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Gusty effort by Admirals against Flags despite being shorthanded

It was a very long week and a very short bench for the Amherstburg Admirals.

The Admirals had just 13 players available for the PJHL game Sunday night at the Libro Centre, one in which they were doubled up 6-3 by the Mooretown Flags.

“I think there is a bug going around and nine of our guys have got it,” said Admirals’ head coach Beau Hunter after the game.

Amherstburg is not the only team in the West Stobbs Division to be battling illness as the Dresden Kings were forced to postpone their Friday night game with Lakeshore.

Despite suiting up just seven forwards and four defenceman, the Admirals put in a gusty effort and trailed just 2-1 after the first period. It was a chance for several rookies including Travis Knight, Finnegan Russett and Brett Jones to step up and they did so in a big way.

“Just like at the beginning of the year when were shorthanded, I told them they had to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Hunter.

Eventually the lack of players and four games in seven nights took its toll against the Flags and by mid-way through the final period, the Admirals had no more in the tank. Despite the loss, Jones had a nice goal, Jacob Archer scored on the powerplay after he leveled a Mooretown player with a huge hockey hit and Stefan Jacobs showed some super slick speed in netting his tenth of the season.

“I am very proud of the effort the guys put in tonight,” said Hunter.

In the first of back-to-back games at home, Amherstburg lost 4-1 to the Wheatley Sharks on Saturday. Archer had the lone goal for the hosts. Joe Costea, getting the start in net, was named the first star of the game as he turned away 38 shots.

Amherstburg was without 10 regulars, including nine veterans. Former Admiral Kyle Bleau led the Sharks with a pair of goals.

The four-game stretch began last Tuesday night in Essex where the Admirals fell hard, 11-1 to the host 73’s.

Russett got his second shorthanded goal in as many games and Owen Papulkas also scored for the winners who trailed 3-1 after the first period, and 6-1 at the end of 40 minutes. Josh Courtney started in net for the Addys but left early with an injury.

For the veteran Papulkas, it was his 11th straight game with at least one point and during that stretch he had 16 points.

In Wheatley the following night, Amherstburg picked up their eighth win of the season in dramatic fashion.  Archer scored in overtime as the visitors handed the Sharks a 3-2 loss. Also scoring for the winners were Papulkas and Cole Vaillancourt with his second of the year.

“It was very big. We battled back, we hadn’t beaten them this year. It was nice to get it. We’ve beaten everyone except Essex and Lakeshore and that’s a big accomplishment,” said Hunter.

The Admirals take their 8-29-0-0 record to Lakeshore on Friday and it’s back-to-back with the Canadiens as they come to the Libro Centre for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Saturday.


SLAPSHOTS:.. With Courtney out with an injury, Noah Spadatto is backing up Costea in net… Forward Will Morris was brought in and he had an assist in Sunday’s game against Mooretown... Stefan Jacobs is the only Admirals player to suit up in all 37 games thus far. He and Archer lead the team in scoring with 31 points apiece.

By Fred Groves

Gusty effort by Admirals against Flags despite being shorthanded

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