Great Lakes Junior C League Standings
* CLINCHED 1ST PLACE OVERALL. HOME ICE ADVANTAGE THROUGHOUT GREAT LAKES JUNIOR PLAYOFFS.
73's Get Two Points Despite Blowing Late Two-Goal Lead
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's escaped Dresden with the two points last night, but tried hard to give it away after blowing a two goal lead with less than two minutes remaining. It looked like it was going to be a long evening for Essex from the get go as they ran into penalty trouble early in the first period including a 5 on 3 disadvantage.
The home town Kings grabbed a 2-1 opening period lead including one of those with the extra man. William Stadder scored the lone goal for the 73's with a power play marker of his own.
It looked like the visitors took control in period two scoring three unanswered goals to take a 4-2 edge into period three. Daniel McIntyre notched a pair with Adam Gairain continuing a single.
Period three was very quiet for the most part, until the final two minutes. A questionable penalty call gave the Kings an opportunity to pull to within one, and they succeed at 18:16. A short time later Dresden forced a face-off deep in the Essex zone which they used to pull their goaltender and get the extra skater onto the ice. Right off the draw the puck was into the back of the Essex net and we were set up for an exciting finish regardless of the outcome. Overtime would settle nothing and this game was headed for the dreaded shootout.
Essex looked like they were going to end this game quickly in the shootout scoring on the first two shots taken, but, Dresden was not going that easily as they scored on their final two shots. The deciding goal came off the stick of Jordan Ryan as his shot beat the Dresden goalkeeper low.
"We know we have not been playing our best recently, "said, Daniel McIntyre, "We need to play better 5 on 5. But at this point there is no panic in the dressing room as we will pick it up."
Essex has only two games remaining in the regular season before the second season begins. Tuesday they will play host to the Wheatley Sharks before closing out the season with the cellar dwelling Wallaceburg Lakers next Wednesday.
73's Lose For First Time in Regulation at Home; Fall 3-1 to Flags
By: Garrett Fodor
For a number of weeks now it has been no secret that the Essex 73's had clinched first place, and were waiting to see how things panned out in the rest of the league to see who their first round playoff opponent would be. As it turns out the team claiming the eighth and final playoff spot would be the Mooretown Flags. Tuesday night we got a preview of what to expect in the first round best of seven series.
The first period saw both teams fail to generate any offense despite several legitimate scoring chances, most of which came off the sticks of the locals. Essex had no trouble finding lanes to put the puck on net but were unable to convert on any of their chances. Mooretown's goaltending and number of blocked shots were a main reason the game was scoreless after twenty minutes of play.
The second period began on a high note for Essex as Daniel McIntyre opened the scoring 29 seconds into the period. The lead was very short lived however as the Flags silenced the celebration 25 ticks later beating Noah Hedrick. The period was scoreless the rest of the way as the teams headed into the second intermission.
The last stanza is where both clubs really showed their physical play. Glass rattling hits were coming from all corners and all players were getting involved. Essex once again had several great scoring chances, but could not beat Flags goaltender Brandon Johnson. Mooretown grabbed the lead five minutes into the period with a power play marker and held the fort the rest of the way. The visitors added the insurance in the form of an empty netter in the final minute.
"I thought we played a great game out there tonight. We really started to put it together in period two, as we skated well, and had a number of good chances, but the bounces just were not going our way," said, recently signed Alex Derksen. "I am happy to be playing here and will hopefully help the team down the stretch and into the playoffs." Derksen comes to Essex from the Junior "B" Leamington Flyers.
A Tale Of Two Teams: Essex Turns It Around After 4-1 Deficit To Win
By: Garrett Fodor
Essex' record and play of late has been subpar to say the least after their eleven game win streak was snapped. Coming into Tuesday's game, Essex held a 2-2 record since the calendar year changed, and have been outscored 12-7. On Tuesday Essex was facing the new look Blenheim Blades, a team which has added a few new faces in preparation for the playoffs.
The scheduled 7:00 pm puck drop was pushed back after a 30 minute delay due to a shattered pane of glass which occurred during the pre game warm ups. Once the puck was dropped it was apparent that the delay affected the players from both clubs as it was a sluggish start with some sloppy play, and a number of unforced turnovers. As it turned out the Blades were the beneficiaries of a number of these turnovers, and capitalized to jump out to a 2-0 early lead, stunning the home crowd.
The 73's did manage to cut the lead in half later in the period as Tyler Turner was parked out front of the Blades cage and got his stick on a point shot that changed direction and found the back of the net. With just 44 ticks remaining on the clock the Blades regained their two goal cushion after three wacks at a
loose puck finally beat Essex starter Colin Lauzon.
Period two began no better for the locals as 14 seconds in Lauzon could not handle the puck cleanly and the puck ended up in the back of the net ending the evening for him. William Stadder cut the lead in half once again later in the period as he jumped on a rebound and deposited the disc behind Blades goaltender Eric Stewardson. Despite being short a man, courtesy of Dallas Pereira, the 73's closed the gap before the period ended. Anthony Cristofaro stepped out of the penalty box to accept a feed from defenseman Matthew Rosati and made no mistake in beating Stewardson with a beautiful deke before depositing the puck high, trashing the water bottle.
The team that came out of the dressing room for period three looked like the 73's of early season. Essex was relentless with the puck, and on the small number of times they did not control the puck they were hot on the Blades heels. The physical play picked up a great deal in period three which of course also increased the number of penalties handed out. Essex evened the score early as Michael Vieira spotted a wide open Brad Carroll who wasted no time finding the back of the net. Less than two minutes later the 73's had their first lead of the game. During a delayed penalty call defenseman Matthew Rosati blasted home a point shot past a screened Stewardson. A power play marker by Anthony Cristofaro was the
insurance Essex needed at the 11:11 mark. Essex held on for the 6-4 win.
Leading the way for Essex was Rosati and Cristofaro who each had three point nights. Cristofaro said, "Before the game the coaches told us not to be too hard on ourselves after the Amherstburg game.
And again tonight, after being down 4-1, the turning point was the coaches saying the right things to get us going again. We all knew we were not playing the way we could, and should have been playing, but in the end we found a way to win against a strong team."
Essex will be idle now until next Tuesday when they will face the vastly improved Mooretown Flags at 7:00 pm.
NOTE: The win gives Essex 30 wins on the season. This is the 17th time in their history that they have reached the 30-goal milestone.
Amherstburg Edges Essex 4-3
By: Garrett Fodor
On a snowy Sunday evening, the 73's travelled to Amherstburg for what promised to be a thriller as the top two teams in the league battled it out. In their most recent contest on December 30 it was Essex who squeaked out a 4-3 shootout win.
Once the puck dropped it was Essex who controlled the play early which led to an Admirals hooking penalty. It didn't take long before the 73's struck on the power play when rookie William Stadder was left open in front of the net allowing him to bury his tenth goal of the season. The lead lasted ten minutes as the 73's ran into some penalty trouble of their own which opened the door for the home team. Holding a two man advantage Amherstburg made the most of it capitalizing twice within a two minute span to take a one goal lead into the intermission.
For much of the second period it remained close with both teams going back and forth. The Admirals widened the gap in the final two minutes of play however scoring twice in a 25 second span. The first came on another power play while number two was a screen shot that found the back of the net. While celebrating their fourth goal the Admirals got themselves into some more penalty trouble being handed a double minor, along with a pair of misconducts, which would give Essex a chance to get back into this game early in period three.
Despite having the advantage early in the third the 73's could muster nothing as the Admirals were content to play on the safe side. Essex did get back into the game late, but it was too little,
too late. Matthew Rosati blasted a shot through a sea of legs to make it 4-2 before Daniel Slipchuk roofed the puck in a scrum with just 3 ticks left on the clock.
Amherstburg goaltender Arren Romeril was the difference on the night as the 73's held a 51-28 shots advantage.
"We didn't play a full 60 minutes, we weren't disciplined, and, we did not put ourselves in a situation to be able to win, " said, Tyler Scott, "Our special teams just were not there tonight. We let them cycle very well on their power play opportunities, and we failed to set up many good chances on our power play. Going into Tuesday, it's back to square one. We have got to start getting back to our systems, and Blenheim coming in with some new faces in the line-up won't be an easy go."
Essex 73's Annual Cruise Raffle - Winners
Thank you to all those who supported our annual Raffle. The entire Essex 73's organization is very grateful.
1ST - CARIBBEAN CRUISE FOR TWO PEOPLE $3,000
G. GARANT, EESEX 519 990 1483 #O774
2ND - $1,500 GAS CARD
ERIC SHAW, AMHERSTBURG #0341
3RD - VIP LEGENDS TABLE
COURTNEY CARROLL, COTTAM #2849
4TH - PIZZA AND POP FOR A YEAR CHOCHI'S PIZZA
AL LEMAY, TECUMSEH #2074
5TH - DETROIT RED WING TICKETS IVES INSURANCE
JOE McLEAN, COTTAM #1322
6TH - TWO 2015-16 ESSEX 73's REGULAR SEASON TICKETS
TIM MCDERMOTT, WOODSLEE #1845
7TH - ESSEX 73's OFFICIAL JERSEY AND HAT
ARCHIE DOAN, WINDSOR #0269
73's Wear Down Lakers Increasing Lead in the Great Lakes League to 16
By: Garrett Fodor
On Tuesday, Essex hosted the last place Wallaceburg Lakers. Essex was looking to put behind them the poor effort they showed in a 6-2 loss to Lakeshore, which ended their eleven game winning streak. The Lakers were looking to pull off a major upset and increase their slim chance of seeing the post season.
Once the stripes dropped the puck it was Essex who jumped at the opportunity to control the puck early. For the first minute the puck was deep inside the Lakers zone before Tyler Scott caught the tired visitors on a bad line change and got around the lone defender to set up a wide open Matthew Hebert, who deposited the puck into a wide open cage 1:10 into the game.
The Lakers slowly found their game after the early Essex goal and began to come on and force the locals into their own end on a number of occasions. The visitors capitalized right off a face-off when the 73's defense lost track of the puck leaving goaltender Colin Lauzon defenseless and the Lakers Tyler Shaw made no mistake finding the back of the net.
The 73's were determined to take the lead into the intermission, and rookie William Stadder found an open lane, and with a burst of speed broke in alone to beat Wallaceburg net minder Joel Sowinski high on the glove side.
The second stanza was much like its predecessor, with Essex jumping on the puck early and finding the back of the net. Captain Scott Bromley roofed a shot just 1:40 in to extend the Essex lead to 3-1. From this point on the game picked up in intensity and physical play.
Both teams were throwing some punishing hits, and this benefitted the visitors as Essex tough guy Dan Mainella was hit with 8 minutes in penalties to just 2 for the Lakers resulting in a 6 minute power play for Wallaceburg. The 73's penalty kill was up to the task however, and after that Essex was still able to increase their lead to 4-1 as William Stadder was left all alone at the back door and buried his second goal of the night.
Period three was quiet and uneventful, and for the most part the 73's controlled the puck and seemed content with the 3 goal cushion they had and were unwilling to give Wallaceburg the opportunity to get back into the game.
"Coming into this game, I think we knew that we had to put that big loss behind us, and to use that to build off of. We haven't been playing our best hockey lately, and the team felt we needed a strong performance to show we are still a top team. Towards the end we just focused on playing our game, and to stop taking stupid penalties," said Matthew Hebert, who had two points on the night.
Essex travels to Amherstburg Sunday for what should be another dandy match up. Game time is 7:00 pm.
Former 73's Goaltender Jake Kment Signs OHL Card With High-Flying Battalion
It hasn't been an easy route, but hard work has finally paid off for former Essex 73's goaltender, Jake Kment. The Sault Ste. Marie native signed today with the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Major Junior A Hockey League.
"Just like to welcome goaltender Jake Kment to the Bay", tweeted head coach, Stan Butler today.
Kment is a 6th round draft pick of the Batallion in 2013.
Last year Kment, along with Darien Ekblad, backstopped the 73's to the All Ontario Junior C finals where they were defeated by the Lakefield Chiefs. Kment shared the goals against average award with Ekblad and was just a few minutes shy of qualifying for the league goals against award which went to Amherstburg's Arren Romeril, despite the fact Kment's average was nearly a half a goal better.
Kment played in 21 regular season games last year posting a 15-2-0-1 record, a sparkling 2.45 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
He was injured in the league playoffs and only managed to play four games but he won all four games and posted a 2.11 average, all the same. In Schmalz Cup action he relieved Ekblad on two ocassions and posted a 3.71 average.
Kment is attending the University of Algoma in the Sault and was skating with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior A hockey league.
North Bay sits second in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference with an 18-9-5-2 record. They recently traded their number 2 goalie away, opening a spot for Kment. North Bay has the second best team goals against in the OHL.
Winning Streak Comes to a Halt as Habs Blowout 73's 6-2
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's winning streak came to a crashing halt Saturday evening as the Lakeshore Canadiens had their way with the locals to the tune of 6-2.
Right from the opening face-off the Canadiens seemed to have the edge, and from a spectator's view it was easy to see that the home team wanted this game more than Essex did. The Canadiens were creating numerous good scoring chances, and were much more physical as well, and more
importantly Lakeshore played disciplined hockey for the most part, while the 73's took too
many penalties for the second consecutive game. In the end it cost Essex as Lakeshore scored three of their goals with the man advantage.
Dan Mainella said, "It was obvious that we did not come prepared tonight, and they took full advantage of that. They wanted this game more than we did."
The home team had a 3-0 lead by mid first period and never really were threatened. The 73's Dan Mainella did get one back for Essex before the end of the period. Lakeshore held a wide margin in shots at 19-8.
Period two was exactly the same as the opening twenty minutes as the Canadiens outscored the 73's three to one again. Eric Shaw notched the Essex goal while on the power play as he redirected a point shot past Lakeshore goaltender John Jeffries. Once again the visitors were outshot, this time by a 13-6 count.
Period three was a much duller period as Lakeshore looked content to sit back and protect the lead, while Essex could not muster much in the way of offense either. Essex held the shot advantage over the final twenty minutes 7-4.
"I am not sure what really happened out there tonight, " said Mainella, "We took too many penalties, and we can't use the two referee system as an excuse, but we do have to make some adjustments to it. We also failed miserably at playing as a group tonight, and when you do that you are not going to win many hockey games, especially against a club like Lakeshore."
Essex will return home Tuesday when they entertain the Wallaceburg Lakers at 7:00 pm.
11 Consecutive Wins For 73's, and Counting
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's special teams proved deadly once again for the opposition Friday evening as the locals took full advantage on the power play once more. All of the 73's goals came with the extra man in a 3-1 win over the Dresden Jr. Kings. Essex' PK was exceptional as well killing off twelve disadvantages, including a major. The win gave Essex their eleventh straight heading into tomorrow's big game against second place Lakeshore.
Essex grabbed a 2-0 advantage after the opening twenty minutes courtesy of William Stadder and Eric Shaw. The locals held a decisive territorial advantage in the period out shooting the home team 12-6
The second period was another good period for Essex, but they failed to increase their lead due to some solid goaltending by Daniel Tonietto, who replaced starting net minder Scott Tricker to start the second period. Tonietto blocked all 14 shots he faced while his counterpart Noah Hedrick stopped 7 shots.
The Jr. Kings cut the 73's deficit to a single goal early in the final twenty minutes, but could not get any closer as Essex sealed the deal four minutes later on a Jordan Ryan score. Shots were much closer in period three with Essex holding a 15-14 edge.
Patrick Cuffaro said, "We played hard and we clinched first place which is important to us. The Coach talked to us before the game and stressed that we needed to concentrate on tonight, and not look ahead to tomorrow against Lakeshore, and I think we did a good job of that."
Essex Wins 4-3 in Shootout for 10th Consecutive Win
POINSTREAK - Three periods of regulation and an overtime session were not enough to settle matters as the Essex 73s defeated the Amherstburg Admirals in a shootout 4-3.
The shootout lasted for five attempts between the teams.
Essex pulled out the victory even though it was hit with 20 penalty minutes.
The 73s were paced by Matthew Hebert, who had one goal. Hebert scored on the power play 6:21 into the third period to make the score 3-2 Essex. Essex had gotten the advantage when Amherstburg's Cole Martyniuk was sent off for hooking. Scott Bromley provided the assist.
The 73s' penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on six Amherstburg power plays. Essex's offense rang up 46 shots on the Admirals' net.
Others who scored for Essex included Eric Shaw and Tyler Scott, who each put in one. Other players who recorded assists for Essex were Matt Zelko, Jordan Ryan, Tyler Turner, Daniel Slipchuk, and Daniel McIntyre, who contributed one each.
Amherstburg's penalty killing units received substantial work throughout the game as the Admirals finished with 33 penalty minutes.
Amherstburg was led by Jordan Luciw, who tallied one goal and two assists. Luciw scored short handed 17:16 into the third period to make the score 3-3. The Admirals were on a disadvantage when Mark Sobocan went off the ice for holding. Martyniuk picked up the assist. Amherstburg also had goals scored by Dan Matoski and Ryan Alexander, who scored one goal each. In addition, Amherstburg received assists from Brett Banwell and James Brooks, who each chipped in one.
Noah Hedrick rejected 18 shots on goal for the 73s. Essex registered three goals on 11 power play opportunities. Gianfranco Donato recorded 42 saves for Amherstburg. The Admirals ran into serious disciplinary problems during the contest, and Brett Beattie was ejected from the game.
Attendance was 839.