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Five More to be Added to 73's Wall of Honour










(L-R) Milan Dobric, Mike Venables, Daniel LaBrash, in honour of his late father, Ted LaBrash, Ron 'Peewee' Prpich and Ron 'Soupy' Campbell. 



Saturday, Nov. 18th, the Essex 73's hosted its Class of 2023 Wall of Honour Induction Ceremony, adding five more names to the already list of 36.

Last year, the Essex organization celebrated its 50th season and also established a Wall of Honour to pay tribute to those players, staff and others who have made a significant impact on the overall success of the club over the years.

Ted LaBrash, Milan (Mike) Dobric and Mike Venables will be entering in the Players Category, while long-time equipment managers, Ron ‘Soupy’ Campbell and Ron ‘Peewee” Prpich will enter in the Coach & Staff Category. 


“The selection committee deliberated throughout the summer months and reached a decision based solely on a voting system,” said former 73’s goaltender, and selection committee chair, Joe Garon. “We strongly feel these five members meet or exceed the meaning of The Wall, and are all most deserving of this honour.”

LaBrash played four years with the 73’s from 1982-1985, and is the last 73’s player to score 40 goals (44) and 80 points (87) in a season (1985) while leading the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League in scoring that same season. He will join The Wall posthumously as he passed away in 2021 at the age of 57 after a long and courageous battle with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Dobric played for the 73’s for three seasons (2008-2010) and was a high-scoring defenceman who also defended his own end as good as anyone. Dobric won one Schmalz Cup (2009). He is currently an assistant coach with the Lakeshore Canadiens.

Venables played five seasons in Essex and won two Schmalz Cups (2001 and 2005). He led his team in scoring on two occasions, including 2005 when he was crowned league scoring leader.

Campbell, referred to only as Soup, or Soupy, started his 73’s tenure in 1988-89 and was with the team in some capacity for over 20 years. His last season with Essex was 2013-14. He has been a part of 8 league championships and 2 Schmalz Cups.

Prpich, known simply as Peewee, started with the 73’s in 2002-03 and is in his 20th season with the club. He has been a part of 11 league championships and 3 Schmalz Cups.

Class of 2023 Wall of Honour Group Pic.jpg

Scarlett's Third Period Goal Ends 73's Season


LAKESHORE - Bryce Scarlett broke a 1-1 tie with just 8:48 left in regulation, and Trevor Larue hit the empty net, as the Lakeshore Canadiens finally got the Essex 73's out of their way.


Essex fell behind in the first period 1-0 on a goal by Landon Prince. Prince jumped up in the play and redirected a Kyle Walker shot past 73's goalie, Wyatt Sloetjes.


Essex had plenty of great chances and outshot the Canadiens 15-7. Lakeshore goalie, Boe Piroski, managed to keep the 73's off the scoreboard.


The second period, Essex finally got to Piroski and tied the game on a hard-working goal scored by rookie, Cael McCabe.


Heading into the third period, Essex held a 21-13 shots on goal lead but the score was knotted at 1-1.


In the third period, Essex had a few pucks slip past Piroski, one hitting the post with about five minutes to play, but they could not manufacture a tying goal, despite outshooting Lakeshore, 6-3. 

Congratulations to the Lakeshore Canadiens on their fifth consecutive Stobbs championship, interrupted two years because of COVID.

The Canadiens will now take on the Thamesford Trojans on the PJHL Conference finals.

It must be noted, these two teams gave hockey fans much to cheer about this series. All seven games ended in either a one goal win, or a two-goal win with an empty netter. All seven games seen record crowds with the 73's drawing nearly 1,700 on last Friday night, and Lakeshore selling out their rink with hours to go before game time.

On the season, Lakeshore to date has lost just eight games and seven of those eight losses came at the expense of the Essex 73's. Meanwhile the 73's lost just seven games in regulation and once in overtime. Lakeshore was responsible for six of the 73's eight losses.


It is apparent that Lakeshore and Essex are the premier teams in the Stobbs Division and only these two teams stand in each other's way of capturing the Stobbs Championship. 

73's-Canadiens Heading to Game 7




























ESSEX - Karson Beuglet scored the lone goal Friday night as the Essex 73's staved off elimination and forced a game seven Sunday evening in Lakeshore.

Beuglet took a sweet little touch pass left of Candiens' goaltender Boe Piroski and tucked a backhand through at 14:21 of the first period for a powerplay marker. That goal would prove to be the game winner.

With their season on the line Essex saved their best game of the series for game six in front of a Libro Credit Union Rink record 1,694.

Wyatt Sloetjes was his steady self all night long, kicking out all 22 shots by the Canadiens. Essex had 33 of their own on Piroski.

Sloetjes made a beauty glove save with less than a minute to play in regulation, robbing Candiens' Kyle Walker of a game-tying goal.

The win sets up a Stobbs Division game seven matchup, the 73's first such game since 2016 when they defeated the Amherstburg Admirals to win the last Great Lakes Junior C championship.

Of note, Essex is 18-3 all-time in game seven matchups and have never lost a game seven in league championship play. Here's hoping history can repeat itself.

Lakeshore Puts Essex Season On The Line


LAKESHORE - Game five didn't go the Essex 73's way and this Friday they will skate on to home ice faced with a due-or-die scenario.

Zach Vaillancourt and Bryce Scarlett each scored in the third period to defeat the 73's 4-2, giving the Canadiens a 3-2 series lead.

After playing to a scoreless first period while being outshot 15-7, Essex broke the ice on a Luke Sherk goal just 2:02 into the period.

2:46 later, Lakeshore tied the game on a goal by Marco Sladoje, and while on the powerplay, at 12:06, Kyle Walker gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead.

Lakeshore outshot the 73's in the middle frame again, 20-11.

Nate Dowling of the 73's got the visiting Essex fans excited with his 9th goal of the playoffs, tying the game at 2-2.


The score would remain that way until 11:51 when Vaillancourt, unassisted,  notched what would be the game-winning goal. 

Scarlett got the empty netter to lock things up with just :45 seconds in regulation.

Final shots on goal were 41-24 in favour of Lakeshore. 

Essex Draws Even With Lakeshore; Series 2-2




















ESSEX - Captain Gabe Piccolo, in the most important game of the season, put his team on his back and led the Essex 73's to a convincing game four win on home ice in front of 1,131 fans on Easter Sunday.

Piccolo has been the best player on the ice for either team the entire series, and in this game, he gave the Canadiens fits all night long.

If the Canadiens can't find an answer to Piccolo in the next couple games, it may be lights out for the defending champs.

Going into the game Essex had to do a few things in order to preserve a win. They needed to get Piccolo to convert on his chances. They needed to create more scoring chances and get Canadiens goalie, Boe Piroski, moving a little more. They needed to score on their powerplay chances. They needed to play a complete game.

Essex checked all the boxes in this game, outshooting Lakeshore, 41-23 in the process.

Seth Martineau scored on the powerplay at 4:37 of the second period - a one-timer from the top of the circle - to give Essex the 1-0 lead.

Unlike the last couple games, Essex didn't allow Lakeshore to get back into the game as Piccolo, while shorthanded, walked around a couple Lakeshore defenders and deked Piroski to the glove side to give the 73's the 2-0 lead at 6:46.

The third period seen Lakeshore finally get on the board late in the period on a goal by Julian Gignac.

Essex fans were anxious as the last four minutes Lakeshore did all they could do to try and tie the game but again it was Piccolo, fighting hard in his own end, who passed it up to Kale Couvillon who gained the red line and potted the empty netter to seal the deal for Essex, 3-1.

Wyatt Sloetjes got the win goal and was his steady self between the pipes.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Lakeshore. Game time is 7:00pm.

Powerplay Sports Game Recap Video

Another Second Period Lapse Costs the 73's


LAKESHORE - For much of the game Friday night in Lakeshore, Essex controlled the play, or at the very least played even with the Canadiens on their own ice, and they had more than their share of powerplay chances. In the end, it was another lapse in the second period - like Tuesday night in Essex - that cost them, likely, the game.

Essex came out and played a fairly solid first period, outshooting the Habs, 10-8, and took a 1-0 lead into the second period.

Karson Beuglet of Essex scored on a breakaway at the 10:31 mark, a little more than six minutes after captain Gabe Piccolo was denied on a penalty shot by Canadiens goaltender, Boe Piroski.

Essex looked good in the second period, again, but coughed up the puck on the powerplay which led to a Canadiens shorthanded breakaway goal by their captain, and leading scorer in the regular season, Marco Sladoje, his first of the playoffs.

Deja vu all over again as the 73's, again, turned over the puck, this time inside their own blueline, just three minutes later and Zach Vaillancourt, all alone out front of 73's goaltender, Wyatt Sloetjes, converted a pass from Eric Bisson to pull the Canadiens out front, 2-1.

The third period, Essex dominated the play, for the most part, outshooting the Canadiens, 13-4, but the closest they could come to tying the game was a crossbar off the stick of Beuglet with about five minutes to play in the game. 

Sloetjes was solid in goal again for the 73's, as was Piroski for the Canadiens.

Final shots on the night were 33-23 in favour of Essex.

It is becoming apparent as this series goes on that Essex needs to get its powerplay going. They are now 0/10 in the last two games, and 1/14 in the series.  Lakeshore's has not been much better, just 2/15.


The play in their own end also needs to tighten up as the Canadiens are forcing many turnovers in the Essex end, though fortunatley, Sloetjes has been up to the task.

As for the captain, Piccolo, he has been by far the best player on the ice for either team the entire series, but has been snake bit around the net, as they say. He has generated many scoring opportunities but just hasn't converted on any of them himself, yet. Look for Piccolo to make good on his chances moving forward for the 73's to win this series.

Next game goes in Essex Sunday afternoon, 2:30pm.

Walker Breaks Tie in Third Period in Habs Win


ESSEX - Kyle Walker converted a nice pass from Brandon Leblanc and slipped a shot past Wyatt Sloetjes at the 6:09 mark of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and the Lakeshore Canadians went on to win game two in Essex , 3-2.

The series is now tied 1-1 with game three set for this Friday night in Lakeshore.

Essex has a great first period but could only beat Canadiens goalie, Boe Piroski, once - late in the period on a goal by Kale Couvillon, his third in the series alone.


Lakeshore pressed a little more in the middle frame and took advantage midway through the period of a two-man advantage, scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. Zack Vaillancourt and Bryce Scarlett had the goals :17 seconds apart.


Essex would knot things up less than a minute later as Conor Dembinski stole the puck and beat Piroski to send the announced crowd of 1,408 people into a frenzy.


The third period was pretty much an even period until the Walker goal. From there, the Canadiens did a great job of shutting down the 73's.

Overall, Essex outshot Lakeshore on the night, 39-33.

Sloetjes Backstops 73's to Game One Win


LAKESHORE - Wyatt Sloetjes stopped 30-of-33 shots he faced Sunday night in game one of the Stobbs Division finals in Lakeshore to backstop the Essex 73's to a 4-3 victory.


Essex will look to make it a two-game lead when they return to home ice Tuesday night.


Kale Couvillon had two goals, Nate Dowling and Luke Sherk the others.


Spencer Higginbottom had two goals for Lakeshore while Aedan Sullivan had the other.


Lakeshore outshot Essex 33-28. 

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