Great Lakes Junior C League Standings
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.
Admirals Can't Contain High-Scoring 73's
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Amherstburg Admirals defense could not contain the Essex 73's offense Sunday evening losing ground in the standings to the first place 73's with a 7-3 home ice loss. A crowd of 523 showed up after Thanksgiving dinner to watch the game. Although the final score heavily favoured the visitors, the Essex defense struggled at times as well, giving up a number of quality chances to the Admirals.
In the first period the Essex special teams was the difference scoring twice on the power play and adding a shorthanded score. Defenseman Nick Mainella cashed in for both of the power play goals while Tyler Scott buried a rebound off a Matthew Hebert breakaway for the shorthanded score. The teams headed to the dressing room with Essex holding a 3-1 edge.
The 73's bumped the lead by a goal early in the middle frame as William Stadder notched his first goal in an Essex uniform. The Admirals fought back to score a pair before the period ended to make this a one goal game heading into period three.
Amherstburg hit the ice flying to start the third period and took it to the 73's with a tenacious fore check and creating a number of scoring opportunities. After looking disorganized and running around with zero shots on the home team's goal during the first five or six minutes of the period Essex Head Coach Gil Langlois called a time out to try and refocus the boys. The call worked to perfection as a few short moments later Daniel McIntyre found the back of the net scoring off a rebound and the visitors never looked back.
Matthew Hebert took a perfect feed from defenseman Matthew Rosati to skate in on Amherstburg goaltender Arren Romeril untouched, and buried the puck low to the glove side.
Anthony Cristofaro completed the scoring with a pretty wrist shot late in the period , high on the glove side.
Dan Mainella who has been moved to the wing this year from the defense position said, "I like the wing position
for a couple of reasons. I find you don't have to think near as much playing up front, and, I like all the mucking and grinding in the corners."
Tyler Scott said, "After the slow start this season we are coming along real well. The rookies are doing real well, and we are showing that we still have a lot of depth on this team, which we will
need, as the league seems to be
much tighter this year."
Essex will be at home Tuesday against the Dresden Jr. Kings with a 7:00 pm start.
Lakeshore Can't Handle First Place Essex
By: Kevin E. Neels
The visiting Lakeshore Canadiens could not contain the high flying Essex 73's offense Tuesday night coming up on the short end of a 7-3 score. For the first 30 minutes it looked like the visitors may leave town with the two points, but unfortunately you have to play 60 minutes.
The 73's tried to put this game out of reach in the early going, but were having trouble beating Canadiens net minder John Jeffries, who was brilliant on many occasions. Essex did not have their first lead until the 18:49 mark of the second period, but never looked back after that. Despite outshooting the visitors 15-6 in the opening period it was the Canadiens who scored the lone goal on an early power play to gain the lead.
Essex kept up the shot barrage in period two and finally pulled even at 6:48 as Anthony Cristofaro redirected the puck past Jeffries. The tie was broken less than two minutes later when Lakeshore's Hunter Corp raced around the 73's defense and put on a nice deke before back handing the puck past Essex goalkeeper Noah Hedrick.
Essex evened the score a few minutes later as Jordan Ryan was left on the doorstep all alone and made no mistake. Ryan put the 73's on top for good as he deflected a point shot from defenseman Patrick Cuffaro past Jeffries with under two minutes remaining in the period.
The goals seemed to come much easier in period three for Essex as they found the back of the net four times to the Canadiens once. Daniel McIntyre started things off as he pounced on a rebound and went high at the :19 second mark. Just over two minutes later Michael Vieira raced down the wing and ripped a high wrist shot past Jeffries to increase the lead. The visitors Nick Tavolieri notched his third point on the night beating Hedrick at 9:20. The 73's
put this game out of reach with two late goals from Daniel Slipchuk and former Canadien Tyler Turner.
Turner said, "Once the Canadiens informed me that I was no longer in their plans, I told them I would be happy to accept a trade to Essex, and they made it happen. The great thing about being here in Essex is the way you are treated. This is a very family oriented team, and things could not have worked out any better for me."
Rookie defenseman Patrick Cuffaro said, "We had a bit of a chip on our shoulders after losing to these guys earlier
in the year. We wanted to come out and show them that we are still number one. Their goaltender Jeffries made it tough early on, but once we grabbed the lead we never let up. Coach told us during the second intermission to keep shooting the puck, and get the goalie moving a bit more, and it would all work out."
Essex will travel to Amherstburg Sunday evening before returning next Tuesday to host Dresden.
Note: Eric Shaw has been signed by the Leamington Flyers.