Admirals Even Series; Hand 73's First Playoff Loss of 2015

Admirals even series after handing 73's first playoff loss By: Kevin E. Neels The Amherstburg Admirals did a complete turnaround in less than 24 hours Wednesday night. After giving up 9 goals the previous night in a 9-6 Essex win the goaltending and defense were solid on Wednesday, and the home team came away with a close 2-1 victory to deadlock this series at a game apiece.


"I expect this series to be close the rest of the way," said, Phil Janikowski. "Regardless of how long this series goes, the games will be close."


This game did not have the same feel as game one as neither team played with near the same level of intensity, and the pace was much slower as well. The opening twenty minutes was scoreless as neither team could beat the goaltenders.


The home team grabbed a one goal edge in period two as Brett Beattie found an opening on the far side of Noah Hedrick and bulged the twine. The Essex defense got caught pinching early in the final period which created a 2 on 1 and Admirals forward Dan Matoski used his team mate as a decoy and ripped the puck over Hedrick's shoulder to pad the lead. As it turned out Matoski's goal would be needed as Matthew Hebert scored just two minutes later to cut the lead in half.


The 73's came on after their goal and started to apply the pressure on Amherstburg, but it was not to be on this night as Romeril closed the door on the Essex offense to preserve the win.


"This was just one of those games, where they got the extra bounce that we didn't, " said, Janikowski, "In order for us to win this series I think we still need to be a bit better defensively, and our fore check in the offensive zone could be stronger as well."


This series resumes Saturday evening in Essex with a 7:30 pm start. 

73's Draw First Blood in High-Scoring Opening Game of GLJHL Finals

By: Garrett Fodor


On Tuesday night, Essex began their quest for a fourth straight league championship as they hosted the Amherstburg Admirals in game one.


In the opening period the two teams played what was a pretty even opening twenty minutes of hockey. The style of play was similar as there was a lot of dump and chase action. It was half way through the period before either team could find the back of the net, and the first team to strike was the orange, black, and white. Scott Bromley let go a slap shot from the point just 7 ticks into a power play to beat Admirals goaltender Arren Romeril.


The lead was short lived however as the visitors scored one of their own only seconds after a face-off deep in Essex territory as Blake Rutckyj beat Noah Hedrick with an off speed shot.


Period two was a goaltenders night mare, but a fans delight as 8 goals were scored in the period with the visitors taking a 6-4 lead heading into the intermission. The early part of the period was back and forth before the Admirals grabbed their two goal cushion. Matthew Rosati gave the 73's a brief lead once again, but, that lead did not last a minute before former 73 Brett Beattie evened the score once more. Phil Janikowski scored a fluke goal a short time

later, but once again it did not last. Things started to get real ugly for the locals at this point.


Amherstburg sniper Mark Gangnon went high on a power play to level the playing field again before the visitors grabbed their first lead of the game on a weak goal that squeezed between Hedrick's pads. This brought Essex backup Colin Lauzon in for a relief stint, but he fared no better as a huge rebound found the back of the cage to pad the Admirals lead.


Essex managed to get one back less than a minute later as Matthew Hebert buried the puck on a 2 on 1, but before the period ended the visitors beat Lauzon with a wrap around. Period two was owned by the Admirals as Essex stopped skating and allowed Amherstburg to beat them to all the loose pucks.


The Admirals gave Essex their chance to get back into this game early in period three after taking some penalties late in the middle frame. Essex took advantage of that opportunity to score a power play goal at 1:13 as William Stadder jumped on a rebound and slipped it past Romeril. This goal pumped the locals up and they kept coming, and the hard work paid off six minutes later as Michael Vieira scored unassisted to deadlock this game. Hebert found the back of the net three minutes later to put Essex back in the lead for good after another rebound was allowed by Romeril. Insurance marker number one came just two minutes later as Romeril lost sight of the puck and Daniel McIntyre buried the puck before the goaltender knew where it was. The icing on the cake came at 17:35 while killing a penalty, and an empty Amherstburg net, Alex Derksen fired the puck into the empty cage for a 9-6 final score.


 "After getting pulled early in period two I did not expect to get back into the game for the start of period three, "said, Noah Hedrick, "But when they do that it shows that they have confidence in you. I certainly did not have my best performance earlier in the game, but I felt I came back strong in period three. Tomorrow, we need to stay focused out there, and play our game, not get sucked into playing their type of game, if we want to get the road win."


Game two goes Wednesday in Amherstburg at 7:30 pm.

Lucky Shooter Wins $1,000 in Ives Insurance Score-O Contest

L to R: Ives Insurance President, Jeff Ives, presents Score-O winner Doug Queen of Essex with a cheque for $1,000. Essex 73's Director of Hockey Operations, Rick Schuchard, was also on hand. Queen is only the third winner in the history of the contest.

73's Complete Sweep 6-2 in Penalty Filled Game

By: Kevin E. Neels


The Dresden Jr. Kings attempted to put a whole lot of fear into the Essex 73's Wednesday evening, with their physical play, but failed, and came out on the wrong end of a 6-2 score to see their season come to an abrupt end.


Period one was tame for the most part as Essex grabbed a two goal lead before the intermission. Tyler Turner scored his first on the night just over two minutes in on a pretty tic tac toe play with line mates Tyler Scott and Matthew Hebert. The second goal came off the stick of Phil Janikowski late in the period on a crazy bounce.


The second period was full of action with five goals, and a steady stream to the sin bin for both clubs. Essex increased their lead just over a minute in as Matthew Rosati blasted a point shot past Kings starting goaltender Scott Tricker on an Essex power play. This ended Tricker's evening and brought in Daniel Tonietto from the bull pen. Tonietto would fare no better on this evening however. Five minutes later Scott Bromley took a pass while stepping in from the blue line and write it into the top corner of the net for a 4-0 73's lead. Dresden finally got on the score board a couple of minutes later on another strange goal. Essex added to the home team's pain with another pair of markers before the period ended as Tyler Scott used his speed to pick up a lose puck, and beat Tonietto, and Tyler Turner slapped a huge rebound into an empty cage for his second goal on the night.


Essex replaced starting goaltender Noah Hedrick to start the third period as Colin Lauzon came in to finish this game up. Essex went into defense mode for the most part,allowing the Kings a single tally late in the game.


"This was a tough, chippy series, " said, Tyler Turner, "It felt good to end it tonight however. The next series should be a dandy, and I am really looking forward to it, especially if it is Amherstburg. We are a confident bunch, and feel our system is tough to play against."


Essex will now sit back and wait for the winner of the Blenheim and Amherstburg series. Either way the next series will begin in Essex next week.

Hedrick Shines as 73's Take Commanding Lead in Series

By: Garrett Fodor


Coming off Friday nights 4-3 OT win, Essex was back at it Tuesday hosting the Dresden Jr. Kings in game 3 of this best of seven series.


In the first period, Essex drastically outshot the visitors 15-3, and were the much better team, using their speed to their advantage. But when the clock ran out at the end of twenty minutes of play the 73's held a slim 1-0 advantage, courtesy of defenseman Nick Mainella who notched his first playoff goal picking the top corner past Kings net minder Daniel Tonietto.


When the puck was dropped in period two, it was quite clear that Dresden was going to push much harder than in the opening frame. Much of the first ten minutes of play in period two was between the blue lines. 14 minutes into the period the home team doubled their lead as the speed of Tyler Scott and Matthew Hebert, while killing off a penalty paid off with Hebert finishing it off with a beautiful deke to deposit the puck into the empty cage behind Tonietto.


The extra cushion was short lived however as the Kings finally beat Noah Hedrick a minute and a half later while on the power play. Before the period would end the 73's would regain the cushion as Anthony Cristofaro grabbed a rebound off the back boards and tucked the puck between Tonietto's legs with just 33 ticks left on the clock.


As the game progressed, similar to the previous two games, so did the undisciplined play from both sides. The locals got themselves into penalty trouble and gave the Kings a number of chances to get themselves back into this game. But there was a big problem, actually two problems facing the visitors, the Essex penalty kill, and Noah Hedrick. Both were superb, not just on this night, but all series long. Essex put the visitors out of their misery with one more tally late in the game. Tyler Scott found the back of the net after much hard work along the boards from line mate Matthew Hebert.


"I felt we started off great tonight, our first two periods were exceptional, " said, Hebert, "We were clicking, and controlling the play, and just doing our thing. The third period, we just were not there. We started real slow, and then took too many penalties again, something we have been struggling with this series. If we don't get this part of our game fixed it will eventually end up hurting us, as we can't be killing off a dozen penalties each time out.


Luckily we had the bounces going our way tonight, and we got the job done."


Game 4 goes Wednesday in Dresden at 8:00 pm.

73's Takes Two-Game Lead With Hard-Fought 4-3 Overtime Win in Dresden

By: Garrett Fodor


The locals were back at it on Friday evening after their decisive victory in game one Tuesday. The first period was unlike anything from the first game as both teams were very disciplined and played pretty evenly. Both teams had shifts where they controlled the puck very well and created some good scoring opportunities. Essex was fortunate enough to get the only goal in the opening twenty minutes courtesy of Michael Vieira who one timed a pass five hole beating Kings net minder Daniel Tonietto.


Period two was similar to period one in the early going with Essex upping their lead to 2-0 on a Matthew Hebert power play score. The remainder of the period saw the 73's get themselves in a heap of penalty trouble, but once again the penalty killing unit did an exceptional job, especially with an extended 5 on 3 for the home team. Noah Hedrick was sharp in goal as well as Essex headed to the dressing room clinging to the two goal cushion.


The Kings stormed out of the dressing room for period three, and cut the deficit in half in the first minute of play as Jordan Durston stepped around a falling Essex defender and made no mistake. Three minutes later Vieira restored the visitors two goal cushion on a wrap around. Dresden was unwilling to go down without a fight however, and continued to press. The Kings were rewarded with about seven minutes remaining as they crashed the net and beat Hedrick again to give them life once again. Four minutes later the home team created a turnover deep in Essex territory and tied this game up. Essex stormed back in the final few minutes to create a number of good chances but could not find beat Tonietto, and this game was headed to overtime.


In overtime Essex once again controlled the puck. After picking off a botched pass out attempt Jordan Ryan picked up the puck, but lost it in his skates just before reaching the net, however, Ryan received all the help he needed when a Dresden defender knocked the puck off Ryan's stick, and past Tonietto at the same time to give Essex the win and a 2-0 series lead.


"It felt good to get the OT winner, and it is a great feeling when you turn around and the whole team is celebrating as they skate towards you, " said, Ryan, "I thought the team played a great game tonight, and our overall effort is what got us the win." Ryan finished the night with two points, and defenseman Alex Derksen also added a pair of points in the win.


Essex and Dresden return to battle Tuesday in Essex at 7:00 pm.

73's Win Bloody Game 1 of GLJHL Semi Finals Versus Dresden

By: Garrett Fodor


After a 10 day hiatus from playoff hockey the 73's were back in action Tuesday as they hosted the Dresden Jr. Kings in one of the league semi-final series.


The play after the opening face-off was sloppy and very undisciplined. Players were falling all over the ice and it was Essex who capitalized on this. Phil Janikowski was sprung on a breakaway and Jr. Kings goaltender Scott Tricker attempted to beat Janikowski to the puck.


Tricker, on his way to the puck thought better of chasing it down, and when he attempted to backtrack he slipped and fell giving Janikowski an open basket to open the scoring just four minutes into the game. Seven minutes later the locals doubled their lead as Jordan Ryan was positioned in the right place at the right time picking up a Matthew Rosati rebound off the back boards and beat Tricker on the power play. Despite the officials efforts to keep this game in check, the chippiness only got worse as the game progressed.


The second period went beyond chippiness, and got downright nasty at times. Amongst all this the Kings cut the deficit in half four minutes into the period as Essex native Justin Melo beat Noah Hedrick on a rebound. Janikowski restored the two goal cushion a few short minutes later also on a rebound. Essex showed their nasty side just a short time later and were issued 9 minutes in penalties handing the visitors a golden opportunity to get back into this game and gain some momentum. If that wasn't bad enough, the 73's were whistled for another infraction putting them down two men. At this point the Essex penalty killing units took over and did an incredible job of not only keeping Dresden off the score sheet, but not allowing many quality shots on net in the process.


In the third, Essex was quick to pick up where they left off before all the penalties. Less than a minute into period three Daniel McIntyre found the back of the net to increase the lead to 4-1, before Daniel Slipchuk completed the scoring mid period to make the final score 5-1. Essex outshot Dresden 38-30 on the night.


"I think it is important to keep your cool, and keep your head in the game at this time of year as the opposition is always trying to get you off your game, " said Noah Hedrick, "We have to be better, and not let it get to us. Going into game two , we need to bring the game we had in the second half of tonight's game."


Essex will be in Dresden Friday for game two of this series at 7:30pm.


NOTES: Essex power forward Dan Mainella is expected to be in the lineup Friday night… Brad Carroll received a match penalty and will likely face a 4-game suspension… Daniel Slipchuk had 1 goal and 2 assists and played strong on the penalty kill… Tyler Scott was selected Subway player of the game.