73's Continue Winning Ways With 4-2 Opennig Round Win Over Centennials
By Garrett Fodor
Tuesday night, after a week long hiatus, the locals were back at the grind against the Ayr Centennials in the Schmalz Cup semi-finals. Ayr got to this stage by coming back from 2-0 down in their series against the Grimsby Peach Kings, and winning four straight. All six of the games Ayr played were one-goal games.
After the puck dropped, it did not take long to welcome Ayr back to Essex. The last time the two teams played was March 22, 2013 in Essex in the quarter finals of the Schmalz Cup where Essex won game four, to sweep the series. Three and a half minutes into the game, Scott Bromley, one of five players remaining from the team that last played Ayr, opened the scoring when he unleashed a wrister from the top of the circle and beat goalie Andre Keire. Five minutes later, the locals doubled their lead. Tyler Turner finished off a play where Matthew Hebert worked hard to protect the puck and cycled around the offensive zone. After one period of play, Essex headed into the intermission leading 2-0, despite having numerous close plays and a couple of posts. The locals outshot Ayr 12-4 through 20 minutes.
The middle frame was no better for Ayr, midway through the period William Stadder tipped in an Adam Gaiarin point shot on the powerplay. Despite trailing by three, the Centennials picked up the play from the first period and had the locals on their heels at times, with the time in the offensive zone. Two minutes after Stadder’s tally the visitors found the scoresheet. Anthony Pullia beat Noah Hedrick with a clean wrister. After two periods of play, the score was 3-1 with Ayr pushing, closing the shot margins, 13-10 on the period in favor of the locals.
With five minutes remaining in what was a rather uneventful third period, the visitors came within one goal when Eric Hackborn beat Hedrick on a scrum from behind the net. The energy the visitors had was short lived as with just under two minutes remaining, Daniel McIntyre put the final nail in the coffin, restoring the two goal lead on the power play when he found the rebound from an Adam Gaiarin point shot for their second powerplay tally of the night.
Essex won a hard fought, physical game with a score of 4-2 and outshot the Centennials 36-26 after 60 minutes.
“The further we go, the better the teams we face, and I feel this is the best team we have played", defender Matthew Rosati said. “I feel we played well, we kept pace with them and matched their level of physicality and I feel our systems were very successful tonight. Heading into Thursday it’s always tough on the road. I feel we need to do what we did here tonight, match their physicality, keep it simple and just chip pucks out of our defensive zone. We got caught a couple times scrambling around in our own zone and we can’t have that,” Roasti continued.
Game 2 is Thursday night in Ayr, puck drops at 7:30.
Letter of Interest to the Essex 73's
April 1, 2015
We would like to take a moment to say thank you!
Attended Tuesday night’s game against Ayr. After the periods my son Matthew (age 5) likes to run over to the players as they exit the ice. At the end of the game he went over to do just that - to high-five the players - and on this occasion he was given a hockey stick from #15 Eric Shaw.
Please pass on many thanks to Eric as he made my son's night. Matthew has many talks with us of one day playing for the 73's and enjoys going to the games . So once again thank you from the parents of a very happy 5 year-old.
Keep up the hard work and get the job done....GO 3's GO!
Paul and Beth Cunningham
OHA Junior C Final Four Announced
CAMBRIDGE ON - After a big weekend the Ontario Hockey Association Final Four Schmalz Cup teams are set!
The first semi final features the Essex 73's - making their 4th straight trip to the final four - taking on the Ayr Centennials, while the second semi final has the Port Hope Panthers and the Alliston Hornets set to do battle.
With just four teams remaining in the Junior C season, the OHA wishes all four teams the best of luck as they head into their respective series.
CLICK HERE for the 2015 Schmalz Cup Playoff Brackets as they become available.
73's Win 6-3 to Claim 4th Straight Great Lakes Junior C Title
Former 73's Tender Jake Kment Enjoying Life In The Ontario Hockey League
After failing to make the North Bay Battalion in training camp last fall, and spending much of the time practicing with the Soo Thunderbird of the Northwern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Jake Kment finally got his shot in early January and it seems to have paid off, not only for him, but for the Battalion, too.
A 6th round pick in the OHL draft back in 2013, Kment played in 8 games, starting in 6 of those games, and has yet to lose. His record is 6-0 with one shutout, a .910 save percentage and a sparkling 2.14 goals against average.
Kment just turned 19 on March 13th and is hoping to be able to help the Battalion in the upcoming playoffs.
North Bay finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference with 85 points. Barrie Colts also had 85 points but won the tie-breaker and finished 2nd to Oshawa Generals who led the conference with 108 points. The Battalion will faceoff against the Kingston Frontenacs.
Overall, the Battalion had the 2nd best goals against average in the entire OHL league - 2.87.
Jake is primarily the backup to veteran Jake Smith who is in his third season with the Battalion and has a 2.78 goals against average.
Last season the Battalion lost in the OHL finals to the Guelph Storm.
You can follow Jake on Twitter@JKment_1.