While the final outcome wasn’t what the Blenheim Blades wanted
Sunday night at home against the first-place Essex ’73s, there is no
question, despite being short five regulars at the start of the game,
and six by the time it ended, the effort was there.
In the end Essex overcame a 5-3 deficit early in the third period and
picked up an 8-5 victory to run their PJHL Stobbs Division leading
record to 18-2-1-1 and 38 points, four up on second-place Lakeshore.
The Blades are now in fourth with 31 points, one in back of the
Wheatley Sharks who they play Wednesday night in Wheatley at 7:30
Friday the Blades travel to Lakeshore to play the Canadiens at 7 p.m.
There is no home game this Sunday with the next one not being until
Dec. 17 against Lakeshore.
On Thursday, Dec. 14 the Blades make their final regular season
visit to Walpole Island to play the Wild at 8 p.m.
The Blades started the game without regulars Remi Steen, Matt
Hayter, Darby Lemieux, Gavan Meriano, Owen Reeve and Beau
Moison, and then were without veteran forward Zach Van Boxtel
after the first period.
“I was involved with the Maroons in the late 1960s and early 1970s,
and have been on the Blades executive since 1998, and have never
seen so many injuries, and serious ones at that, at once,” said Blades
Director of Player Personnel Bill Saunders.
Andrew Goulet, with his sixth goal of the season put Blenheim up 1-
0 at 9:42 of the first period, with Essex’s Luke Sherk tying things at 1-1
before the first period ended.
Kale Couvillon gave Essex a 2-1 lead at 17 seconds of the middle 20
minutes, but that didn’t last long as the Blades forward Joey Hayter
tied things at 1:20 with his sixth goal, and Ryan Sanders then made it
3-2 Blenheim with his 10th at 7:41.
Sherk scored again at 12:41 to tie things at 3-3, but Braden Twigg
put the Blades back ahead by a goal when he scored his third at 13:30.
Captain Craig Spence increased the Blenheim lead to 5-3 when he
netted his 18th of the season at 3:37 of the third period, with Nate
Dowling scoring just under four minutes later for Essex to make it 5-4
Hayter took a minor penalty for a high stick at 14:37, and Essex
captain Gabe Piccolo tied things at 5-5 11 seconds later.
Dowling then netted the eventual winner at 16:03.
Blades head coach Shawn Simpson pulled goalie Jake Vancoillie
hoping to get the tying goal, but Cart Dembinski and Sherk scored
empty net tallies to finish the scoring for the night.
BLADES BITS: Besides his 18th goal Spence also had three assists for
a four-point night…Spence now leads the Stobbs Division in points
with 45 and goals with 18…Second is teammate Tate Bowden who
had two assists Sunday to give him 43 points…Other assists went to
Justin Ewald, Everitt Swayze, Hayter, AP Dominic Goure and
Vancoillie…Spence was named the game’s first star, Sherk the second
and Dowling the third…Attendance was 444…Ice sponsor was the
Leighton and Edith Rumble Memorial Night.