Travis Campbell

Admirals pick up three of four points on the weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It wasn’t a perfect weekend for Amherstburg’s Jr. C hockey team, but it was close.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals picked up three of four points over the weekend, with the latter of the two games being a 5-2 victory over the Wheatley Sharks Sunday night at the Libro Centre. Cory Burns gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead in the second period with Travis Campbell and Caleb Paquette extending the lead in the second period.

Amherstburg’s Cory Burns breaks in on Wheatley goalie Dylan Zelko before scoring the game’s first goal Sunday night.

After Dawson Iles got Wheatley on the board early in the third period, Dylan Muzzatti put the game away for the Admirals with a pair of goals. Cole Butler scored late in the game for Wheatley but the game was already in hand for the Admirals by that point.

The third period saw some fireworks with a trio of fights with Dean Patterson, Ryan Alexander and Josh Talerico taking on Wheatley opposition in the fisticuffs department. Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon expected some disciplinary action as a result of the third period fights.

“I thought it was a little of the same from (Nov. 27, a 6-3 Amherstburg win in Wheatley),” said Bortignon. “It got a little carried away tonight. It doesn’t really show on the score sheet, but I thought our guys kept their composure as much as they could.”

Even if they lose players due to suspension, Bortignon said “we’ve always been a next man up team” and they have to move forward this week.

Bortignon said picking up three of four points this past weekend “is big for us” and said all wins are big in the PJHL Stobbs Division. Their forecheck was good Sunday night, he said, and their defense got their shots through and allowed their forwards to do a good job banging home pucks.

Admirals’ defenseman Dean Patterson (right) takes down Wheatley’s Dawson Iles as part of a third period fight Sunday night at the Libro Centre. The Admirals won the hockey game 5-2.

The Admirals were in Mooretown Saturday night and lost 3-2 in overtime. Joe Ferrera scored a powerplay goal in the first period for the Flags but Paquette scored in the second period to tie it. The Flags’ Landon Wilson made it a 2-1 game early in the third but Burns tied it a few minutes later.

Brent Blais won it 30 seconds into overtime for Mooretown.

Cole Welsh and David Cooke each received game misconducts late in the game – Welsh for charging the goaltender and Cooke for abuse of officials – and did not play Sunday.

“We came out slow but we stepped up in the second and third period,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon said Mooretown is a tough place to play but they came close to winning, as it was literally a game of inches. After Amherstburg hit the crossbar early in overtime, Mooretown buried a chance just under the crossbar seconds later.

The Admirals (14-8-2-2, 32 points, third place) are in Petrolia Thursday night and in Blenheim this Sunday. Their next home game is Dec. 16 versus the Essex 73’s at 7:30 p.m. while Lakeshore comes to the Libro Centre the next night at 7 p.m.

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 need six games to eliminate Wheatley

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the Wheatley Sharks battled in Game 6 of their PJHL Stobbs Division quarterfinal Monday night with the Admirals finally putting the fourth nail in the coffin of the Sharks’ playoff hopes.

It took the Admirals three times to get their fourth victory of the series but they did get that decisive win Monday night in Wheatley. The Admirals won 4-2.

Amherstburg got a first period powerplay goal from Curtis Prymack, only to have Alixe Saliba tie it with a powerplay goal of his own before the period was out. The two teams again traded goals in the second, with Caleb Paquette scoring for Amherstburg and Mitchell Prudence for the Sharks.
Goals from Ryan Holzel and Cory Burns put the game away for the Admirals in the third period and gave Amherstburg the series victory four games to two.

The Admirals will play the Essex 73’s for the third straight year in the playoffs, this time in the PJHL Stobbs Division semi-finals. Essex has defeated Amherstburg in the last two league finals. No schedule or times were known at press time. Watch www.rivertowntimes.com for details.

The Admirals had the opportunity to finish the series twice on home ice but lost Game 4 Thursday night 5-3 and Game 5 9-5 Sunday night.

The Sharks put the Admirals in a whole early in Sunday night’s game, as they led 7-1 after the first period with five of those seven goals being on the powerplay. Three of the five powerplay goals came on a major penalty to Jordan Luciw, who was also ejected for a head contact penalty that knocked Wheatley goalie Eric Morneau from the game.

Mark Gangnon scores on Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto during the first period of Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre. It was the lone highlight of the period for Amherstburg, as Wheatley led 7-1 after the first 20 minutes of the 9-5 Sharks win in Game 5. Amherstburg won the series in Game 6.

Mark Gangnon scores on Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto during the first period of Sunday night’s game at the Libro Centre. It was the lone highlight of the period for Amherstburg, as Wheatley led 7-1 after the first 20 minutes of the 9-5 Sharks win in Game 5. Amherstburg won the series in Game 6.

Cole Butler had a hat trick for the Sharks on the night with Delaney MacDonald and Saliba adding two goals each. Kyle Gagnon and Jake Pickersgill also scored for Wheatley.

Ryan Alexander had a hat trick for the Admirals with Mark Gangnon and Luke Gangnon also scoring for Amherstburg. Both Gangnons were also given game misconducts during Sunday night’s game.

“The first period was as bad as you could write it up,” said Admirals coach Paul Bortignon after Sunday’s loss. “We didn’t do a good job stopping the bleeding.”

Bortignon credited his players for battling back, as the Admirals ended up outshooting Wheatley 50-33 on the night even though they were outshot 21-7 in the first period.

“It’s disappointing,” he noted, though added they knew they had “wiggle room” after going up in the series three games to none earlier in the week.

“You can’t dwell on it,” he added. “We’ve got to be ready to go (Monday night).”

Bortignon acknowledged the loss of key players for Monday night’s game due to the penalty trouble but said other players got back into the lineup and had a chance to prove themselves.

After Cory Burns gave the Admirals a lead just under seven minutes into the first period in Game 4, powerplay goals from Butler and Saliba gave the Sharks a 2-1 advantage. The opening period ended in a 2-2 tie thanks to Travis Campbell’s goal with about 19 seconds to play.

Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto stops Amherstburg's Travis Campbell on a wraparound attempt in the second period of Game 4. Amherstburg lost Games 4 and 5 on home ice before finishing the series in Game 6 Feb. 13.

Wheatley goalie Daniel Tonietto stops Amherstburg’s Travis Campbell on a wraparound attempt in the second period of Game 4. Amherstburg lost Games 4 and 5 on home ice before finishing the series in Game 6 Feb. 13.

Wheatley’s third powerplay goal of the night was the lone goal of the second period, with that coming on a 5-on-3 thanks to Kyle Gagnon’s tip-in.

MacDonald made it 4-2 4:23 into the third period but Amherstburg cut it to a 4-3 deficit thanks to Mark Gangnon’s wrist shot at the 14:48 mark. MacDonald scored his second of the game into an empty net to round out the scoring.

While the Admirals couldn’t outscore the Sharks in Game 4, they had a clear shot advantage as they fired 53 shots at Morneau. The Sharks fired 26 shots in Catalin Morin’s direction that game.

Amherstburg had built a three games to none lead the previous night thanks to a 4-1 lead in Wheatley. Mark Gangnon and MacDonald exchanged powerplay goals in the first period but Amherstburg did all the scoring after that. Luke Gangnon and Zack Yott scored goals in the second period to put the Admirals up 3-1 with Jordan Luciw scoring on the powerplay in the third period.

Amherstburg outshot Wheatley 26-24 in Game 3 with Matt Badour making 23 saves in the Admirals’ net.

Admirals’ offense erupts in two holiday week wins

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals wished their fans a Happy New Year with two wins last week.

The Admirals’ offense led the way, scoring 19 goals in the two weeknight games at the Libro Centre. The Admirals got the week started last Wednesday night versus the visiting Wheatley Sharks and won that game 8-5.

Amherstburg’s Michael Hatch (3) gets a scoring chance in front of Wheatley goaltender Eric Morneau  during third period action of last Wednesday night’s 8-5 Admirals’ win over the Sharks.

Amherstburg’s Michael Hatch (3) gets a scoring chance in front of Wheatley goaltender Eric Morneau during third period action of last Wednesday night’s 8-5 Admirals’ win over the Sharks.

Travis Campbell led the way with three goals against the Sharks, scoring once in each of the three periods. He also had an assist. Jordan Luciw had two goals and two assists while Aidan Ryan, Ryan Holzel and Dylan Muzzatti also scored for Amherstburg.

Curtis Prymack and Ryan Alexander each had three assists against the Sharks.

The Admirals returned to the ice Friday night and routed the last-place Wallaceburg Lakers 11-1. Amherstburg scored six times in the first period to put the game away early.

Travis Campbell (19, far right) taps home one of his three goals that he scored against the Wheatley Sharks last Wednesday night at the Libro Centre. Campbell scored four goals in two games last week. Amherstburg beat Wheatley 8-5 Wednesday and Wallaceburg 11-1 last Friday.

Travis Campbell (19, far right) taps home one of his three goals that he scored against the Wheatley Sharks last Wednesday night at the Libro Centre. Campbell scored four goals in two games last week. Amherstburg beat Wheatley 8-5 Wednesday and Wallaceburg 11-1 last Friday.

Cory Burns and Zack Yott each scored a pair against the Lakers with Campbell, Muzzatti, Alexander, Caleb Paquette, Aaron Jacobs, Mark MacPherson and Austin Jennings also finding the back of the net for the Admirals. For Jacobs, it was his first Jr. C goal.

“We’re playing really well,” said Campbell. “We’re all clicking. Hopefully we can play well in 2017. We’ve got some big games coming up.”

Campbell’s four goals in two games were the result of him playing with the puck and “I did what I am capable of.” He believed the team can play even better and they have a chance to prove it in their next two games as the Admirals are in Lakeshore Friday night and back home Sunday against the Essex 73’s.

Essex currently sits in first place in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division with Amherstburg and Lakeshore close behind.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon said they were “a little sloppy” against the Sharks.

“We almost needed all eight goals to win that game,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals were better defensively in Friday night’s victory, though Bortignon noted they did give up a breakaway opportunity.

“I think we were a bit better tonight and didn’t give up the chances we did Wednesday,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon believed both teams did a good job of keeping emotions in check Friday night as blowouts can sometimes lead to undisciplined penalties and bad blood. He noted that easy wins can sometimes lead to teams letting their guard down and stated they have to do a good job competing against themselves in practice this week in preparation for the Lakeshore and Essex games.

Amherstburg's Dylan Muzzatti (15) lunges for the puck in front of Wallaceburg goalie Max Lozon during Amherstburg's 11-1 win Dec. 30. Cody Nicolaisen (29) is at right trying to check Muzzatti.

Amherstburg’s Dylan Muzzatti (15) lunges for the puck in front of Wallaceburg goalie Max Lozon during Amherstburg’s 11-1 win Dec. 30. Cody Nicolaisen (29) is at right trying to check Muzzatti.

“Those are two playoff-minded games coming up and two games we have to be ready for,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals also added Mark Gangnon last Friday, acquiring the scorer from the Leamington Flyers Jr. B club. With Mark rejoining the Admirals, where he registered 58 points in 38 games in 2014-15, and his brother Luke anticipated back soon from injury, the coach believes it will give their lineup a nice boost.

“Hopefully it gets us over the hump in the playoffs,” he said.

The Admirals improved to 23-10 on the season, good for 46 points. The wins last week snapped a two-game losing streak, as the Admirals lost a pair of games right before Christmas. They dropped a 3-2 decision in Essex Dec. 20 and a 4-3 decision in Mooretown Dec. 23.

Admirals run winning streak to seven games after pair of wins

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals have now won seven straight games after a pair of road wins in recent days.

The most recent victory for the Admirals (17-8-0, 34 points) was a 6-3 triumph over the Wheatley Sharks Monday night.

Alixe Saliba of the Sharks reaches ahead in an attempt to steal the puck from the Admirals' Austin Jennings (10) during the second period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jennings had an assist in Amherstburg's 6-3 win, their seventh in a row. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

Alixe Saliba of the Sharks reaches ahead in an attempt to steal the puck from the Admirals’ Austin Jennings (10) during the second period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jennings had an assist in Amherstburg’s 6-3 win, their seventh in a row. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

Amherstburg built a 4-1 lead over the Sharks after the first period. Travis Campbell got it rolling for the Admirals just 32 seconds into the game with Jordan Luciw and Caleb Paquette scoring 23 seconds apart later in the period to put their team up 3-0. After Wheatley made it 3-1 on a goal by Jake Pickersgill, captain Curtis Prymack scored on a powerplay to once again put the Admirals up by three goals.

The two teams would trade goals in each of the final two periods with Wheatley getting a goal from Cole Butler in the second period only to have Cory Burns answer for the Admirals. Campbell got his second of the game in the third period with Alixe Saliba scoring for the Sharks.

The Admirals' Aaron Jacobs (4) and Sharks' Nick Tavolieri-Essex battle along the boards for control of the puck in the third period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jacobs had an assist in Amherstburg's 6-3 victory. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

The Admirals’ Aaron Jacobs (4) and Sharks’ Nick Tavolieri-Essex battle along the boards for control of the puck in the third period of a Stobbs Division game at Wheatley Area Arena Monday. Jacobs had an assist in Amherstburg’s 6-3 victory. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Wheatley Journal)

The Admirals were in Blenheim Sunday night where they recorded their sixth win in a row, downing the Blades 5-2.

Lucas Bersuk scored the only goal of the first period to give Amherstburg a 1-0 lead. Ryan Alexander made it 2-0 almost eight minutes into the second period but Blenheim’s Derek Hueni made it 2-1 just 27 seconds later.

The Admirals would give themselves some breathing room later in the second period thanks to powerplay goals from Luciw and Dylan Muzzatti.

The two teams traded goals with less than four minutes to play. Campbell scored at the 16:31 mark with Nick Delyzer scoring 26 seconds later.

Catalin Morin stopped 24 of 26 Blenheim shots to pick up the victory in goal. He also picked up the win Monday night.

The Admirals are back home this Sunday as they have a 7 p.m. game with the Petrolia Flyers at the Libro Centre.