The Blenheim Blades opened the home portion of their 2022-23 Provincial Junior Hockey League Stobbs Division 42-game season Sunday night with an impressive 6-2 victory over the visiting Amherstburg Admirals before a huge crowd of 365 fans.
The Blades are now 2-0-0-0 on the season and will return to action Friday when they travel to Belle River to play the defending PJHL champion Lakeshore Canadians. Next Sunday the Essex ’73s will be in town for a 7 p.m. game against the Blades.
As was the case in their opening 5-2 road win over the Wallaceburg Thunderhawks it was the line of assistant captain Tate Bowden, Austin Drew and Zach Van Boxtel that led the way for the Blades.
That line now has 21 points in two games with the rookie Drew having eight on three goals and five assists, Van Boxtel seven with two goals and five assists, and Bowden six thanks to two tallies and four assists.
In Sunday’s win Bowden scored twice and helped out on two others, with Drew netting a goal and three assists, and Van Boxtel a goal and two assists.
Veteran Ian Campbell chipped in with a goal, along with newcomer Adam Enright who played Junior ‘C’ in Midland last season.
Trent Amaro, Brad McAlpine, Sam Warriner and Connor Roth picked up an assist each.
The Blades led 1-0 after the first period and 6-0 after the middle 20 minutes.
Amherstburg got third-period scores from Layne Crispin and Connor Demelo.
BLADES BITS: Jake Vancoillie picked up his second win of the season in net for the Blades stopping 27 of 29 shots, while his teammate fired 37 at two Amherstburg netminders – Nicholas Bolton and Josh Courtney…Bolton started the game, but when Campbell scored the Blades fourth goal of the second period Bolton broke his stick over the net and left…The move brought Courtney into the Admirals’ net…Julie McDonald of the Blades major sponsor – the Ridge Landfill Community Trust – was on hand for a ceremonial season opening puck drop…J.P. Huggins sang the nation anthem…The three stars of the game were Bowden, Drew and Van Boxtel.