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ESSEX REBOUNDS; PICKS UP ROAD A WIN IN THE WHEATLEY SHARK TANK
WHEATLEY - The 73's were facing a third straight loss square in the face Wednesday night but worked through a rough game and picked up a 4-2 win over the third-place, Wheatley Sharks.
Wheatley was hoping to build on their 6-3 win last Saturday night over the Lakeshore Canadiens, but in the end, the 73's played spoiler.
Essex out shot the Sharks, 43-31, and got goals from Conor Dembinski, Ryan McKim, Luke Sherk and Everett Parent.
For Sherk, it's his team-leading 23rd of the season.
Adrian McBride picked up his 17th win of the season. McBride sits 3rd in the Provincial Junior Hockey League in goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (.943).
Essex travels to Blenheim Sunday night to try and avenge Tuesday's 2-1 loss on home ice.
BLENHEIM BECOMES FIRST TEAM TO DEFEAT 73's ON HOME ICE THIS SEASON, 2-1
It took 17 home games but the Essex 73's have finally lost on home ice, losing 2-1 to the fourth-place Blenheim Blades.
That's back-to-back losses for the mighty orange, black and white, and snaps a 30-game streak in which the 73's picked up a point in every game, and 56 of a possible 60 points in the standings.
Blenheim certainly came to play on this night, and caught the 73's on what I can only describe as an off night for them.
But the 73's have been real good all season and this recent setback will not change the fact that they are still one of the top teams in the entire Provincial Junior Hockey League.
Austin Guevremont had the lone goal for Essex in the first period.
Blenheim scored twice in the second with the eventual game-winner coming while on the powerplay.
The Blades out shot Essex, 35-28, another rarity this season. The 73's overall play on this night was quite sloppy than the locals are accustom to watching.
Essex will travel to Wheatley tonight to take on the Sharks who recently defeated the Lakeshore Canadiens, 6-3, and are making their own surge atop the Stobbs Division standings.
CANADIENS TRIP UP 73's IN OVERTIME
LAKESHORE - Josh Cyrenne scored 1:58 into overtime to hand the 73's only its third loss of the season.
Essex spent much of the second half of the game on the defence as they drew a couple head check penalties - one a 4 minute penalty and the other a 5 minute penalty.
At one time they played two-men short for 3:42.
Karson Beuglet, returning to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 15th, opened the scoring for Essex who led 1-0 after the first frame.
The second period Lakeshore scored twice, 19 seconds apart, to take a 2-1 lead halfway through the period.
Essex had a goal disallowed shortly after this as the referee did not see the puck go over the line.
At 18:54 Conor Dembinski snapped a shot over goaltender Romano Liburdi's shoulder to even the score at 2-2.
The third period Essex found themselves in the box for 7 of the 20 minutes and were outshot 10-6.
Essex did a great job on the penalty kill on this night but in the end, were forced to adopt to a more defensive style of game than they would have liked to.
In the overtime, playing 3-on-3, Essex had a couple of glorious scoring chances but a breakdown in coverage in their own end led to the Cyrenne game-winning goal.
Rookie Cavan McCabe was good in net and stopped 36-of-38 shots but suffered his first loss of the season.
Essex was able to extend their consecutive point streak to 29 games, and have picked up 58 of a possible 62 points this year. They are currently in first place in the Stobbs Division, holding a 7-point lead on Lakeshore with a game in hand and 11 games to play in the regular season. They are first in points in the PJHL,
Essex plays host to Blenheim this Tuesday night.
McCABE-73's BLOW OUT DRESDEN, 8-1
The 73's scored their 10,100th goal in team history and extended their consecutive point streak to 28 games as they defeated the Dresden Jr. Kings, 8-1.
The 73's came 7:03 from breaking the club record for shutouts in a season. The current club has nine shutouts - tied for most in a regular season with the 2004-05, 2008-09 and 2014-15 teams. All three teams won league and provincial championships.
Tuesday night, Issac Legood led the way with a goal and 3 assists. Conor Dembinski has a pair of goals and singles went to Everett Parent, Austin Guevremont, Jacob Cruickshank, Connor McCracken and Luke Sherk. For Sherk it was his team-leading 22nd goal.
Cavan McCabe got the nod in goal and stopped 21-of-22 shots. He is now a perfect 12-0 on the season.