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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

73’s starting a new era ahead of season 

by Garrett Fodor

After losing to Lakeshore in the Stobbs Division finals last season, the Essex 73’s underwent a facelift.

Beginning behind the bench, the 73’s have a whole new coaching staff, led by former OHLer, and Woodslee native, Danny Anger. Following his appointment, Anger brought in former 73 Captain Dallas Pereira to work with the forwards and Chad Wolters returned to work with the defence. 

In terms of on ice talent, the 73’s will include nine new faces, seven of which are rookies born in 2002 or 2001. Forward rookies include: Kristian Pelling, Brayden Zuidema, Alex Demers, and Conor Dembinski. 

  Included in those new faces is 2000 born centre, Preston Corp, who joins the team after spending the last two seasons in Leamington playing with the Flyers. He appeared in 86 games, putting up 41 points and he hopes to be a contributing factor this season.

  Also joining the 73’s is Uxbridge native, Darcy Haupt. Like Corp, the 2000 born left-winger joins Essex after spending a year in the NOJHL with the Timmins Rock. Haupt hopes to make an impact this season and become a fan favourite. 

  On the back end, the 73’s brought in American standout defenceman Trevor Klee, who hails from Sylvaina, Ohio, where he played for his high school team as a lead scorer. Returning for his third season will be hard-nosed D-man Evan Prince, who Essex re-acquired for a trade with Wheatley in exchange for Dallas Anderson. Rounding out the back end are rookies: Theo Kempffer and Cayden VanderPark. Owen Meyerink, Tyler Beneteau, and Sylvano Valente all return on the back end. 

  The team has two familiar faces between the pipes with goaltenders Connor Meyerink and Jax D’Hondt. Both goalies will be relied upon throughout the season. 

  Leading the 73’s will be Captain Riley Meyerink, who will wear the ‘C’ on his chest. While veterans Michael Ruttinger, Jack Sanko, and Bryce O’Brien will wear ‘As’ this season. 

  Anger is happy with how his team looks and is excited to make his mark on the hometown team, which he grew up watching.

  The 73’s begin the season with a hard test at hand, as they will face the two-time defending Stobbs Division champions in the Lakeshore Canadiens in their home opener on September 17. 


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