnon scored at 2:22 and 19:22 with Jordan Luciw scoring in between for the Admirals. Dalton Langlois had the Essex goal in the period.

The 73’s got a pair of powerplay goals early in the third period to re-take the lead with Eric Shaw and Adam Gaiarin scoring. William Stadder scored the 73’s’ seventh goal with just 3:11 left in the game to give Essex and insurance marker.

Both starting goalies were pulled in the high-scoring game with Jax Dhont relieving starter Tyler Ryan in the Essex net in the first period while Matt Badour took over from Catalin Morin in the Amherstburg net in the second period.

The Admirals outshot the 73’s 38-34 in Game 3 but Essex was 3-for-9 on the powerplay as opposed to the Admirals going 0-for-4. There were nine slashing penalties on the night between the two teams.

Essex now awaits the winner of the Lakeshore-Blenheim series.

Lady Gens eliminated from volleyball playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The season is over for the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team after they were eliminated by Riverside Tuesday afternoon.

The Lady Gens travelled to Windsor for the game against Riverside, a WECSSAA quarterfinal match the Lady Gens lost 25-17, 25-23 and 25-17. Amherst hadn’t seen Riverside all season but knew there was talent on the Rebels’ roster.

“We knew they had two dominant players,” said Lady Gens head coach Jeff Miller. “Their dominant players were fantastic and their supporting cast played well.”

Miller said the Lady Gens played a decent game. Assistant coach Mary Ewer noted Amherst played well in the second set and the coaches believe the match could have been different had they pulled that set out.

“It was a good match to watch,” said Ewer.

Sydney Emerson, photographed in a General Amherst volleyball match earlier this season, was described by her coach as dominant in a playoff game that took place Feb. 8 versus Kingsville.

Sydney Emerson, photographed in a General Amherst volleyball match earlier this season, was described by her coach as dominant in a playoff game that took place Feb. 8 versus Kingsville.

Miller said the Lady Gens played to their ability level but their limited offense came back to bite them.

“When push came to shove, we couldn’t score,” said Miller.

Ewer said the girls played hard in the third set but losing the second set was difficult for them.

“I think we were happy with how they played,” she said.

The Lady Gens were on their home court last Monday and swept three straight sets from the visiting Kingsville Cavaliers in a preliminary round playoff matchup. Amherst won by scores of 25-16, 25-21 and 25-14.

“For us, we played a pretty solid game,” said Miller. “We beat Kingsville pretty easily. We played a good game Monday and we were better than them and we showed it.”

The team benefitted from the return of Maddy Drouillard, the coaches said, as she came back the previous weekend in a tournament at Chatham-Kent. However, it was another player who stood out against Kingsville.

“Sydney Emerson completely dominated that match,” said Miller.

In the Chatham-Kent tournament, Miller noted they played well and had good opponents. The Lady Gens finished that tournament with a 5-2 record.

Both Miller and Ewer said the Lady Gens were playing the best volleyball towards the end of the season. Miller said they gave away matches earlier in the year and that led to a bad seed – fifth – going into the playoffs.

“They played hard at the end when they had to,” said Ewer.

The team loses eight players to graduation off this year’s team but Ewer said good junior players will move up to senior volleyball next season. Miller said that includes the core of this year’s junior team.

“They’ll have a lot of opportunity to play next season which is what they’ll want,” said Miller.

There is also a good core of Grade 9’s set to enroll at General Amherst next year, so Miller and Ewer believe the volleyball program will return to its previous form. This is only the second time in the last 11 seasons that the Lady Gens will not advance to OFSAA.

Admirals go into playoffs on losing note

 

 

Austin Jennings’ bid for a second Admirals’ goal is turned aside by Wheatley goalie Adam Leboeuf with just over two minutes to play. Wheatley had just taken a 2-1 lead moments earlier.

Austin Jennings’ bid for a second Admirals’ goal is turned aside by Wheatley goalie Adam Leboeuf with just over two minutes to play. Wheatley had just taken a 2-1 lead moments earlier.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals will start the playoffs Wednesday night against the same team they concluded the regular season against.

They will be seeking a much different result in the postseason opener against the Wheatley Sharks than they had in the regular season finale as the Sharks downed the Admirals 4-1 Sunday night at the Libro Centre.

The loss dropped the Admirals (24-12-3-1, 52 points) into third place in the Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League standings as Blenheim surpassed Amherstburg in the standings with a 4-3 win over Lakeshore Sunday night. Both the Blades and Admirals finished the regular season with 52 points but Blenheim’s 25 wins gave them the tie-breaker.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon was clearly unimpressed with his team’s performance Sunday night.

“Mentally, one guy was there tonight and that was our goalie (Daniel Tonietto),” said Bortignon. “We didn’t do nearly enough to help him out and get him the win.”

Bortignon said the team didn’t work hard enough on the “little things” and didn’t do what they had to do to be successful.

“We knew what we had to do,” he said. “Our job was to get one point and then this team (Wheatley) was in our rear-view mirror. Now, we have one of the hottest teams in the league coming in here. We gave (Wheatley) a lot of hope and gave them some momentum moving forward.”

After a scoreless first period, Calyn Kir scored 3:55 into the second to give the Sharks the lead. Kasey Basile tied the game at the 16:25 mark of the period to send the game into the third period tied. Kir scored with just 2:54 left in regulation time to put the Sharks ahead with Delaney MacDonald and Brett Bowman finding the empty net late in the game.

“It’s in the rear view mirror now,” said Bortignon of Sunday night’s game. “It’s a new season now. We’ve reset our goals. We’re going into the playoffs now and the goal is to get four wins before our opponent.”

Kasey Basile celebrates his second period goal against Wheatley Jan. 31. Amherstburg and Wheatley meet again Wednesday night in the first game of a best-of-seven playoff series.

Kasey Basile celebrates his second period goal against Wheatley Jan. 31. Amherstburg and Wheatley meet again Wednesday night in the first game of a best-of-seven playoff series.

The Admirals final road game of the regular season was a 6-3 win in Lakeshore Friday night. Jordan Luciw, Travis Campbell, Ryan Holzel and Dean Patterson helped give Amherstburg a 4-1 lead after two periods with Patterson and Curtis Prymack scoring in the third period for the Admirals. Connor Meyerink picked up the win in goal.

“We didn’t get as many shots as we wanted to but it was nice to get the win,” said Bortignon.

The regular season was a success, he believed, though noted they didn’t achieve all of their goals. Bortignon added they entered the playoffs with back-to-back losses last year and made it to the finals so he is hoping for similar if not greater success this year.

Game 1 is Wednesday night at 7:30 at the Libro Centre before the series switches to Wheatley for Game 2 next Monday night for another 7:30 p.m. start.

Game 3 will be back in Amherstburg Feb. 9 for a 7 p.m. faceoff with Game 4 in Wheatley Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

If necessary, Game 5 would be in Amherstburg Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., Game 6 in Wheatley Feb 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Game 7 in Amherstburg Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.