Essex 73’s get revenge

Filed under: Sports |

by Garrett Fodor

This past week, the Essex 73’s avenged an early season loss and corrected an overtime win from a month prior.

On Tuesday night, the 73’s hosted the Dresden Jr. Kings. It was the same Kings team that beat Essex 2-1 in Dresden on October 27. For Essex, it was not going to be an easy game to avenge the loss, as they were short both of their goalies, along with three of their regular forwards. If that was not enough for Essex, Michael Vieira went down with an injury midway in the game and did not return.

The teams played to a scoreless opening 20 minutes. Both teams, however, showcased their ability to play defensive hockey, along with throwing their bodies around in the process. Essex held a slight edge in shots 18-13.

Despite limiting chances, Dresden would eventually beat the 16-year old AP call up, Ryan Poliardi. Dresden forward Cory Lucier capitalized on an Essex turnover to open the scoring 14:28 into the second period.

But, Essex’s offense would eventually click and break through the wall called Brendan Johnston. Rookie Jack Sanko continued his torrid scoring pace, earning his 5th goal in 5 games with 14 minutes remaining on the board. To close out the frame, Matthew McCloud played the hero role for the home team. He was able to capitalize on an exposed rebound and made no mistake to find the back of the net. Poliardi earned his first win, and Essex prevailed 2-1. Shots in the game were 38-34 in favour of Essex.

Closing out the week, Essex was on the road Saturday night in Mooretown. In their previous matchup, the teams needed extra time to decide the winner with Essex prevailing in Mooretown 3-2 after overtime. Essex would receive a break, with both of their goalies making the trip to Mooretown.

On Saturday, Essex started out on the right foot as Sanko scored his 6th goal in as many games just two minutes in. Just under eight minutes later, 73’s goalie, Jax Dhondt, was beaten with a rocket of a shot. The goal came from the stick of Kyle Smith, who made Essex pay for being a man down.

After a scoreless middle frame, Essex’s offense picked it up in the third. After their lines were juggled a bit, they found success. Cody Leeming blasted home a howitzer of a shot from the point. Essex was able to screen goalie Jake Wilkens as Essex had the man advantage, and he was unable to track the puck. Essex held Mooretown to just 5 shots in the final frame and added an empty netter to prevail 3-1. With the two wins, Essex jumped to second in the standings, trailing Lakeshore by just a single point.