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Back-to-back wins for Admirals over Wild





For the first time this season, the Amherstburg Admirals have back-to-back wins.


Saturday night at the Libro Centre, the hosts doubled the Walpole Island Wild 6-3. That comes on the heels of a 7-4 come-from-behind victory against the same team Thursday night at Walpole Island.


“It’s nice, definitely we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year. It’s something we should be doing,” said Admirals head coach Beau Hunter.


The Admirals improved to 10-31-0-0 and will probably finish sixth in the eight team PJHL West Stobbs Division. They wrap up their 42-game regular season schedule at home Saturday against the Essex 73’s beginning at 7:30 p.m.


At home Saturday, the Wild scored first and held a slim 1-0 lead after 20 minutes on Aaron Highfield’s power play goal. Amherstburg was assessed four minor penalties in the first period, one of those coming when they had the man advantage.


“We took a couple of bad penalties that took away our powerplays. There is no need for that. Going into the playoffs we can’t have that happen,” said Hunter.

Amherstburg came out quick in the second period and scored back-to-back tallies just 49 seconds apart to put the hosts up ahead, they would not relinquish the lead the rest of the game. Finnegan Russett tied it up and then veteran Connor Demelo made it 2-1.


It was 3-1 on the nicest goal of the night. Russett hit Owen Papulkas with a stretch pass up the middle and he made no mistake, going in alone and backhanding it past Wild goalie Mitch Rawlings.


Walpole Island came out quick in the third when Conner DeBoot scored just 13 seconds which certainly caught the Admirals off guard.


“It was a lack of awareness on defence and a couple of bad plays caused turnovers,” noted Hunter.


The Admirals responded quickly and 40 seconds later Papulkas got his second of the night. Layne Crispin scored back-to-back including an empty netter to clinch the win. The line of Russett, Papulkas and Crispin accounted for five of the Admirals six goals.


“It’s awesome,” said Hunter of seeing another line step up. “We rolled four lines tonight and it shows we can trust anyone on the team. It’s nice to see."


It was a big game on the blueline for rookie Travis Knight who had three assists and goalie Josh Courtney, getting his first start after an injury, turned away 25 shots.


Thursday night in Walpole Island, the host Wild were up 2-0 after 20 minutes by the Admirals came back to win.


Scoring for Amherstburg were Russett and Jacob Archer each with a pair and a helper, blueliners Braeden Armstrong and Jaxon Boucher connected along with Stefan Jacobs. Russett has seven points in his last three games.


Goalie Joe Costea got his fifth win of the season as he made 31 saves.

Amherstburg were hit with four unsportsmanlike penalties.


SLAPSHOTS… Nice to see head coach Beau Hunter’s father, assistant Jim Hunter back behind the bench… Goalie Josh Courtney is one regular season start away from being the Admirals all-time leader in that category.


By Fred Groves

 

 

 

 

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