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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

73’s pick-up 4 of 6 points

Photo by Laurie Beaten: Goalie Connor Meyerink and defender Tyler Beneteau track the puck against the Mooretown Flags on Sunday.

by Garrett Fodor

This past week, the Essex 73’s continued its busy October with another three games, two of which were hosted back-to-back. The local team closed out the week getting its first look at the Mooretown Flags.

  The 73’s week began last Tuesday, against a somewhat familiar foe, the Wheatley Omstead Sharks. The two teams faced off on October 10, and the 73’s won, 5-2. Unlike their previous meeting, goals were not scarce and came quickly.

  Opening the game, Essex welcomed the visitors with four goals in a six-minute span. Essex’s first line of Michael Vieira, William Stadder, and Josh Pope-Ferguson continued their momentum as the trio connected for three goals, including two from Vieira.

  Period two and three were no better for the Sharks or their goalie, Catalin Morin, as that line continued to roll as did Essex’s powerplay. As a result, Essex would add four more goals in the final two periods, including three with the man-advantage to power Essex over the Sharks, 8-1.

  Close to 24 hours later, the 73’s were back in action as they traveled to Wallaceburg to face the Lakers. Despite the Lakers being winless on the season, they gave Essex a fight in the first period. The teams exchanged chances and skated into the intermission with a 1-1 tie.

  For period two, however, Essex turned up the physicality and got the Lakers to take frequent trips to the penalty box. As a result, Essex made them pay with a pair of goals with the man-advantage, including Bryce O’Brien’s first goal as a 73 and Michael Ruttinger’s first of the year.

  The Lakers would add a short-handed tally and Jeremy Oriet would score at even strength in the period for Essex, to cushion the score of 4-2 going into the final intermission.

  Essex would put the game out-of-reach in the third period with two goals on a five-minute powerplay, a short-handed tally from Stadder, and rookie Bryce Ryan would net the 8th and final goal of the evening.

  Essex swamped the Lakers 8-2, outshooting them, 40-26.

  Closing out the week on Sunday, the 73’s hosted the Mooretown Flags. Essex debuted its new orange home jerseys. But for the home-side, they would have to play from behind as former OHL and QMJHL forward, Brock Perry, scored three minutes in on the man-advantage. He beat goalie, Connor Meyerink, with a bullet below the bar. He would net his second of the game 11 minutes later. But, to close out the frame, Essex drew within one, thanks to William Stadder capping off a feed from Pope-Ferguson.

  After a scoreless second period, Mooretown snuck a shot through Meyerink’s five-hole one minute into period three to restore the two-goal lead. Essex was unable to claw back within reach as it fell at home for the first time this season, 3-1.

  Leading the way offensively this week was William Stadder, who had three goals and six assists and defenseman Adam Gaiarin, who had two goals and four assists.


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