Vorshuk Paces 73's With a Hat Trick to a 7-4 Win Over Dresden
By: Garrett Fodor
The Essex 73's hosted the eighth place Dresden Jr. Kings Tuesday evening, and both teams struggled to stay disciplined with the end result being seven power play goals being scored on the night.
Essex opened the scoring 90 seconds in when Tyler Turner redirected the puck past Travis Moore for the games first power play marker. Closing out the period Brett Vorshuk doubled the lead when he went high glove side. Essex had a sizeable shots advantage in the first twenty minutes at 18-5.
In the middle frame the teams exchanged a pair of power play goals. The 73's jumped out to a 4-0 advantage before the Kings crawled back into the game. Matthew Hebert went five hole on Moore before Luke Gecse beat Moore on a soft goal from the opposite blue line. Moore's counterpart Matt Badour was beat twice in the final seven minutes to make it a game. Essex had many more quality opportunities to score however, and even hit a few posts along the way.
Shots heavily favoured the locals once again by a 21-8 count.
In the closing frame the Kings beat Badour two minutes in, closing the gap to a single goal. This ended Badour's evening after 14 shots in favour of Gianfranco Donato. Luckily for Donato he had support from a streaking Vorshuk, who added his second and third tallies of the night. Dresden would beat Donato once, but it would not be enough as the 73's added an empty netter to prevail 7-4.
Vorshuk earned player of the game honours with his first junior hat trick. "Once we take care of our defensive zone, the offense and everything else will take care of itself," said Vorshuk, "We had a team bonding night between games, and decided to focus on the little things heading into tonight's game."
Essex will hit the road tomorrow when they travel to meet the last place Wallaceburg Lakers for a 7:30 pm game.
73's Survive Scare to Edge Flyers 6-4
By: Garrett Fodor
In their last meeting on October 27 in Essex, the visiting Alvinston Flyers downed the 73's 6- 5 in overtime despite Essex scoring two goals in the final minute. Essex was looking to avenge that loss, while also looking to rebound from Saturday's 4-3 loss in Mooretown.
The 73's had to fight their way back from an early deficit to get the win as the Flyers would not lay down despite a short bench. After Essex goaltender Matt Badour was beat twice in the opening seven minutes, the 73's offense sprang to life and responded in a big way.
Just 34 seconds after Alvinston doubled their lead, Dallas Pereira cut the lead to one. Half a minute later Brett Vorshuk knotted the score at 2-2. Essex gained their first lead at the 10 minute mark as Tyler Scott redirected a point shot past Alvinston goal keeper Matt Boere.
In the second period, the offense slowed down with the two clubs exchanging goals. Alvinston's Zach VanEyk beat Badour high glove side to give the Flyers some life, but before the period ended Essex' Phil Janikowski ripped a wrist shot past Boere to give Essex the edge once again heading into period three.
The final frame had Alvinston tie the game at the five minute mark to create an exciting finish. Both teams tightened up defensively cutting down on the quality scoring chances, but it was the Flyers who faltered first. Janikowski added his second on the night at the 13 minute mark which proved to be the game winner. Tyler Scott scored his second on the night into an empty Flyers net to secure the win.
Essex held a wide margin in shots at 39-19.
"It feels good to get the win under our belts after Saturday's loss," Scott said, "We struggled out there tonight, and this year we need to go out and play a full sixty minute game to be successful. Our defensive game needs to improve as well, and as a team we need to buy into the coach's system, and play that system each and every day."
Essex will now have a week of downtime before returning to the ice next Tuesday when they will host the Dresden Jr. Kings at 7:00 pm.
73's Fall 4-3 To Surging Flags
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's made their final trek of the regular season to Mooretown Saturday evening and came up on the short end of a 4-3 score. For the better part of two periods Essex was the dominant team, but could not shake the pesky Flags. Mooretown claimed the victory with the lone goal of period three.
The teams swapped goals in the opening twenty minutes with goals 30 seconds apart. William Stadder gave Essex the lead briefly before Mooretown stormed back to beat Matt Badour with a wrist shot.
Period two did not give either team an advantage either with both adding a pair of scores. The difference was the late goal by Mooretown which seemed to give them some much needed momentum. The home team grabbed the lead in the opening minute after an Essex giveaway. Less than two minutes later Tyler Scott buried a rebound to pull Essex back on even terms. T
he struggling Essex power play put the 73's back on top mid period, as rookie Brett Vorshuk went high on a 2 on 1. The Flags tied it up after two Essex defenders failed to clear the puck with less than three minutes remaining in the period.
Essex did not seem to have the same drive in period three, however, killing off a trio of short handed situations did not help. Shortly after holding the fort however, the Flags managed to score the game winner with yet another wrist shot. Essex managed to get Badour on the bench for a short period in the final minute but never really threatened.
Defenseman Anthony Cristofaro said, "We had two periods of wasted chances, and giving up that late goal gave them the momentum they needed heading into period three. We did not play as well as we would have liked defensively either as we hung Matt out to dry on a couple of their goals. Essex don't lose two games in a row, so Alvinston better be ready Tuesday as we will come out hard."
Essex Defeats Cross-County Rivals, Lakeshore in High Scoring Affair
By: Garrett Fodor
The Essex 73's hosted their most historic and heated rivals Tuesday evening, when they faced the Lakeshore Canadiens. Coming into the contest both teams were coming off OT losses with the 73's falling 24 hours earlier to Wheatley, while the Canadiens fell to Mooretown. One team rebounded while the other faltered. Essex would have to win this game without starting goaltender Trevor Wheaton as well.
The first period set the tone for the game, with the 73's jumping out to an early lead when Michael Vieira beat goalie Colin Tetreault. The Canadiens would not be discouraged however, and Essex was resilient in their effort to keep the advantage as the teams combined for three goals in 53 seconds. When the buzzer sounded to end the opening frame Essex trailed 3-2 with Max Viselli scoring Essex' second goal.
In the middle period Essex came out looking like a new team as the offense exploded for 4 goals. Viselli picked up his second marker on the night just 47 seconds into the period, while Luke Gecse, Phil Janikowski, and Tyler Boughner added singles. The only blemish in the period was a shorthanded goal given up by Essex.
The 73's entered the third period with a 6-4 advantage, and for the most part period three was uneventful until the dying moments. Matthew Hebert scored a shorthanded, empty net goal, and 19 seconds later the Canadiens responded with a power play score to complete the scoring for the night giving Essex a 7-5 win. Max Viselli finished the night with two goals and an assist, and was named player of the game.
"Tonight was my first multi goal night, and it felt pretty good," Viselli said. "We came out as a team tonight. Coach sat us down after last night, and told us to just do the simple things, so we took it to heart, and did what we had to
Essex' next action will be Saturday when they travel to Mooretown for the final time this season in what should be a dandy game as the Flags are playing some real good hockey at the moment.
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.
Essex Shuts Out Blenheim For Second Straight Time This Season
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's have met the Blenheim Blades twice this season, and for the Blades it has been a frustrating couple of games due to the fact that they have yet to score a goal. Essex knocked off Blenheim 3-0 Sunday in Blenheim, with Trevor Wheaton getting the shutout to lower his GAA to below 1.00. Essex played a strong defensive game in front of Wheaton which helped the cause.
The opening twenty minutes was scoreless as neither team could beat the goaltenders, but period two was much different for Essex. The visitors only scored twice but had many more opportunities, especially on the power play, but had trouble beating Blades goaltender Klinton Kenny. Eric Shaw broke the ice at 10:28, and then after failing to score on an extended five on three Phil Janikowski beat Kenny five hole.
In period three the Blades were taking liberties on a number of 73's players, but the move did not work in their favour as they spent much of the period sitting in the sin bin, which killed any chance of getting back into this hockey game. The 73's received a bit of insurance in the period as rookie Luke Gecse slipped the puck past Kenny on a breakaway.
Gesce said, "We expected a physical game against these guys, and they did not disappoint. We stayed disciplined for the most part, and our defensive effort was good tonight as the score would indicate."
Join the 73's Tuesday evening when they host the Alvinston Flyers on pink on the rink night. The 73's will be wearing their pink jerseys during the game with proceeds on the night going to breast cancer.
73's Spoil New Canadiens Bench Boss Solcz' Debut
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's defeated the Lakeshore Canadiens 3-1 Friday evening, and spoiled new Canadiens Head Coach Justin Solcz' debut. The game also marked the Canadiens debut of former 73's defenseman Mark MacPherson.
All the scoring came in the middle frame.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening twenty minutes with the visitors holding a 10-4 shots advantage.
It did not take long to open the scoring in period two. Essex started the period with the man advantage and leading scorer Michael Vieira beat Habs goaltender Colin Tetreault just over a minute into the period. The shot fooled Tetreault as he was expecting a hard shot by Vieira, but Vieira fanned on the shot and it trickled past the goaltender. The 73's doubled their margin at 13:41 as Matthew Hebert converted after a huge turnover. Speedy Tyler Scott
scored on a 2 on 1 with Phil Janikowski as he roofed a backhander over Tetreault less than two minutes later. Lakeshore scored their lone goal late in the period on a nice redirect on a Canadiens power play.
Essex looked like they were just holding on in the third and final period as the home team pressed to get back into the game, but Trevor Wheaton was having none of it as he held the fort.
Rookie defenseman Kade McKibbin said, "I thought we started off a bit slow, but felt we got better as the game progressed. Give them credit though, they battled hard all night."
Essex will stay on the road when they travel to Blenheim Sunday evening.
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.”