Essex 73’s split games

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by Garrett Fodor

For the first time since January 3, the Essex 73’s has suffered back-to-back losses. 24 Hours after its 2-1 overtime loss to Wheatley, Essex looked to rebound against a rival, the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

After winning the opening faceoff, Essex appeared energized and seemed to play with a certain spark. For much of the opening period, Essex cycled the puck and controlled the play. It took Amherstburg 5:10 to get its first shot on Essex starter Jax DHondt. Coming into the game, Essex had the second-best power-play at 28 percent, and made sure to punish Amherstburg. William Stadder tipped Michael Vieira’s shot by Admirals goalie Ben Larder.

In the middle frame, the Admirals evened it out with Ryan Alexander fooling Dhondt with a quick snapshot. Heading into the third period, the scoreboard read 1-1. In the final frame, Essex was quick to capitalize with the man-advantage again as Sylvano Valente beat Larder off the faceoff. But, to close out the frame, Amherstburg scored a pair of goals in four minutes to lead 3-2.

Unfortunately for the Essex faithful in attendance, the 73’s were unable to mount a comeback.

William Stadder finished Tuesday with a goal and an assist, he thought the game could have had a different result.

“I think it was kind of just rough luck,” Stadder said. “I thought we played as a unit pretty well, just had some unlucky bounces and sometimes the puck just did not go our way.”

Thursday night, the 73’s traveled to Petrolia to face the Flyers. After arriving late, the game was delayed 30 minutes.
However, Essex did not show signs of fatigue as its players controlled the puck for much of the game. As a result, William Stadder put the visitors on the board heading into the intermission.

During much of the game, the offense from both teams was stymied. They struggled to beat the goalies and even register shots. Fans in attendance were treated to a physical affair with tempers flowing over. Teams exchanged goals in the second period, with Essex still leading after 40 minutes.

In the third period, Tyler Ryan was beaten for the second time of the night to force overtime.

In overtime, Essex had a majority of the chances, but were frustrated with Petrolia’s goalie kicking the net off several times. But, in the end, Anthony Cristofaro was the hero, blasting home his second of the game after Tyler Boughner won the draw. Essex prevailed 3-2. They will play Wallaceburg before traveling to Lakeshore Friday night.