Blades fall a goal short in semi-final opener

ESSEX – The Blenheim Blades, despite being outshot 42-13, gave the
Essex ’73s a battle in Game 1 of their PJHL Stobbs Division best-of-
seven semi-final series Tuesday night in Essex, before ending up on
the short of a 4-3 score.
The two teams will play Game 2 Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Blenheim
arena, with Game 3 back in Essex Saturday at 6:30, and Game 4 here
Sunday at 7.
In the other semi-final series opener Tuesday, the Lakeshore
Canadiens blanked the Wheatley Sharks 4-0. Game 2 is Wednesday
night at 7:30 in Wheatley.
The Blades only had three shots in the first period, but two of them
found the Essex net for a 2-0 lead by 11:40.
Everitt Swayze scored the first one unassisted at 1:15 of the frame,
and Andrew Goulet made it 2-0 Blenheim at 11:40, with assists going
too Swayze and Justin Ewald.
Both goals, for both players, were their first of the playoffs.
Essex cut the lead in half at 12:31 when Connor Dembinski scored
sending the teams to their dressing rooms after 20 minutes with the
Blades leading 2-1.
Essex’s Seth Martineau tied the game at 2-2 at 8:01 of the second
period, with Blades veteran Zack Van Boxtel putting his team ahead
again 3-2 with a powerplay tally at 18:41.
Brad McAlpine and Joey Hayter picked up assists on the goal.
The Blades had only five shots in the middle 20 minutes, but
continued outstanding goaltending by Owen Lemieux, who stopped
all 15 shots sent his way, kept his team in the lead.

Essex scored twice in the third period, with Dembinski tying things
on a powerplay at 1:04, and Nate Dowling getting the eventual winner
at 8:05.
On the night the Blades were outshot 42-13, and yet Lemieux was
not selected one of three stars. The honors went to Dembinski,
Martineau and Goulet in that order.
Former Junior ‘B’ goalie Wyatt Sloetjes of Dutton was between the
pipes for Essex.
BLADES BITS: Not dressed for the Blades were Darby Lemieux, Ethan
Chittle, Remi Steen, Landon Hoskins and Cameron Robertson…The
Blades lost veteran defenceman Alec Webster when he was injured in
the first period and did not return…There were 13 minor penalties
called in the game with seven of them going to Essex…During the
regular season the two teams played each other six times, with Essex
winning four, the Blades one, and one game ending in a
tie…Attendance was 819.