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73’s anxious for 2018/2019 season 



by Garrett Fodor

Heading into the 2018/2019 hockey season, it is hoped the changes made to the Essex 73’s team roster and coaching line up will contribute to a positive finish.

The 2017-2018 season wrapped up as the first in six years Essex did not win its league championship. With former head coach Cam Crowder switching gears to join the Leamington Flyers as its bench boss, it gave Essex a chance to bring back a familiar face, Gil Langlois. 

Langlois served as head coach from 2011 to 2016, and was at the helm of the local team when it won the Schmalz Cup championship in 2015. He then served as an advisor for the 73’s in 2017. He then joined the LaSalle Vipers as an assistant coach. 

He comes back to an on-ice leadership core of William Stadder, Michael Vieira, Adam Giairin, and Matt Zelko, all of whom are in their last year in the league. They are players he has watched mature.

Langlois believes the last season should leave a thirst in the returning players’ mouths.

“I like what I see. We have a lot of enthusiasm. We have some good young guys, speed and size on the back end, so I’m very optimistic,” Langlois said. “I’d like to think it’s a wake-up call for these returning guys and for our over-agers.

  Langlois added this is their last chance for success in the orange, black, and white. “It is the earliest these guys have gone out [getting eliminated] and hopefully they show its not acceptable here in Essex.”

Along with Langlois, last season’s captain, Tyler Boughner, is back and will serve as a strength and condoning coach. Chad Wolters will join the team as an assistant, after spending a number of seasons with Essex Minor Hockey. 

With the additions of Tyler Pope-Ferguson from the Flyers, Jeremy Oriet from Welland Jr. Canadiens, and Tyler Beneteau from Chatham, Langlois hopes these players can bring experience from junior B and help change the identity of the team.

“I think our style will be different, I’m a puck possession guy. I think our team will be quicker then last year’s, so I think that lets us play a different style. As for the off-ice product, that stays the same year-in-and-year-out,” Langlois said. 

Essex will face the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals to open the 2018/2019 season on September 11.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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