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Admirals conclude regular season with 6-2 loss to Essex

Admirals vs Essex


The regular season is over for the Amherstburg Admirals and now they look to the playoffs.

The Admirals' 42nd and final regular season game was a 6-2 loss to the Essex 73's Saturday night at the Libro Centre. The two teams already had their places in the standings set in stone prior to the game as Essex will finish in second place in the PJHL West Stobbs Division while Amherstburg ends up in sixth place.

Essex led 1-0 after the first 20 minutes on a Carter Dembinski goal but the 73's added four more goals in the second period to build up a 5-0 lead. Jayden Seguin, Karson Beuglet, Connor McCracken and Nate Dowling scored the second period goals for the visitors, with Beuglet and McCracken scoring on the powerplay.

The Admirals didn't quit and scored a pair of goals in the third period with Cole Vaillancourt and Finnigan Russett putting the puck into the back of the Essex net, Vaillancourt's being a shorthanded goal. Luka Milosevic rounded out the scoring for Essex with a shorthanded, empty net goal with just under two minutes to play.

“I think in the first and third periods, we played really well,” said Admirals head coach Beau Hunter. “We just kind of lost focus in the second period.”

Hunter said that has happened a lot this season against Essex and Lakeshore, where they play well for two periods but can't maintain it for the full 60 minutes.

By getting into Saturday night’s game, goalie Josh Courtney tied Ben Larder for most games played by a goalie in team history with 58. Prior to the game, the Jr. C club honoured graduating players Mitch Demelo, Jaxon Boucher, Jake Archer and team captain Derek Berdusco.

The Admirals finished the regular season with a 10-32-0-0 record and their sixth place finish will put them into a first round playoff match-up with the Blenheim Blades. Hunter said the Admirals faced a lot of injuries and adversity this season but worked through it.

“It was nice to see them battle back in the second half of the year,” he said.

Hunter predicted a physical series against Blenheim, saying the Admirals played well against them during the regular season.

“They have a couple of players who do the scoring for them. It's going to be a big job to shut them down,” said Hunter.

Amherstburg has to work on their intensity, he added, and give 100 per cent effort. He said they tend to give up a bit during battles and they need to maintain their intensity level and compete harder.

The Admirals open the playoffs Thursday at 7 p.m. in Blenheim with Game 2 being in Amherstburg Saturday night at 8 p.m. Game 3 is Sunday in Blenheim at 7 p.m. while Game 4 will be in Amherstburg March 5 at 7:30 p.m.

If necessary, Game 5 will be March 7 in Blenheim at 7 p.m., Game 6 at the Libro Centre March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Game 7 in Blenheim March 10 at 7 p.m.

By Ron Giofu

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