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73’s suffer a setback with two losses


Photo by Laurie Beaten: Kings’ goalie, Brett Brochu, sprawls to save a shot by 73’s forward, William Stadder, in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss. 

by Garrett Fodor

When the 73’s entered this past week, they were sitting first in the Stobbs’ Division standings.  After playing two games this week, Essex found itself on its longest losing streak of the year and could be potentially sitting third in the standings.

  Last Tuesday night was a battle for first place as Essex hosted the streaking Dresden Kings. And a battle it was, as the teams combined for 102 penalty minutes and countless skirmishes after the whistles. The teams played 19 minutes before a goal was scored. Sixteen-year-old 73 Bryce Ryan sent a wrist shot by Kings’ goalie, Brett Brochu.

  Essex’s lead would not last long coming out of the intermission. Just seven minutes in, Noah Fox scored twice, in 12 seconds, to give Dresden its first lead of the game, to the dismay of goalie Jax Dhondt and his defenders. Essex responded two minutes later, with its top line getting it done. Josh Pope-Ferguson converted on a feed from Michael Vieira and William Stadder to tie the game at two. Which was where it stood going into the third period.

  In the third period, however, Dresden made Essex pay. After four previous attempts, the Kings found the back of the net during a man-advantage with 13 minutes remaining in the game. After the goal, the Kings shut Essex down and stopped a comeback as it prevailed 3-2, to take first place in the standings.

  Twenty-four hours later, Essex was on the road to Wheatley to face the Omstead Sharks.

It did not take long for the Sharks to take a bite out of the 73’s spirits when only four minutes in, Eric Prudence beat Connor Meyerink, who was making his return after being injured at the end of October.

  Six minutes later, Adam Gaiarin blasted a shot by a screened Catalin Morin with the man advantage to tie the game it at 1. The Sharks skated into the intermission with a 2-1 lead after Curtis Rodrigues scored with a man-advantage in the final minutes of the period.

  Coming out of the intermission, Essex was energized and set the tone just three minutes in. Bryce Ryan scored his seventh goal of the year to tie the game at two. But, four minutes later, the 73’s got into penalty trouble again and the Sharks made them pay as Jordan Paquette beat Meyerink to make it a 3-2 game going into the second intermission.

  In the final frame, despite Essex having 17 shots, and a total of 49 in the game, the local team was unable to beat Morin again as Essex fell 3-2 to the sixth place Wheatley Sharks.

  After notching an assist on Adam Gaiarin’s goal, William Stadder extended his point-streak to 17 games this season. The 73’s now sit second in the standings, three points behind Dresden and six above Lakeshore, but they have three games in hand.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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