Solecki Scores Twice; 73's Lower the Flag on Mooretown
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Mooretown Flags have kept the first three meetings of the season against the Essex 73's close pushing two of those games to extra time to decide a winner. Saturday was a bit different story as Essex waltzed into Mooretown and downed the Flags to the tune of 5-1.
The 73's depth showed in this game as two thirds of their big line did not make the trip due to other commitments.
Essex had double the number of shots and the territorial advantage in the opening twenty minutes of play but the game remained scoreless.
The shots were similar in the middle frame but the 73's managed to capitalize with more frequency this time around. The locals built up a 4-0 lead before allowing the Flags only goal of the game on a shorthanded effort late in the period. Matthew Hebert, Phil Janikowski, Dallas Pereira, and Dylan Solecki were the Essex marksmen.
Essex added one more for good measure late in the third period as Solecki connected for his
second of the night while killing a penalty.
Essex will return to the ice Tuesday in Essex when they will host the much improved
Amherstburg Admirals at 7:15 pm.
Newly Aquired Ekblad Wins Debut 6-4 Over Improved Lakers
Recently signed Darien Ekblad picked up the win in his 73's debut in a 6-4 victory over the vastly improved Wallaceburg Lakers Thursday night. Captain Corey Beaulieu paced the offence with a pair of goals. Territorially, Essex had a huge advantage, but on the score board it was obviously much closer.
The home team opened the scoring early after Essex took an undisciplined penalty. The 73's took control for the remainder of the period and grabbed a 3-1 lead. Colin DeLaet and Brett Clarke scored on the power play with Dylan Solecki adding a single from his knees.
Wallaceburg scored a short handed goal sandwiched between Beaulieu's pair to give Essex a 5-2 edge heading into period three.
The Lakers did not roll over and die however as a pair of goals in the first half of period three had them knocking on the 73's doorstep. Eric Shaw gave the visitors some breathing room as he knocked in his own rebound at 16:55. The Lakers pulled the goaltender in the final minute but could not get the equalizer.
Chad Hedrick said, "the wins are not coming easily, but we will be okay. We seem to control the puck and the flow of the game for the most part but we are having trouble finishing. Lately our opponents are making the most of their opportunities."
Darien Ekblad said, "I felt relaxed and confident before the game. Unfortunately there were a couple of goals I wish had not gone in, but things will turn around."
Essex will hit the road again Saturday as they will be in Mooretown.
Slipchuk, Garon, Beaulieu Lead 73's to Win Over Blades
By: Kevin E. Neels
The 73's big unit of Daniel Slipchuk, Alex Garon and Corey Beaulieu sparked the offense Tuesday in a 5-3 win over the visiting Blenheim Blades.
"Our line is clicking real well right now," said Slipchuk, "Now is the time to step it up and hopefully by playoff time we will be at the top of our game."
Essex was the dominate team in the opening twenty minutes of play but headed into the intermission deadlocked at 1-1. Beaulieu notched his first of the night on a pretty set up from Garon.
The Blades took the lead briefly early in period two but Beaulieu cashed in his second of the game four minutes later to even the score before Zoran Popel gave the 73's the lead once again with a perfectly placed wrist shot on an Essex three on one.
In the final frame the visitors pulled back to even terms at 7:59. Less than two minutes later Colin DeLaet scored what proved to be the winner on another pretty set up from Dylan Solecki.
Daniel Slipchuk added some insurance late in the period.
Returning from injury Matthew Rosati said, "I felt pretty good out their but my speed is not where it should be. I thought this game could have been more lopsided, but we missed a number of chances early on. I expect that we will be up for Thursday's match up with Wallaceburg after what they did
to us last time we made the trek up their way, but that game showed us that you can't take
anybody lightly in this league."
73's Down Flyers Thanks in Part to Five Powerplay Goals
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's power play was clicking on all cylinders Friday evening as they defeated the Alvinston Flyers 7-4. Phil Janikowski lead the offence with a pair of goals.
Essex had a solid first period out scoring the home team 3-1, all on the strength of power plays. After spotting Alvinston the opening goal Essex took control. Defenseman Brett Clarke and Scott Bromley were two of the marksmen while Captain Corey Beaulieu added a single.
Period two was a much different story as the Flyers took advantage of some Essex miscues and outscored Essex by a 3-1 margin. Zoran Popel said, "We got sloppy in period two and it cost us. They got some life and took it to us." Janikowski scored the lone Essex goal.
The 73's stepped it up in the final twenty minutes and put this game away with three unanswered goals.
Janikowski notched his second on the night as he had the goaltender going the wrong way. Tyler Scott ripped a rocket into the top corner before Daniel Slipchuk completed the scoring on another power play.
"After the sloppy middle period I felt we came out strong in the third and did what we had to do to get the win," said Popel.
The 73's next action will be Tuesday when they will host the Blenheim Blades.
Belle River Native, Scott, Scores Winner Against Home Town
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's beat their arch rivals from Belle River Tuesday evening 4-2 with Belle River native Tyler Scott scoring the game winning goal at 3:27 of the third period. For the most part the game was pretty evenly played and could have gone either way.
Arren Romeril picked up the win in goal for Essex while Adam Leboeuf took the loss in goal for the
Essex scored the lone goal of the opening period as Dylan Solecki caught Leboeuf off guard on the short side of the net at 13:42.
The locals increased their lead mid second period as Jordan Ryan took a perfect feed from line mate Phil Janikowski and made no mistake. A pair of defensive lapses late in the period cost Essex dearly as the visitors pulled even on a pair of breakaway markers, one while playing shorthanded. The teams headed into period three deadlocked setting the stage for an exciting finish to this contest.
Essex' Scott notched the game winner early on a spin around that found its way past Leboeuf. Essex sealed the win with a long empty netter from Ryan, with his second on the evening.
Rookie Eric Shaw said, "We haven't been playing our best of late, and not to make excuses, but we have had so many guys in and out of the line-up big time. We have everyone back now and hopefully we can pick up the pace as mid season is here and we need to start getting playoff ready. If everyone works hard and does their job we will be tough to beat."
Jordan Ryan added, "Injuries and suspensions are a small factor in our recent play, but, personally
we have lacked the heart. We need a much better effort from everyone if we are going to be successful. Let's make no bones about it, this team can play a notch or two higher than we have been, and it is getting to that point in the season where we need to start."
Essex will be in for another tough test Friday when they travel to Alvinston to meet the Flyers.
Sharks Take Bite Out of 73's
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Wheatley Sharks, fresh off their 9-2 thumping at the hands of the Mooretown Flags downed the slumping Essex 73's 3-2 Monday in the shark tank.
"I will give it to Wheatley's goalie," said Jacob Kment, "He played well and made some big saves, however, we are not playing as a team right now. We need to play a full sixty minutes."
Essex Alex Garon gave Essex a 1-0 lead after the opening twenty minutes on the strength of a power play, one of four on the night for these two clubs.
A pair of goals with the man advantage had the Sharks taking a one goal cushion heading into period three.
Wheatley bumped the margin to 3-1 early in the final period as Essex’ goaltender Kment could not handle the hard slap shot from a few strides inside the blue line.
Over the final seven or eight minutes of play the 73's came to life but it was too little too late. Daniel
Slipchuk did find the back of the net in the final two minutes of play, but Essex could not get the equalizer past Wheatley net minder Connor MacKinnon.
Alex Garon said, " We are missing some key guys from our line-up right now, but that is not an excuse. We need a better effort and our chemistry is not clicking right now. Something is missing, but I am not sure what it is, but we will figure it out."
Essex hosts the Belle River Canadiens Tuesday night.
LAST WEEK'S WINNER
Congratulations Kale McMurran. Bruce Crowder scored 47 career NHL goals.
ESSEX 73's TRIVIA QUESTION
How many regular season goals did former 73's player Warren Rychel score in the NHL? HINT: His career best year was 10 goals in 1994 with the Los Angeles Kings, and in 1997 with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Warren played 7 seasons in the NHL, playing a total of 406 games.
A) 28 B) 38 C) 48 D) 58
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Deadline: Sunday 11:59pm Sunday before next Essex 73's home game.
This week's winner receives two (2) tickets to the next Essex 73's home game.
1) Select your choice
2) If your choice is correct, and you are the only person to answer the question correctly, you are the winner
3) Tie breaker determined by draw. Example two or more correct answers, all will be entered into a draw and first person's name pulled is the winner
4) Winning prize will be available for pickup at Essex 73's box office the night of next home game
5) You can enter as many times as you want providing you use a unique and valid email address
6) You can only win once in a given month
7) Valid ID required to claim prize
8) Prize has no cash value and can not be exchnaged or refunded
9) Executive members and volunteers of the Essex 73's are ineligible