ESSEX – Teams have never looked forward to playing in Essex against the 73s,
who have been a powerhouse in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Stobbs
Division for years.
So Tuesday night it was the young 3-0-0 Blenheim Blades who made the trip to
Essex, and while they did not win their fourth straight, they did impress for 60
minutes before dropping a 2-1 decision before 514 fans.
The Blades were short four regulars – Jared Delaey, Connor Roth and Jeff Carey
because of injuries, and Sam McKinlay because of school – and still managed to
shutout the 73s over the final 40 minutes after giving up two goals later in the
Sixteen-year-old netminder Jake Vancoillie, who shutout the Amherstburg
Admirals 4-0 in his Junior hockey netminding debut, stopped 32 of 34 Essex shots
to keep his team in the game.
However the Blades could only get a single goal from Alec Webster on a
powerplay at 2:34 of the third period to cut the Essex lead to 2-1.
Connor Wright and Trent Amaro assisted on the play. The game was the first as
a Blade for the former Exeter Hawk.
Brendan Gouin scored at 12:01 of the first period, and Tycen Chittle a minute
and six seconds later to give Essex all the goals needed for the victory.
BLADES BITS: The Blades sit in sixth place with six points, while the Wheatley
Sharks are first with nine…However Wheatley has played seven games, most in
the league, and the Blades have just played four…In those four games the Blades
have only allowed seven goals, and scored 15…Essex took six of nine minor
penalties called in the game…The Blades return to action Saturday when they bus
to Amherstburg to play the Admirals at 7 p.m., before returning home Sunday
night for a 7 p.m. game against the Dresden Kings…Sunday fans are urged to bring
non-perishable food items to the game as Farm Credit Canada will be on hand to
collect the items to donate to the Blenheim Food Bank…In 2019 Blades fans
donated 250 pounds of food to Farm Credit Canada who in turn donated it to the
Blenheim Food Bank…Vancoillie was named the game’s second star.