GAME NIGHT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
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Great Lakes Junior C League Standings
73's Pound Lakers on Strength of Ryan's 4-goal Game
By: Garrett Fodor
On Tuesday night your Essex 73's hosted the Wallaceburg Lakers. Winning eleven of their past twelve games Essex looked to continue their consistent play with another big "W". With a barn filled with 675 fans they were already off to a good start before the puck even dropped.
Once the puck dropped the game was back and forth like a ping pong contest with both teams distributing the puck well and breaking out of their own zone for creating several offensive rushes. Essex' great foot speed meant trouble for the visitors as Wallaceburg drew three penalties in a span of five minutes, and it didn't take long for Essex to capitalize on the power play as Matt Zelko unleashed a slap shot from the blue line at the 13:18 mark of the opening period for his first goal of the season.
"It felt good to finally get the monkey off my back, hopefully this was the first of many more to come. Moving forward, I don't plan on changing anything. I am going to try and stay solid defensively, and still contribute offensively when possible," added Zelko.
Still in the first period, after Essex took a too many men on the ice penalty, Jordan Ryan capitalized on a Wallaceburg turnover in the defensive zone and finished off the period with a shorthanded tally at 19:30. Essex outshot the visitors 16-2 in that opening period.
The second period was much the same with Essex dictating the play early and often, with Tyler Scott finishing off a shorthanded two on one with Matthew Hebert. This was followed up by another pair of goals from Jordan Ryan, the first coming on a breakaway caused by a great fore check and solo effort. Ryan's third of the game came in the dying seconds of the period off a strong another strong forechecking effort from the entire line. Shots favoured the 73's in period two as well, this time by a count of 18-7.
Entering the third period of the game, the mood and tempo of the game changed dramatically. Both sides became noticeably chippy and scrappy, to say the least, with the focal point taking place four minutes in when the Lakers' Jackson Gray laid a dangerous head check on Essex' Matthew Rosati, which left Rosati laying motionless for several minutes, before finally skating off under his own power.
With Essex already up 5-0, seeing one of their own get banged up did not seem to affect the club any, in fact it may have inspired them a bit more. Essex added another two goals, the first coming off the stick of Jordan Ryan for his fourth goal on the night, and Phil Janikowski completing the scoring taking an across the crease pass from William Stadder, making the final score 7-0.
Colin Lauzon picked up his first shutout of the season stopping all 14 shots he faced. Ryan lead the charge with 4 points, while William Stadder, Phil Janikowski, and Scott Bromley each put up two points on the night with single points added by, Matthew Rosati, Matt Zelko, Matthew Hebert, Drew Hull, Michael Vieira, Tyler Scott, and "AP" Josh Pope-Ferguson. Final shots on net heavily favoured Essex 47-14.
Essex' win can be credited to many things, but near the top of that list would be their special teams play, which picked up 4 of the 7 goals including two short handed.
"I felt the special teams played real well. Our shorthanded game was exceptional as we blocked a number of key shots," commented Jordan Ryan.
While Ryan finished with four points Tuesday, he knew he was going to achieve something tonight.
"When I woke up, and went to the rink today I just had a feeling that I was going to have a big night. Even in warm ups, we seemed to be clicking out there, and that carried into the game. But I have to thank the boys for tonight, they were dishing the puck real well, and I was able to bury them. The team played well, and everyone played a big part in this win," Jordan added.
Essex' next game is Tuesday November 4th when they host the Alvinston Flyers at 7:00 pm.
Blades No Match For 73's
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's travelled to Blenheim Sunday night expecting to face a desperate hockey team. The Blades are in the midst of a skid at the moment and were in need of a win to end their slump, and what better way to end the slump than beating the league leaders. Unfortunately for Blenheim, Sunday was not going to be that game. Tyler Scott lead the 73's attack with his first "hat trick" in a 7-0 win.
Noah Hedrick stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn the shutout.
In two games this season against the Blades, Essex has not allowed a goal. Assistant Coach Craig Miller said, "We played a team that has been struggling lately, but on the other side of the coin, I thought we played very well tonight, and we took care of our own end real well. The young guys are buying into our system and we are starting to see the results. We are in a good place right now."
Essex dominated the opening period but held a slim 1-0 lead on a goal by William Stadder.
The locals blew this game open in period two adding three more goals. Dan Mainella scored his first of the season with a bad angle shot that found the five hole. Tyler Scott notched his first of the night on a partial breakaway when his wrist shot found the top corner, and Matthew Hebert added another beauty when he scored on a wrap around while on an Essex power play.
The 73's completed the rout with another three unanswered scores in the final twenty minutes. Scott scored his second on a nice tic tac toe with Hebert and Tyler Turner. Phil Janikowski found the net on a back hand, and Scott right off a face-off completed the scoring.
Noah Hedrick said, "The team played real well in front of me tonight, which makes my job much easier. We ran into a slumping Blenheim team tonight, but we still had to be physically and mentally prepared, as you can't take anybody lightly."
Essex returns home Tuesday for an encounter with the red hot Wallaceburg Lakers. Game time is 7:00 pm.
73's Earn Well-deserved Win On The Road, 5-3 Over Alvinston
By: Kevin E. Neels
The 73's went to battle Friday evening in Alvinston and came out on top of a 5-3 score. For two periods the visitors were the better team and controlled the play, but had trouble finishing. In the final twenty minutes the Flyers worked hard to get back into this game but unfortunately time was against them and they came up short.
Essex built up a 2-0 lead after the opening period on goals by Michael Vieira and Phil Janikowski.
The margin was increased to 4-0 in period two before the home team finally hit the score sheet. William Stadder scored a power play marker at 15:55 and Michael Vieira bulged the twine with his second on the night less than a minute later. After a change of goaltenders for the home team the Flyers hit the score sheet.
Alvinston closed the gap mid third period off of a crazy bounce then scored on the power play in the final minute, but it was too little, too late. Essex Captain Scott Bromley sealed the win with an empty netter with one tick remaining on the clock.
Essex defenseman Mark MacPherson said, "This game was a bit of a role reversal for us as we are usually strong in period three."
Nick Mainella agreed with MacPherson, but added, "We sat back in the third period and let them come to us which is not the way you like to play, but we are confident that we can still get the job done."
Essex will travel to Blenheim on Sunday evening for a 7:15 start
Admirals Lose Composure, Lose to 73's 6-3
By: Kevin E. Neels
This was a big game for the Amherstburg Admirals due to the fact that a win would pull them even with the Essex 73's atop the Great Lakes standings. Their downfall was the inability to keep their emotions under control. Amherstburg gave Essex 11 power play opportunities during the contest, and when you give the top team in the league that many chances, the odds are very good that the puck is going to wind up in the back of the net a few times. The 73's managed to score twice with the man advantage, but the number of opportunities gave them
something just as important, puck control. Jordan Ryan paced the 73's attack with three goals.
The visitors jumped out of the starting gate well grabbing the lead in the first minute of play. That lead lasted until mid period when Jordan Ryan picked up a loose puck and skated in untouched to beat Admirals net minder Arren Romeril high on the glove side. The period ended even with Essex holding an 18-9 shots advantage. Essex took control of this game early in period two with a pair of quick, weak goals. Phil Janikowski and Ryan with number two on the evening beat Romeril on the backhand. Tyler Scott bumped the margin to 4-1 with a roof shot with traffic in front of the net late in the period.
The Admirals did not go down without a fight however as they kept pace with the 73's in period three with each team scoring twice. A huge giveaway gave the visitors some life just before the ten minute mark as former 73 Brett Beattie beat Essex goaltender Noah Hedrick. Two minutes later Janikowski notched his second on the night for Essex. Each team added a single in the final five minutes of play with Ryan getting his "hat trick" finding the five hole on Romeril.
Ryan said, "I think Amherstburg has become our biggest rival now, they seem to really step up and play well against us. Tonight frustration was a key, and I think we used that to our advantage."
Rookie William Stadder said, "These games with Amherstburg really have something special. The hype when these teams meet is very high, which makes it a fun game to play in. Discipline was the name of the game out there tonight, and I thought we did a very good job of keeping our composure."
Essex will have a busy weekend as they will hit the road for a pair of games. Friday Essex will face Alvinston for the first time. Sunday the 73's will travel to Blenheim to face the Blades in what should be a real tough contest.
Kings End 73's Streak With Overtime Shootout Win
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Dresden Jr. Kings rolled into Essex Tuesday evening with heavy hearts, but left with a big win over the first place Essex 73's. Dresden General Manager, Dennis Brewer, passed away suddenly on the weekend which has definitely left on huge void within the Dresden organization. For two periods the visitors could not get anything going offensively, but came to life in period three.
Essex held a slim 1-0 lead after two periods of play with the only goal coming off the stick of Jordan Ryan early in period one, as he used a Dresden defender as a screen and his wrist shot found the netting behind goal keeper Scott Tricker.
Period three was back and forth with neither team allowing the other to gain much momentum. The Kings finally hit the score sheet seconds after Essex killed off the first penalty of a five on three. Five minutes later Tyler Turner put Essex in front once again as he pounced on a rebound. The lead was short lived however as the visitors struck for a pair of quick goals to grab their first lead on the night with less than four minutes remaining. Not to be outdone Essex went to work and evened the score with just over two minutes remaining on the clock. This would be all the offense in regulation as the teams headed for a five minute extra period.
The 73's pulled out all the stops in the extra period buzzing around the Kings cage, but could not beat Tricker setting up the dreaded shootout. In the sixth round of the shootout the visitors Justin Delgado beat the 73's Colin Lauzon low on the stick side for the game winner.
Sixteen year old Nick Mainella said, "I liked our effort for the most part, but we let them hang around, and with their goaltender playing the way he was it was going to be tough to pull this one out. We had our chances but we could not finish. All in all we are not that concerned about the loss, we will put this one behind us and bounce back next week against Amherstburg."
The 73's enjoy a week off now before returning to the ice next Tuesday when the Amherstburg Admirals visit Essex for the second time this season.
NOTE: Next home game is Pink At The Rink in support of Breast Cancer.