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73’s comeback over Canadiens, Flyers 

by Garrett Fodor

This past week, the Essex 73’s were in for a test as the team faced its rival on Tuesday, the Lakeshore Canadiens. Entering the game, the Canadiens were reeling after two losses and were looking to end the losing streak.

The Canadiens started on the right note, beating goaltender Connor Meyerink just 43 seconds in, with Dylan Bradley doubling the lead just five minutes later. William Stadder responded 29 seconds later. The Canadiens, however, managed a third goal on Meyerink. In the closing seconds of the first period, Stadder converted his second after a burst of speed.

The 73’s used the momentum, from the end of the first period, to its favour as Adam Gaiarin beat Nolan Hakr with the man-advantage. Closing out the frame, Stadder then beat Hakr for the third time. Essex had its first lead of the game going into the third period.

Quinn Fazekas doubled the 73’s lead just four minutes into the third, before Tycen Chittle fooled a screened Connor Meyerink. Fortunately for Essex, it shutdown the Canadiens offense and added an empty netter to prevail, 6-4.

Closing out the week, Essex was on the road to face the Petrolia Flyers. 

Petrolia opened the scoring of game, five minutes in, with the man-advantage. Jacob Cruickshank responded four minutes later. Mark McNally then beat 73’s goalie, Connor Meyerink, to restore the Flyers’ lead. Closing out the frame, Essex netted three unanswered goals in as many minutes from Jack Sanko, Michael Vieira, and Adam Gaiarin.

After 20 minutes of play, Essex outshot the Flyers, 16-7, and held a 4-2 lead. 

In the second frame, Essex continued to use its momentum to set the tone and pace of the game, using its speed to get behind the Flyers’ defence. The home team scored two more goals in the period from Michael Ruttinger and William Stadder to chase Flyers’ goalie Chaska Thiel. 

Petrolia opened the scoring just 3:40 into the third period, when a turnover behind the net was forced. The puck got lost between Meyerink’s skates. From then on, however, the game was all Essex . Goals were scored by Riley Meyerink, Josh Pope-Ferguson, and William Stadder, who netted his second of the night. Essex prevailed 9-3 and outshot the Flyers, 43-26. 

The win setups up an important game for Tuesday as Essex hosts the first place Dresden Jr. Kings with the winner obtaining the first-place spot in the standings. 

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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