Admirals Fall In Entertaining Game 1

The Blenheim Blades used a three-goal third period to get some breathing room in what was an otherwise close game, on route to a 5-3 victory over the Amherstburg Admirals in Game 1 of the Stobbs Quarterfinals on Thursday night in Blenheim.

The Admirals got off to the dream start when rookie forward Brett Jones opened the scoring 3:27 in to the opening frame. The lead was short lived however with Joey Hayter notching the equalizer two minuted later on a power-play to leave the score at 1-1 through the first 20 minutes of play.

After out-shooting the Admirals 18-7 in the first period, the Blades continued to apply pressure on goaltender Josh Courtney in the second. As he was in the first, the Amherstburg native was sharp again in the second, but there was little he could do as Blenheim took the lead with their second power-play marker of the night, this one coming off the stick of Zach Van Boxtel at 15:44 of the middle frame.

Penalties continued to trouble the Admirals, and a Charlie Coristine high-sticking penalty proved costly early in the third with Van Boxtel scoring his second of the game and his team’s third power-play goal at 4:14 of the third. Connor Demelo replied two minutes later to get his team back within a goal, but the momentum shift would be brief. Neutral zone breakdowns resulted in two Blenheim goals; one by Brad McAlpine on a 2-on-1, and the second by Ayden McKinlay on a clear breakaway.

Jake Goudreault cut into the Blenheim lead with a wrister from the point to make it 5-3, but that was a close as the visitors would get on this night, and the Blades skated away with the win on home ice.

Courtney made 37 saves to help keep his team in the game and didn’t have much chance on most of the Blenheim goals. Brett Jones was top scorer in the game for Amherstburg, picking up a goal and an assist in his playoff debut.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday, March 2 in Amherstburg. Game 2 at the Libro Centre is set for 8:00 PM.