Admirals Drop Back To Back As Illness Hits Team Hard

The Amherstburg Admirals played both of their weekend home games extremely undermanned, as an illness ravaged the team in losses to Wheatley and Mooretown.

On Saturday against Wheatley, the Admirals were left with 16 skaters, two of them AP call-ups, and managed two keep things close through two periods. Jake Archer answered Braedon Caetano’s opening tally in the first period and the game remained even through 40 minutes of play. The Sharks however came out in the third with fresher legs and got two goals from Kyle Bleau less than two minutes apart early in the third. Kyle Kelly hit the empty net in the dying seconds to result in the 4-1 final in favour of the road team. Joe Costea made 38 saves in the Amherstburg net and earned the game’s First Star selection for his effort.

With a flu bug clearly going through the team, several more Admirals dropped on Sunday as the team welcomed the Mooretown Flags to the Libro Centre for the final regular-season meeting of the year between the two teams. The Admirals were without a whopping 14 players, most of whom succomed to the bug, and were unable to play. Moving on to play with just 11 skaters in the lineup, the few Admirals who were left turned in an effort that was commended by all who watched. The team battled their way to a scoreless first period, and then after Mooretown broke through with two early first period goals, rookie forward Brett Jones got the home side on the board with his second goal of the season.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the third, Jake Archer brought things back level with his team-leading 19th goal of the season on a wicked one-time shot. Only 58 seconds later however, the Flags regained their lead, and from there the home team’s legs began to tire and defense began to wilt under the constant slew of pressure from the much fresher Flags attack. Mooretown would go on to score four unanswered goals before Stefan Jacobs got one back, to leave the scoreboard reading 6-3 in favour of the visitors. Joe Costea was once again stellar in the Amherstburg net, making 37 saves in defeat. Playing three games in five days, the rookie netminder made 30+ stops in each game to give his team a chance in all of them.

The Admirals concluded their busy four-game week with a 1-3 record, picking up a key victory on Wednesday in Wheatley before the sickness hurt their chances on the weekend. The team received much praise for their valiant effort with such few bodies, and continue to prove that they will be no easy out come playoff time.