Great Lakes Junior C League Standings
Essex Hangs On To Defeat Wallaceburg, 4-2
By: Kevin E. Neels
Essex hit the road Wednesday for a meeting with the Wallaceburg Lakers, and for two periods played a near perfect road game. Period three was a different story as they sat back and got a bit too comfortable, which allowed the Lakers to get back into the game. Essex had built up period leads of 2-0, and 3-0 before a shaky third became to close for comfort.
"Not to use that as an excuse, but we were playing back to back games, and have played a lot of hockey over the past couple of weeks, " said Daniel McIntyre.
The 73's were the dominate team in period one and held the two goal advantage on goals by Jordan Ryan, and "AP" player Josh Pope Ferguson. Essex increased the lead in the middle frame on a tally by Phil Janikowski, as he ripped a low snap shot past Lakers goaltender Joel Sowinski.
The locals started off the third on a good note as defenseman Matthew Rosati found the back of the net on an Essex power play. The remainder of the period belonged to the home team as they kept coming at the 73's with a relentless fore check and it paid off with a pair of scores, one coming on the power play. Unfortunately for Wallaceburg, time became their worst enemy and they fell short by a 4-2 score.
McIntyre added to his earlier comment by saying, "I think we were tired, and we took our foot off the gas. It will be nice to get a bit of a break now, especially since our next meeting will be against our biggest nemesis Lakeshore."
73's Cruise to 7th Shutout of the Year With 10-0 Drubbing Over Sharks
By: Garrett Fodor
After Alvinston halted Essex' winning streak at 9 games last Friday evening on a last minute goal, Essex returned to action Tuesday looking to rebound and start a new win streak against the Wheatley Sharks, who were also trying to rebound after a 5-1 loss of their own on Sunday.
Once the puck dropped it was apparent that both teams wanted to get the puck early and were frequently going back and forth from end to end. After a plethora of shots coming off the 73's sticks, it took a mere 3 minutes for Tyler Turner to find a juicy rebound left behind from Wheatley's Adam Leboeuf, and give the locals the early lead. That was just the beginning of Leboeuf's rebound struggles on the night as just over five minutes later Tyler
Scott buried the puck after a Turner shot could not be handled. The home team added to the lead less than a minute later as rookie William Stadder threw the puck into a crowd in front of the net and had the puck bounce in off Eric Shaw.
Essex began to find their groove in period two and came at the Sharks, and Lebouef early and often. The fore check was a big part of the 73's game in period two and a beneficiary of that was Dan Mainella. Mainella received the puck deep in the corner, and caught Leboeuf cheating with his positioning, and not holding the post, so Mainella was able to sneak the puck past the Sharks goaltender on the short side. Tyler Turner ended the Sharks misery in period two finishing off a Eric Shaw rebound. Essex kept Leboeuf busy firing 16 shots his way, while his counterpart Noah Hedrick faced only three pucks.
Essex was relentless and did not take their foot off the pedal in the third and final period scoring five more unanswered times to cruise to the 10-0 win. The goals started early once again, as the league's number one power play cashed in as Daniel McIntyre found Jordan Ryan wide open, and he made no mistake. Scott added his second of the night a few minutes later digging the puck out of a scrum and depositing the disc into an empty cage. Ryan
added his second of the night on another power play a few minutes later before a couple of late goals ended the barrage. Michael Vieira, and Matthew Hebert completed the scoring for Essex. Noah Hedrick earned his fifth shutout of the season, which combined with partner Colin Lauzon's two, gives the 73's one more than the rest of the league combined at this stage of the season.
"It felt good to find the back of the net tonight. My line mates were unbelievable out there. They seemed to find me all night, and set me up for some quality scoring chances," said Dan Mainella, after picking up point number five on the year, including his second goal. "After Friday's tough loss, we were just looking to rebound and put in a solid home effort. We got off to a good start, and never let up on the gas. Hopefully this will carry over into tomorrow against Wallaceburg."
Flyers Trip Up Essex 3-2; Hault 73's Win Streak at Nine Games
POINTSTREAK: The game between the Alvinston Flyers and the Essex 73s was tight through all 60 minutes, but in the end Alvinston emerged with a 3-2 win.
Neither team gained more than a one-goal lead, and Kole Keating's goal in the third period proved to be the difference maker.
Josh Moore had a great game for the Flyers, netting two goals. Moore scored at 6:23 into the second period to make the score 1-0 Alvinston and again while 11:23 into the third to make the score 2-2.
Alvinston pulled out the victory even though it was hit with 35 penalty minutes.
Referees had their hands full with a major incident at 11:32 into the first period. Four fighting penalties were dished out along with two game misconducts.
The Flyers excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in six chances. Essex was unable to stop Alvinston from sending pucks towards the net, and the Flyers eventually piled up 31 shots on goal.
In addition, Alvinston received assists from Dylan Ryan, Hunter Bryce, Joe Archer, Karsten Berg, Zach VanEyk, and Jordan Hayes, who each chipped in one.
The 73s racked up the penalties in the contest, and ended with six minors and one major for 27 minutes in penalty time. Essex had been averaging 19.0 minutes in penalties per game. The 73s did not reach the goal total they have come to expect this season. Essex puts an average of 5.0 pucks into the net per game. The 73s' offense rang up 37 shots on Alvinston's net.
Essex was helped by Daniel McIntyre, who finished with one goal. McIntyre scored 9:14 into the third period to make the score 2-1 Essex. Matthew Rosati picked up the assist. Eric Shaw also scored for Essex. Other players who recorded assists for Essex were Tyler Scott, Scott Bromley, and Drew Hull, who contributed one each.
Brett Avery made 35 saves for the Flyers on 37 shots. Alvinston registered zero goals on one power play opportunities. The Flyers ran into serious disciplinary problems during the contest, and Jeremy VanDeven was ejected from the game. Colin Lauzon recorded 28 saves for the 73s. For Essex, Nick Mainella was ejected from the game.
Huge game by Janikowski boosts Essex over Dresden, 6-2
POINTSTREAK: Phil Janikowski had two goals and one assist to lead the Essex 73s to a 6-2 victory over the Dresden Kings. Janikowski scored at 6:43 into the first period to make the score 2-0 Essex and again while 13:24 into the first to make the score 4-0 Essex.
Referees had their hands full with a major incident at 3:57 into the second period. Four fighting penalties were dished out along with two game misconducts.
Essex's penalty box was a popular destination as the team totaled seven minors and one major for 29 minutes in penalty time. The 73s had been averaging 19.0 minutes in penalties per game. Essex forced Dresden's goaltenders to work in net, taking 45 shots and forcing 39 saves. Braden Palocz made seven stops and Scott Tricker made 32.
Essex additionally got points from Tyler Turner, who also finished with one goal and one assist. Others who scored for Essex included Matthew Rosati, Jordan Ryan, and Daniel Slipchuk, who each put in one. In addition, Essex received assists from Eric Shaw, who had two, William Stadder, who had three, and Matt Zelko, Tyler Scott, Patrick Cuffaro, and Daniel McIntyre, who each chipped in one.
The Kings were often in penalty trouble, totaling eight minors and one major for 21 minutes in penalty time. Dresden surpassed its season average of 19.0 penalty minutes per game. The Kings did not challenge the opposing netminder, only getting 11 shots on net to force nine saves.
Dresden was led by Macks Holmes, who registered two goals. Holmes scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 8:39 into the second period to make the score 5-1 Essex. The Kings had taken the advantage when the 73s' Zelko got sent off for interference. Taylor Sisson assisted on the tally. Holmes' next tally on the power play made the score 6-2 Essex with 19:12 left in the third period. Dillon Liberty provided the assist. Other players who recorded assists for Dresden were Kevin Ritzer, who had one.
Essex's Noah Hedrick stopped nine shots out of the 11 that he faced. The 73s registered three goals on six power play opportunities. Essex ran into serious disciplinary problems during the contest, and Dallas Pereira was ejected from the game. Dresden registered two goals on eight power play opportunities. For the Kings, Graham Smyth was ejected from the game.
73's Keep On Rolling, Beat Blades 5-1
By: Garrett Fodor
Coming into Tuesday's action against the Blenheim Blades, Essex has been on a roll, to say the least. The 73's last regulation loss came back on September 12, which was their second game of the season.
Meanwhile Blenheim came into Tuesday looking to rebound after a blowout loss to Wheatley on home ice Sunday.
Despite having a short bench of only 14 skaters at puck drop the Blades came out strong and didn't hold anything back in their effort. After several dump and chase plays and attempted offensive opportunities coming from both teams it was Essex that hit the score sheet first on what turned out to be a unique goal.
After several passing attempts that found nothing but empty lanes, Tyler Turner found a shooting lane and didn't hesitate to take it, despite Blenheim goaltender Eric Stewardson making the save. A rebound was created on this shot and the puck found its way to Eric Shaw, who was positioned directly in front of Stewardson, and was able to cap off the power play with a quick wrist shot.
Just a few minutes later, another strange and uncanny sequence unfolded. After a well placed shot on Essex' goalie Colin Lauzon, the 73's were unable to find the rebound amongst the sea of bodies, and eventually the puck ended up behind Lauzon to even the score.
Despite the deadlocked score Essex out played the Blades, but had trouble finishing. Shots favoured Essex 13-4.
The Blades came out of the dressing room revitalized for period two, and were quick to find the puck and begin to try and create some magic, however Essex was not afraid to play the defensive side of the game, and throw their weight around. As a result, the quality and quantity of shots that actually made its way to Lauzon were minimal, and allowed the 73's to keep the game deadlocked, and actually regain the lead on a Phil Janikowski bullet from the circle. Shots were 10-9 in favour of the visitors in period two.
The third period is where Essex' offense kicked into high gear as the Blades were finally showing that fatigue was setting in. The 73's first goal in period three came on a 2 on 1 short handed opportunity with Tyler Scott setting up Matthew Hebert for a pretty goal. No less than four minutes later, another puck wound up behind Stewardson, this time off the stick of Daniel Slipchuk, who was waiting on the doorstep to jump on a big rebound. The goal was Slipchuk's 7th of the season, coming on his 21st birthday. The night ended with Tyler Turner and Michael Vieira picking up their third points on the night, as Turner cashed in on yet another rebound. With Essex scoring 62% of their goals in the final 10 minutes of a period, and 35% of their goals coming in the final period, this was just another typical game for the 73's.
"It felt great to have a performance like that tonight. I had two good line mates in Tyler Scott, and Eric Shaw, and they made it easy for me. It was also good to see Slipper score on his birthday, and celebrate in style," said Turner. "Our style of play tends to wear down our opponents, and with 35% of our offense coming in the third period, I think this statistic proves that."
Nine different players wound up with points Tuesday. Besides Vieira, and Turner with three apiece, singles were added by, Nick Mainella, Anthony Cristofaro, Eric Shaw, Tyler Scott, Scott Bromley, and Daniel Slipchuk.
Essex has no rest period as they will be in Dresden Wednesday night for a 7:30 game start.
Essex Holds Off Lakeshore to Preserve Shutout Streak
By: Garrett Fodor
On Friday night Essex travelled to the Atlas Tube Centre to take on their rivals, the Lakeshore Canadiens. The 73's were looking to grab lead in the season series while the Canadiens were looking to gain some ground on the front running 73's.
With the history and competitiveness of these two clubs, this tilt promised to be chippy, and it did not disappoint for those that were expecting it. The game began with both clubs struggling to maintain possession of the puck due to the poor ice conditions, which had the puck bouncing all over the place. As a result both teams had to compensate by playing more of a defensive style of game which resulted in a low number of quality chances to score. While Lakeshore out shot Essex 13-8 in the opening period it was Essex who cashed in on one of their few chances. While killing a late period penalty to team mate Eric Shaw, Tyler Scott blocked a point shot enabling himself to waltz in all alone on Canadiens goal keeper John Jeffries. Scott beat Jeffries with a quick snap shot with 0.1 ticks remaining on the clock to give Essex the 1-0 lead.
Lakeshore came out stronger in period two after the last second heart breaker of the opening period. The home team created several opportunities on the power play in period two but could not beat Essex net minder Noah Hedrick. The chippiness picked up in period two as well with 6 of the games 13 penalties being handed out. Both teams offense was quiet once again due to the crazy bouncing puck. Shots in period two favoured the visitors by a 9-5 count.
The third and final frame saw Lakeshore take another charge at beating Hedrick, which forced Essex to be strong in their own zone, and, to stay out of the penalty box. The 73's defence played well in their own zone and blocked several shots to limit the number of pucks getting through to Hedrick. When push came to shove Essex did not back down. The harder the Canadiens pushed Essex toughened up and in fact created a few great opportunities to increase their lead. Despite both teams efforts there was no scoring in the third period as Essex held on for a 1-0 victory. Lakeshore had 12 shots in period three for a game total of 30 while Essex had 6 shots for a game total of 23.
"The game was very intense, especially playing our biggest rivals, holding a slim one goal lead late in the game. I had to stay focused and make some key saves, and the boys in front of me also came up big in blocking a number of shots," Hedrick commented. "The ice was not great tonight, and it was actually difficult to slide across at times. Lakeshore is an aggressive team and were trying hard to get me off my game, but I hung in there. In the end we got the "W", and we are happy to take it and run," Hedrick commented.
73's Extend Win Streak to Six With Rout Over Mooretown
By: Garrett Fodor
Tuesday night the Essex 73's looked to continue their fierce play on home ice as they hosted the Mooretown Flags. Coming into the game Essex was outshooting their opponents 215 - 110 on home ice while averaging 5.8 goals per game. There is no other way to sum up Essex' play with those numbers, and with Eric Shaw returning to the 73's after a brief stint with the Leamington Flyers, it would be expected that these numbers would rise.
Essex was quick to get the offense rolling against their opponents when Jordan Ryan went through four opposing players to cap off a spectacular play with a goal at the 10:46 mark of the first. No less than 36 seconds later Tyler Scott found yet another hole in the Flags defense as he alluded a number of players as well with several slick moves and finished with another pretty goal. Anthony Cristofaro ended the first period with a tally of his own. Essex dictated the play the entire period out shooting Mooretown 16 - 6, which ended Flags starting goaltender Brandon Johnson's evening.
It didn't take long for Essex to break in Johnson's replacement Riley Collins as Daniel Slipchuk finished off a pass from Patrick Cuffaro with a power play tally early in period two. It was at this point that Essex`offense began to explode, keeping Mooretown deep in their own end zone and forcing a number of icing calls. Matt Zelko capitalized on a tired Flags shift drilling home a slap shot five and a half minutes into the period. The other Matt, Matthew
Hebert also found the back of the net when he snapped a shot five hole to extend the lead to 6. Mark MacPherson finished off the second period scoring as his screened point shot found the back of the cage. Shots in period two favoured the 73`s by a 17 - 7 count.
Essex came out of the dressing room for period three and picked up where they left off the previous period controlling the play with their strong offensive presence. As the 73`s continued to push it forced the Flags to make some questionable play choices which led to Daniel Slipchuk finishing off a Dan Mainella pass. The Flags costly little mistakes mounted which led to another Essex power play. The 73`s power play at home has a 21% success rate
this season which spells trouble for their opponents. It did not take long for the power play unit to capitalize as William Stadder cashed in after some excellent cycling of the puck making the final score 9-0 Essex. Essex ended up firing 54 pucks at the Mooretown goaltenders while the Flags managed just 20 on Essex` Colin Lauzon. Lauzon picked up his second consecutive shutout, with his biggest save coming mid third period when he stopped a 2 on 0 breakaway after the two 73`s defenseman collided at the Mooretown blueline.
The offense had 13 different players contributing which included William Stadder, Matt Zelko, Tyler Scott, Matthew Hebert, Phil Janikowski, Mark MacPherson, Patrick Cuffaro, Dan Mainella, and, Dallas Pereira all with single points. Anthony Cristofaro, Eric Shaw, Tyler Turner, and Daniel Slipchuk had had two point efforts, while Jordan Ryan led the way with a three point night.
Eric Shaw credited his recent experience with the Flyers for his success Tuesday, "I think getting called up and playing the quicker game in Leamington really helped me, as well as the bigger ice surface. I think it helped me see the game better and slow it down some," commented Shaw. "I think we just need to stick to our game plan and continue to do the little things right we will be fine. We have been having a lot of success lately by doing that."
Essex` next game is this Friday when they face-off against the Lakeshore Canadiens with the puck scheduled to drop at 7:05pm.