73's Quest For 7th Schmalz Cup Championship Ends in Picton
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Picton Pirates claimed their first ever OHA Junior "C" crown on Wednesday evening with a pair of close one goal wins. Picton edged the Essex 73's 4-3 in overtime in the completion of the replayed game #1 due to a protest from Essex that was upheld, then won in the clinching game #5 by a score of 3-2 on a pair of late goals.
In the replayed game (third period) the 73's started the period down by a 2-1 score. The 73's outscored the home team in period three to send this game into an extra period. Essex received both of their goals from the back end as Chad Hedrick and Aaron Thibert were the marksmen. In the overtime a face-off loss was the 73's down fall as the Pirates won the draw and were allowed to walk out front and beat Trevor Wheaton for the game winner and a 3-1 series lead.
In game five Essex grabbed their biggest lead of the series but failed to hold onto that lead and ended up falling by a single goal once again. Essex' Jordan Ryan scored the only goal in the opening period, before Scott Bromley upped the margin to 2-0 mid second period. The Pirates halved the lead before the end of the period while holding a two man advantage.
In the third Essex was content to play defense and the home team continued to come at Essex with the dump and chase game. It paid off for the Pirates in the final ten minutes as they scored a pair of quick goals to grab their first lead of the game and would never relinquish it holding on for the win and the championship.
Congratulations to the Picton Pirates. Jordan Brohman who had just pulled off his 73's jersey for the last time said," This series was much closer than a five game series, but in the end we could not finish around the net, and they made the most of their opportunities. We played well in this series but did not get many bounces to go our way."
73's Lose Two Straight at Home; Trail Schmalz Cup Finals 2-1
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's find themselves heading back to Picton trailing the best of seven series 2 games to 1. Essex will need to win at least one of the games Wednesday to get this series back to Essex for game six (remember that the third period of game 1 needs to be replayed due to the protest Essex filed).
The 73's find that the Pirates are a very opportunistic hockey club with a number of snipers. The locals are getting their chances around the net but just cannot bury the puck, meanwhile Picton in those same situations are much more successful so far in this series.
The Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening period on a pair of tallies in the final ten minutes of play.
Essex managed to pull to within a goal early in period two as Corey Beaulieu found the back of the net on a power play. Picton got that one back as well as adding another before the end of the period to jump to a 4-1 lead heading into period three.
The 73's played a solid third period but could not get to even terms with the visitors. Daniel Slipchuck and Beaulieu found the back of the net but Picton added another power play marker along with an empty netter in the final minute to leave town with a 6-3 victory. Beaulieu added to the Essex offense with his return to the line-up but unfortunately it was not enough.
"This is a tough team to play against, with the difference being that they bury their good scoring chances whereas we are struggling around the net right now," said Beaulieu, "There is no secret to this game, you have to bear down and make the most of your chances. We have no choice but to do that Wednesday or it will be a long bus ride home."
Lack of Scoring and Discipline Costly to Essex Once Again
By: Kevin E. Neels
Not enough scoring and too many penalties once again cost the Essex 73's in game two of this best of seven OHA Junior "C" final.
The 73's stormed out of the gate in the opening twenty minutes of play hitting everything that moved and stunning a number of Pirates players in the process. This created a number of good scoring opportunities for the 73's but they could not find the back of the net.
Essex goaltender Trevor Wheaton sparked the crowd when he stopped Picton forward Jack Davison on a penalty shot in the opening period as well. Davison is a relative of former Essex star Gord Davison. The first period ended in a scoreless tie.
The visitors took control of this game in period two with a pair of goals. One goal came just over a minute into the period while the second puck to beat Wheaton came in the final minute on a power play.
Jordan Ryan gave the Essex faithful something to cheer about just :58 ticks into period three when he jumped on a rebound and back handed the puck into an empty Picton cage. This was all the scoring Essex could muster however as the Pirates defense shut the door the rest of the way while adding the insurance they would need on another power play later in the period.
The 73's have got to find a way to stop Picton sniper Evan Greer as he has been in on all the Pirates goals in this series except one.
Jordan Ryan said, "We are getting our chances but their goalie is playing well. We need to bear down on our chances more and make them count. Our mental toughness is lacking right now and we also need to channel our momentum in a positive way if we want to win a championship."
Essex Protests Game #1 and OHA Upholds Their Request
The Protest, as submitted by Essex, is upheld. Picton played the final 19:47 with an illegal player (game ejection as per Hockey Canada rule 4.2 (e)) who had an impact on the outcome.
Schmalz Cup Ruling Media Release.pdf
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Essex Responds With Gutsy 3-2 Victory Over Pirates
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's are back on even terms with the Picton Pirates after a hard fought 3-2 victory in game two Sunday afternoon. In the process Essex has gained home ice advantage.
Period two was rough on the boys from Essex as they ran into more penalty trouble and had to kill off a number of short handed situations including a pair of partial five on three's.
*** OHA UPHOLDS 73s PROTEST; RULES LAST 19:47 OF GAME #1 BE REPLAYED ***
Undisciplined Play Costs Essex in Schmalz Cup Final Opener in Picton
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Picton Pirates proved that they are going to be a very worthy opponent in this OHA Junior "C" final. The Essex 73's self destructed in period three Saturday and fell 4-1 giving the Pirates a 1-0 series lead.
Essex outshot Picton in both thefirst and second periods, and at times were the better team, but in the end it was not enough as the 73's lack of discipline cost them dearly.
The official shot count had Essex out shooting the Pirates 50-45, but those totals seemed inflated. 73's staff had the shots 36-32 in favour of Essex.
Picton scored the lone goal in the opening period on a pretty set-up which Essex goaltender Trevor Wheaton had no chance on.
The 73's tied things up mid second period as Scott Bromley made no mistake while on the power play. Late in the period an Essex defender fell creating a 2 on 1 Picton break and they cashed in to regain their one goal margin.
The 73's came apart in the final period as they took a number of undisciplined penalties which opened the door for the home team to put this game to rest. The potent Pirate offense did just that with an early goal on a two man advantage then added the insurance at 12:08.
The only Essex goal scorer Scott Bromley agreed that the team self destructed in period three.
"We are very upset with the way we played in the third period. We are not normally the type of team that loses our cool, but tonight was one of those nights. We have to forget about tonight and focus on the next game. We are a confident group who knows that we can bounce back."
Game 2 is tonight in Picton. Gametime is 4:30pm.
NOTE: Essex had much support from their hometown fans about 60-plus fans made the trip to Picton.
Essex to Square Off Against Picton to Decide OHA Junior C Championship
And then there were two.
Essex found out it's opponent when Picton knocked out Alliston Wednesday night, sweeping the Hornets and preventing them from reaching the Schmalz Cup finals for the first time in six years.
Picton - which is 30 minutes east of Belleville - plays in the Empire B Junior Hockey League, a small, high-scoring league which consists of just six teams including Amherstview, Port Hope, Campellford, Napanee and Deseronto.
The Pirates, as they are nicknamed, had a regular season record of 34-4-0-2 and won their league by 19 points. In the playoffs, they defeated Amherstview in four-straight games before capturing the league title with a 4-1 series win over Port Hope.
Next up in OHA play they won a wild series over Lakefield, 4-3. Picton trailled in the series 3-1 and stormed back to win the series, and advance to the semi finals against Alliston.
They boast a high-octane offense which has seen them score 107 goals in 20 playoff games, an average of 5.35 goals per game.
The Pirates had four players with 70 or more points scored during the regular season. Ryan Sizer led the way with 40-41-81, followed by Jack Davison 35-44-79, Mitchell Smith 21-53-74 and Evan Greer 31-40-71.
Essex will look to slow these high-scoring forwards down with their relentless forechecking and smothering defensive style which has allowed just 14 goals in its last 8 games (1.44 per game). Their penalty kill is clipping at 95.92%.
The powerful 73's are four lines deep, and have a 20-1 record in the playoffs thus far. They are coming off a five-game series win over the two-time defending Schmalz Cup champions, the Grimsby Peach Kings.
It looks like the typical offense versus defense match up, and once again, goaltending will be a contributing factor. Trevor Wheaton has been sensational between the pipes for the 73's, boasting a 1.44 goals against average along with a sparkling .943 save percentage.
Picton's goalie, Andrew Pearson, has a 2.59 goals against average to go along with a .926 save percentage.
Check back for complete schedule or visit Pointstreak for up-to-date information.
If you do not have a team and still want to play in the tournament and be placed on a team, fill out the form and return. We will be able to fit you in.
2013 Registration Form.pdf
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Garon and Brohman Lead 73's to 17th GLJHL Championship
By: Kevin E. Neels
The Essex 73's won the Great Lakes Jr. "C" championship once again Sunday night after completing a four game sweep of the Wheatley Sharks with a 7-4 win.
The Sharks had trouble containing Essex' big offensive line consisting of Jordan Brohman, Alex Garon, and Corey Beaulieu all series and Sunday was no different. Both Brohman and Garon recorded hat tricks and the line had 13 points in total on the night.
Special teams was also a key factor in the game as both teams combined for seven goals with special teams on the ice.
It looked like Essex was going to roll in this game as they dominated the first seventeen minutes of the period building up a 4-0 advantage on a pair of goals by Garon with singles going to Brohman and Matthew Hebert.
The Sharks crept back into the game with a pair of power play goals just over a minute apart late in the period.
The first ten minutes of period two produced no scoring but the flood gates opened up once again in the last half of the period. Wheatley cashed in on another power play marker first to make this a one goal game but the 73's pulled away once again with three more scores of their own, two goals coming just twenty seconds apart. Brohman with a pair and Garon with a single handles the scoring for Essex.
Period three was a rather tame period for the most part as Essex was content to just kill the clock and Wheatley for the most part did not look like a team in desperate need of a win as they did not create many scoring chances. At 7:01 the home team did manage to get one back as Essex goaltender Trevor Wheaton seemed to fan on a point shot, but this was as close as Wheatley would get.
First star of the game Alex Garon said, "Coming into this series Coach had a strategy to go up against these guys and everyone bought in and it worked. Basically we knew we had to shut down their one big line, and work real hard from start to finish. Many of the guys in the dressing room have already won a championship and brought a lot of experience in knowing what it takes to win."
Assistant Coach Steve Caldwell said," We are a bit surprised that we took these guys in four games, but I am sure that the seven game series they had against Belle River was a big factor in the final outcome of this series. At the end of the day I believe the main reason why we won this series was because of our incredible depth. We have four very strong, solid lines and our versatility is also something we can use to our advantage."
The 73's now await the winner of the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Ayr leads that series over Lambeth, 3-0.
ESSEX 73s BRING HOME HARDWARE AT ANNUAL GLJHL BANQUET IN BLENHEIM
The 73's picked up the majority of the awards handed out at the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League banquet in Blenheim, Thursday, Feb. 7th.
Pictured here are the individual award winners. Left to right is rookie of the year Daniel Beaudoin of Kingsville, MVP and leading scorer Corey Beaulieu of Essex, best GAA goaltenders Trevor Wheaton and Arren Romeril of Essex, best defenceman Kevin Boggs of Essex and most desire award winner Jon Woelk of Wheatley.
The Essx 73's as well as finishing in first place for the season received the top coaching staff award for the GLJC. The award was presented by OHA Representative Bill Stobbs. Left to right, Frank MatthysAnthony Iaquinta, Gil Langlois, Steve Caldwell and Brian Spearing.
Dec 30, 2012
Essex Celebrates 40 Years of Junior C Hockey
Sports Columnist for The Windsor Star
The Shoppers Drug Mart in Essex features a Santa Claus painted on its picture window next to the main entrance.
No surprise there.
The only difference being that this Santa is carrying a hockey stick and wearing skates and an Essex 73’s uniform.
Even Old Saint Nick gets what the 73’s mean to Essex.
They are the gift that keeps on giving.
Celebrating their 40th season of existence, the 73’s welcomed back dozens of alumni to weekend festivities culminating with a game Sunday afternoon against the Leamington Flyers alumni.
As per usual, the rink was packed.
“It’s been like that since it started,” said Dave Prpich, who coached the 73’s from 1974-82, leading them to three of the franchise’s six Schmalz Cup OHA Jr. C championships. “Half the fun is the people around here. It’s unbelievable the number of people who get involved as volunteers.”
In an era where senior hockey has virtually vanished from the landscape and several junior B and C squads struggle to survive, the 73’s continue to thrive.
“They’re a legendary junior C franchise,” Prpich said. “It starts and ends with the Essex 73’s as far as I’m concerned.”
Take a walk through Essex and there’s evidence of the support this this town offers to its orange-and-black clad heroes.
Some of them, like Warren Rychel, went on to winthe Stanley Cup. Others, such as the Crowder brothers Keith and Bruce, Dave Gagnon and Kyle Wellwood, left Essex to play in the NHL.
Regardless, playing for the 73’s will remain a significant time in their lives.
“I remember back to my uncles playing when the team first started,” recalled former Detroit Red Wing Gagnon, who tended goal for Essex from 1983-85. “I remember as a kid coming to watch them play and it was larger than life.
“The biggest summer of my life was when I got that letter from the 73’s saying I was invited to camp. I’ve still got that letter. “It was real important. It was pretty big.”
The Crowders were key cogs in 1974-75 when the 73’s won their first provincial title, following an epic seven-game final against Lindsay.
Keith assisted on Bruce’s last-minute goal that gave the 73’s a 3-2 Game 7 triumph before 2,500 at the old Essex rink.
“It was a pretty exciting time,” Keith Crowder said. “It was huge. It was a thrill to play in our hometown.”
Tony Piroski guided the 73’s to three more provincial crowns in the last decade, and Sunday, players from all eras came from near and far to prove that while you can take the boy out of Essex, you’ll never take the memories of playing for the 73’s out of the man.
Dave Anthony, the 73’s’ all-time scoring leader, travelled from Blackpool, England to be part of the festivities.
“I come home every year and I always come down to the rink,” said Anthony, a 73’s player from 1977-80. “I’ll drop the puck for them, anything I can to help.
“I think this is probably one of the better teams, because this truly is a community team. You won’t beat the 73’s for that.”
Anthony opted out of a planned holiday vacation in Tenerife, Spain for this happy homecoming.
“This time of year, I usually go somewhere where it’s warm,” Anthony said. “About three weeks ago, I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to play. I said, ‘No problem. I’m there. Put me down.’”
It may not have been warm, but everywhere Anthony went during alumni weekend, there was plenty of warmth.
It’s been that way in Essex since the 73’s got started.
Essex won the Alumni Classic against their 70s/80s arch-rivals, the Leamington Flyers, 9-2.
Scoring for Essex was Dan Mahon (2), Warren Rychel, Jeff Brett, Norm Kerr, Darin Rickeard, Paul Reeb, Gord McDonnell and Jeff Ives. Goaltenders Dave Gagnon and Don Tolmie each gave up one goal and played terrific for the 73's Alumni.
SX - Mahon (Findlay)
SX - Reeb (Mahon, Quinlan)
SX - Ives (Brett)
SX - Rychel SHOOTOUT GOAL
SX - Brett (Meyer, Pluimers)
SX - Mahon (2) SHOOTOUT GOAL
LEAM - John Ferguson SHOOTOUT GOAL
SX - McDonnell (Ives, Kerr)
LEAM - Harrison (Drummond, Clifford)
Goal: LEAM - Gillett
Goal: SX - Gagnon, Tolmie
BELOW IS THE PLAYERS WHO DRESSED IN THE ESSEX 73's ALUMNI CLASSIC GAME:
|2||F||Darin Rickeard "A"||1985-89|
|4||F||Ted Labrash "C"||1982-85|
|5||D||Mike Reaume "A"||1977-78|
|16||F||Mark McGuire "A"||1976-78|
|17||D||Mike Quinlan||1974, 76|
|18||F||Gord McDonnell||1982-83; 1985|
|49||F||Kevin Meyer||1983; 1985-86|
|77||F||Jeff Brett||1985-86, 1988-89|
|Coach||Dave Prpich||1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982|
|Coach||Dave Moore||2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010|
|GM||Mike Sadler||1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983|
|Equipment||Frank Matthys||1973 - Present|
Trainer Frank Spry
Photos by FRED GROVES/The Essex Free Press
(Below) Photos courtesy of MATT DOYSCHER
ESSEX 73's TRIVIA WILL RETURN IN SEPTEMBER 2013
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 ineligible