73's Complete Sweep of Flyers; Await Next Round Opponent
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's completed their first round playoff series with the Alvinston Flyers Friday evening after a 6-1 win. Essex outscored the Flyers 27-1 in the series allowing the only goal in the final two minutes of play. This game started to get out of hand in period two with a number of misconduct and minor penalties, but this was to be expected as the Alvinston frustrations became more evident.
Despite a dominating first period from the 73's they held a slim 1-0 lead on a goal by Adam Gaiarin early after the opening face-off.
Period two was where Essex put this game out of reach with five unanswered goals, three coming on the power play in a little over a minute. Michael Vieira was Essex ' offensive weapon tonight scoring a hat trick. Singles were added by Tyler Scott and Dalton Langlois.
In the final twenty minutes the 73's stuck more to the defensive game not needing any more offense. With under two minutes to play Alvinston would score their lone goal of the series after a lack of communication. Matt Badour earned the win in place of Trevor Wheaton.
Cody Leering, who came over from Amherstburg said " I am very happy to be here in Essex. The biggest difference between here and Amherstburg is the closeness of the guys, and I love it. As far as tonight went, this was about what we expected, but this is now behind us, and we need to get ready for the next series. I don't care who we play, but I hope it is a good series."
Essex will now sit back and wait for the other three series to end to find out who they will go up against. Essex will face one of a possible three teams, Dresden, Lakeshore or Mooretown.
Wheaton Frustrates Flyers For Third Straight Game; 73's Lead Series 3-0
By: Garrett Fodor
Tuesday night the Essex 73's hosted the Alvinston Flyers for game three of the best of seven quarter final series. For Essex, they picked right up where they left off, as they continued to push offensively and play a damaging physical game.
Like the previous two games, the first 10 minutes were evenly matched with both teams exchanging chances. Just past the ten minute mark however we had the first goal. Michael Vieira was quick to make his presence felt after sitting out game two, as he beat Alvinston goaltender Matt Boere on a quick rush, and made no mistake burying the puck high stick side. Despite numerous chances, including a pair of posts the 73's headed into the first
intermission with a slim 1-0 edge.
Period two was no better for Boere or his Flyers as the play in front of the Alvinston net became sloppy creating many more scoring opportunities for the home team. Dalton Langlois capitalized on the power play notching his fourth goal of the series while Boere was scrambling for the loose puck. From there playoff scoring leader Tyler Boughner scored, and line mate Max Viselli netted goal number four beating the goaltender backdoor five minutes
later. Closing out the scoring Tyler Scott entered the offensive zone untouched before deked Boere and roofing the puck.
A story line after two games was the lack of offense in period number three. In period three Essex continued laying on the body, and spent the majority of the time in the offensive zone. With the Flyers getting visibly frustrated they began to throw some hits of their own including many after the play was blown dead. Midway through the period, Essex broke the third period scoreless trend as Matt Zelko blasted a slap shot through a sea of bodies to make it 6-0.
This score would stand as the final. Goalie Trevor Wheaton faced 26 shots and posted his third consecutive shutout while Boere faced 34 in the loss. Wheaton credits much of the success to his team mates.
"It's not just me out there, the defense is playing real well right now, and they are making the right decisions in our zone. We are doing everything right defensively, and it is showing," said Wheaton, "The guys in front of me are doing a good job of keeping the shots to the outside, and limiting the quality of the shots, allowing me to make
the saves I need to make."
Game four goes Friday in Alvinston at 7:30 pm.
73's Shut Down Flyers For Second Straight Game
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's grabbed a 2-0 series lead Friday after another convincing win. League most valuable player Trevor Wheaton shut the door on the Alvinston Flyers for his second consecutive shutout. The final score on this night was 6-0.
Offensively Max Viselli and Tyler Boughner lead the way with 5 and 4 points respectively.
As was the case in the opening game it seemed to take awhile for Essex to get their legs going, but once they did the goals started coming. Viselli opened the scoring at 13:29 picking up a loose puck and hitting the empty cage. Just a few minutes later Essex struck for a pair of goals less than a minute apart. Dalton Langlois snapped a high wrist shot past the out stretched glove of Matt Boere, and Boughner connected on a huge rebound. The teams headed to the dressing room with the visitors holding a 3-0 margin.
The middle frame was pretty much identical to the first with Essex holding a wide territorial advantage while adding another three unanswered goals. Boughner added number two on the night early after a redirect from the point. Viselli kept pace with his line mate as he buried his second of the game mid period, and Brett Vorshuk beat Boere with the final goal of the night with a quick wrist shot.
There was no scoring over the final 20 minutes of play however the Flyers had their opportunities to claw their way back into this game, but failed to get the job done. Alvinston had two glorious chances get on the score sheet due to a number of penalty calls going against the 73's. The home team had a full 5 minute major to work with, as well as a 5 on 3.
The 73's penalty kill units were tremendous in holding Alvinston off the score sheet.
Max Viselli said, "I felt our line has been clicking well all season, but tonight was an exceptionally good night. We were told before the playoffs began not take any team lightly, to go out and play like you are playing the top team. We are sticking to our programs, and more importantly we are having a lot of fun."
These two teams clash in game three Tuesday evening back in Essex at 7:00 pm.
73's Clip Flyers 9-0 in Opening Game of Great Lakes Junior C Quarter Finals
By: Garrett Fodor
Tuesday night the Essex 73's took step one in defending their Schmalz Cup championship as they hosted the Alvinston Flyers in the first game of the G.L.J.C.H.L. quarter finals. After the first 10 minutes of play things were deadlocked, with few stoppages of play, and the teams exchanging scoring chances. For Essex, one of the league's top snipers opened the scoring.
Phil Janikowski lead the league in game winning goals in the regular season, and he picked up his first in the playoffs mid way into the opening period. From there, the flood gates opened up as Flyers goaltender Matt Boere was hung out due to the numerous defensive lapses in front of him. Tyler Scott doubled the lead just 49 ticks later.
Essex continued to get scoring throughout their lineup, and in bursts. Tyler Boughner beat Boere with a wrist shot a few minutes later, and just 23 seconds later Dalton Langlois did the same. Adam Gaiarin rounded out the scoring late in the period.
Coming out of the intermission the 73's were quick to pick up where they left off in period one bombarding Boere. Matthew Hebert, who was honoured before the game netted his first of the playoffs just over three minutes into the period. Janikowski then registered his second on the night just over a minute later to stun the Flyers. Langlois also tallied his second of the night with some soft hands beating Boere five hole. Closing out the period Griffin McCarty scored a highlite reel goal for his first playoff goal in a 73's uniform.
In the closing period the Flyers played much better but still could not beat Trevor Wheaton who earned the shut out. Essex out shot Alvinston 36-25 on the night.
One game note on the evening would be the lack of penalties. There were a total of six minors called, yet overall it
was a fairly physical affair. Tyler Scott finished with one goal and four points on the night, and said this is something fans can expect to see in the playoffs, as the playoffs bring a new style of play.
"It felt great tonight, but individual points are meaningless as the win was the important thing," said, Scott, "We just stuck to our systems, and played a full sixty minutes. Hopefully we can do this throughout the series."
Game two goes Friday in Alvinston at 7:30 pm.
Essex 73's Junior C Hockey Club Raffle Winners
1st - Glen Dereniowski, Windsor #1971
2nd - Mary Jane Stebila, Windsor #1180
3rd - Kyle Miller, Essex #2229
4th - Tanya Antonelli, Windsor #1560
5th - William Stadder, Windsor #1141
6th - Tiina Kaldma, Windsor #2799
7th - Dave Sochaski, Amherstburg #2123
8th - Riley Meyerink, Lakeshore #0981
9th - Jane Zelko, Woodslee #1249
Frankie is a "Town of Essex LEGEND"
On October 25, 2015, Frank Matthys was presented a plaque for being “Town of Essex 2015 Citizen of the Year”. He is well-known throughout the tight-knit community and loved by everyone. He is a man who is always SINCERE, SUPPORTIVE, GENEROUS and without a doubt, extremely LOYAL. He is always there to lend support to everyone in this town, especially the youth.
His name goes hand-in-hand with the Essex 73's hockey organization. Only he can say that he has been involved with the Essex 73’s since its inception. That's 43 consecutive years and we are still counting on many more!! He is the only constant of a team that has won the All Ontario Junior C title & the Schmaltz Cup a record seven times!
He has dedicated his life to our town's young people and helped encourage players, coaches and staff to always be the best they can be.
CONGRATULATIONS! This award is well deserved for one of the finest men this League has ever known.
73's Home Opener Celebration Includes Honourary Members of all 7 Schmalz Cup Wins
Frank Matthys Named Essex Citizen of the Year 2015
by Sylene Argent
THE ESSEX FREE PRESS
Frank Matthys, now 89-years old, is affectionately known to many as “Mr. Essex 73.” This volunteer has been involved with the Essex 73’s since the hockey team’s inception 42 years ago.
In recognition of the years of dedication Mathys has devoted to the local Junior “C” hockey team, he was named Essex’s 2015 Citizen of the Year. The announcement was made on the Unifor Local 444 main stage during the Essex Fun Fest’s Saturday evening festivities.
“What he does for our hockey club is irreplaceable,” 73’s General Manager Scott Miller said during the announcement.
Miller supported the nomination made in Mathys’s honour that Ron Campbell had put-forth. “He’s like a father to every player on this team.”
Miller commented that Matthys is always around the arena completing jobs and various tasks to aid the players and the club. Some mornings, before Miller heads to work, he’ll stop by the arena quickly and Matthys will be there already, doing the laundry or completing some other duty, like cleaning equipment.
Miller claimed Matthys is the only man in Ontario who can lay claim to having won seven all-Ontario Schmaltz Cup championships as he has been a volunteer with the team when it has earned each of these titles. Miller noted Mathys also helped lay bricks for the Memorial Arena when it was erected in the early 1960s.
“Today, he’s on the bench every game. He rarely misses a game,” Miller commented.
Campbell noted he approached Miller to support the nomination he made for Matthys nearing the deadline for the award nominations. He chose to put Mathys forward because of the years of dedication he has shown to the 73’s and community.
“I didn’t know about it, it was a big surprise,” Matthys commented after learning he was chosen to be Essex’s 2015 Citizen of the Year. “I feel good. I’m ready for another season.”
The Essex Rotary Club, Heritage Essex, the Essex-based Knights of Columbus, and the Town of Essex present the Citizen of the Year award each year. This program has been ongoing since 1978 to recognize the volunteer efforts of some of Essex’s community-minded residents.
A banquet will be held in the fall to honour Matthys for his years of contribution. This event will double as a fundraiser for Heritage Essex.
OHA Releases Championship Video On Essex 73's 7th Schmalz Cup
Essex Wins Game Seven Battle to Claim Seventh Schmalz Cup
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's had four chances to capture their seventh Schmalz Cup heading into game four with a 3-0 series lead over a tough Port Hope Panthers hockey club. The Panthers proved how tough they were as they went on to defeat the 73's in the next three games to even the series at 3-3 and force a seventh and deciding game in the friendly rink they call home.
If the 73's were to claim the championship they would need to adjust their game and get back to solid defense, something that lacked in the three Panthers victories. Either way, this was predicted to be a great game from two teams that have been very evenly matched.
At the end of the night, it was indeed defense that turned the trick for the 73's, as Noah Hedrick shutout Port Hope for the second time in the series, this time by a slim 1-0 score.
Period one was scoreless as Hedrick, and his counterpart Devan Tremblay were unbeatable with the home team having an 11-8 shot advantage.
Essex held a slim 6-5 shot advantage in the middle frame but managed to score the game's only goal as Jordan Ryan beat Tremblay late in the period on a feed from Tyler Scott.
The Panthers held a 9-7 advantage in shots in period three but could not get the equalizer.
This was a classic game for a game seven. Shots were very close with both teams getting their chances, and the key, only one power play in the entire sixty minutes, a rarity at this level of hockey, but a rarity that we wish would could see more often.
Congratulations to the Port Hope Panthers on a great season, and a great series, and congratulations to the Essex 73's on capturing Schmalz Cup number seven
Port Hope Edged 1-0 In Game 7 Of Schmalz Cup Final
Courtesy of North Cumberland Today
PORT HOPE - In the end, the Port Hope Panthers didn't have one more rally left in them.
They couldn't have come much closer to winning the Ontario Hockey Association junior C championship series, though, but it was just out of their grasp.
The Panthers had rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to force Game 7 on Friday night, but the visiting Essex 73's earned a 1-0 victory to capture the Schmalz Cup in front of 1,200 spectators at the Jack Burger Sports Complex in Port Hope.
Jordan Ryan scored the lone goal for Essex with 3:09 left in the second period. That put the Panthers in the position of trying to battle back the rest of the way.
“It's always tough to lose and it's tough to lose at this stage (of the season), but I'm proud of them,” Panthers head coach Mat Goody said of his players. “I'm proud of the way they fought back and they should be proud of themselves. It was a hard fought battle. Credit to (Essex), they played a tight game. It was a good hockey game and the community should be proud of these guys too for the way they conducted themselves all season.”
It was May of last year that the Panthers began this run to the Schmalz Cup final. That was when rookie camp was held with the return of Goody as head coach and the goal of reaching the OHA championship junior C championship .
It was perhaps a lofty goal considering the Panthers had been eliminated in the first round of the Empire Junior C Hockey League playoffs the previous season, but the club was setting its goals high.
They finished the 2014-2015 Empire regular campaign with a first-place record of 31-8-1, which was 18 points ahead of the second-place Napanee Raiders.
In the Empire playoffs, the Panthers defeated the defending champion Picton Pirates in five games and then swept Napanee in four games in the league final.
In the OHA Schmalz Cup playoffs, the Panthers knocked off the Clarington Eagles in six games in the quarterfinals and swept the Alliston Hornets four straight in the semifinals.
Trailing 3-0 in the championship series against Essex, the Panthers could have swept.
Goody believes the way his club rebounded made it a better experience, despite the Game 7 defeat.
“I think it would have hurt more going out four straight,” he remarked. “Now we know what those guys felt like for the last two years. They've battled through adversity themselves – they've got guys there that have been through (losing) twice. Congratulations to them and it's exciting how far we came in a year as a year. It's important that we take the good from this and move forward.”
Essex was playing in their third straight Schmalz Cup final after losing to Picton in 2013 and the Lakefield Chiefs in 2014.
Scott Bromley, the 73s captain, played on both those teams and noted it was the fourth straight year for his club in the Schmalz Cup playoffs that he's been a part of.
While Bromley said it was “amazing” to finally be victorious, he acknowledged it wasn't easy.
“Port Hope was a heck of a team, making that three-game comeback, so we had to really rally back together,” Bromley said. “They gave us our best run yet and that was a fun series to play in. Kudos to them, they did an awesome job.”
Bromley said the73s were able to overcome the Port Hope rally in the series because of the camaraderie amongst the players.
“A lot of us are best friends and hang out outside the arena so it was pretty easy for our leaders to rally the guys because say one thing and all these guys jump on board because we're such good friends,” he remarked. “I'm super happy for all the guys on our team. I'm super proud of all the young guys who came in and bought into the systems and everything.”
This was expected to be a rebuilding season for the 73s.
“We lost our two main goal scorers and a couple really key defencemen, so it was supposed to be a rebuilding year,” Bromley said. “We got a lot of good guys who came out to our camp. We're not the most skilled team ever, but we have a whole group of 20 guys who buy into the systems. All the guys here did an amazing year.”
Friday's Game 7 was the final junior contest for Bromley, Ryan – who scored the decisive goal in his swan song – Daniel McIntyre and Daniel Slipchuk.
“I'm just so proud of our boys,” said Essex head coach Gil Langlois. “You look at the two teams and they probably had more skill than we did, but we just found a way to get it done here today. A 1-0 victory is so sweet, especially for the four overagers. A couple of them have been with me for the four years.
“We exceeded our expectations coming into the season because we had so many new guys and two rookie goalies.”
Like Bromley, Langlois gave kudos to the Panthers.
“You have to tip your hat to Port Hope 100%,” he said. “They work so hard and it's been said before, the first three games a bounce here or a bounce there it would have been a totally different outcome (in those games) probably. They're well-coached and they played hard. What I enjoyed about today's game, there was no goofiness, the kids stuck to hockey and really had a commitment to playing the game and winning.
“I applaud Port Hope's tenacity,” Langlois added. “They're a very good team.”
The 73s made the long trek home to Essex, near Windsor, after the game Friday.
“It's going to be a nice ride home,” Langlois said. “A long one, but a nice one.”
Panthers coach Goody, meanwhile, gave praise to his overagers who played their final junior game. They were captain Jacob Spicer, Tyler Davey, Connor Turland, Dylan Baxter and goaltender Devan Tremblay.
“Those guys have a special place in my heart and they're good people and they have bright future ahead of them,” he said.
Spicer remained positive even when the Panthers fell behind 3-0 in the series. He said in an interview with Northumberland Today at the time that his club had an opportunity facing elimination. He wasn't pleased for the Panthers to be down three games to none, but he suggested how it great of a win it would be to rally and win in such dramatic fashion.
After that, the Panthers won three straight and were just short of the championship victory.
“Anytime you're down 3-0, especially in the final, and you have enough character in the room to even come back and force it to Game 7, it's a privilege,” Spicer said. It sucks to fall short, but at the same time I'm proud to fall short with that team. I wouldn't want to go through it with any other guys. That was my best year of hockey.”
Spicer played five seasons for the Panthers and it was his first time in front of a sell-out crowd at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.
“It's great, win or lose, to know we have that much support,” Spicer said. “I've never in my life played in front of an electric crowd like that. To end my career like that, even though we lost, it's nice to know I and the team had all that support.”