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Admirals slip behind in playoffs three games to none

Special teams have been the difference in the playoffs so far for the Amherstburg Admirals.

Trailing three-games-to-none in the PJHL West Stobbs Division best-of-seven opening round series, the locals have had their difficulties in killing penalties and when they had the chance, scoring with the man advantage.

The Admirals hosted Game 4 and were fighting off elimination Tuesday night at the Libro Centre after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

The series began last Thursday night in Blenheim where the hosts won 5-3 and converted three of their seven powerplays. Amherstburg was one-for-five. Scoring in the first game for the Admirals were Brett Jones, Connor Demelo and Jake Goudreault.

Game 2 Saturday night at the Libro Centre was scoreless after the first period and the Admirals trailed 3-1 after 40 minutes before coming up short 6-2. Amherstburg could not connect on eight of their powerplays while the Blades converted three-of-seven.

“We outplayed them for two periods and outshot them tremendously. Their goalie had a great game and a lot of pucks could have been in the net,” said Amherstburg coach Beau Hunter after Saturday night’s game.

Blades netminder Owen Lemieux made 38 saves on the night, 17 in the first period.

In Saturday’s game, Blenheim captain Craig Spence had two goals and a pair of assists. The blueliner finished seventh overall in the PJHL scoring during the regular season with 74 points. For Amherstburg, Goudreault and Cole Vallancourt found the back of the net.

“We are getting killed on special teams. Our powerplay is not working and they’re scoring on the powerplay,” said Hunter.

Sunday night in Blenheim, despite the return of veteran Mitch Demelo, the Admirals lost their third straight, 6-2. Demelo, returning from a 13-game suspension, scored both goals for the visitors on the powerplay.

Blenheim who led 3-1 after the first and 4-2 after 40 minutes, got a hat trick, including one tally shorthanded by Justin Ewald. The Blades converted two-of-six powerplays while the Admirals cashed in on two-of-eight with the man advantage.

During the five regular season matchups, the Blades won four of those.

“We played them close all year, but we haven’t had the wins against them. I think we match up well,” said Hunter.


SLAPSHOTS: The Admirals will host their Spring Evaluation Camp at the Libro Centre April 21-24. For more information, contact GM Andrew Sykes…After three games into the series against the Blades, Connor Demelo leads the Admirals with four points.

Admirals slip behind in playoffs three games to none

By Fred Groves

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