73’s falter, drop points to top opponents 

Photo by Laurie Beaten: 73’s Captain Riley Meyerink and Jr. Kings Assistant Captain Brady Hogg join at centre ice for a ceremonial puck drop ahead of their game on Nov. 5th.

by Garrett Fodor

After having a winning streak halted after six games, the Essex 73’s hockey team was looking to rebound during its three games last week.

  The local hockey team’s first chance was on November 5, as it hosted the Dresden Jr. Kings. The two teams were quick to show their anger and past history towards each other. That animosity continued throughout the game as teams combined for 109 penalty minutes. But when they played hockey, the offence came in bunches. 

  Essex opened the scoring with three goals in seven minutes, to take a 3-0 lead into the intermission. But the Kings responded with three goals of its own coming out of the intermission to tie the game. The lead lasted just seven minutes as Essex scored three goals again before Dresden answered in the final five seconds.

  The scoreboard read 6-4 after 40 minutes.

  Coming out for the final intermission, the Kings players quickly pull themselves within one. But, they were unable to beat 73’s goalie, Jax D’Hondt, again, as Essex scored three unanswered goals to lift them over the Kings, 9-5. 

  Essex was back in action on November 9. The local hockey team traveled to Mooretown to face the second place Flags. 

  From puck drop, the Flags players were quick to use their pace and home ice to their advantage. The Flags had 12 shots in the first period on 73’s goalie, Connor Meyerink. And one of those shots found the net behind Meyerink. 

  Just 41 seconds into the second period, the 73’s found themselves down by two as Meyerink was beaten again. But the 73’s tested Flags’ goalie, Jake Wilkins, who made several impressive saves and kept the Flags up 2-0 heading into the third.

  Jack Sanko scored with five minutes remaining to draw Essex within one. But despite 14 shots on goal, in the third period, the 73’s were unable to mount the comeback as they fell 2-1 to Mooretown. 

  Less than 24 hours later, the 73’s were back in action and closing out the week against the Amherstburg Admirals.

  From puck drop, the teams looked evenly matched, exchanging chances and quick bursts of offence. Amherstburg opened the scoring 13 minutes in. But the lead lasted just 50 seconds as Preston Corp beat Admirals’ goalie, Nick Bolton. The Admirals beat Meyerink two minutes later to make the score 2-1 after 20 minutes. The shots on goal were even 12-12.

  In the second period, the teams exchanged goals, as Corp added his second of the night. The score was 3-2 going into the final period. 

  And in the final period, the 73’s were unable to keep pace with the Admirals as they scored three goals on eight shots. The Admirals prevailed 6-3, while out-shooting the visiting 73’s, 39-26. As a result, the 73’s suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season. 

  The losses put Essex into fourth place, three points behind the Admirals for third, seven points behind Mooretown, and eleven points behind the first-place Lakeshore.