For the third straight time the Lakeshore Canadiens won the Stobbs Division title in Essex beating the 73's 4-3 in double overtime Tuesday night. "It doesn't matter where you win it, as long as you win." said Lakeshore head coach Anthony Iaquinta.
Down 3-1 in the final, Essex got off to a good start in front of the home crowd building a 2-0 lead on goals by Connor McCracken and Isaac Legood. Lakeshore took advantage of a pair of powerplays to tie the game. Eric Bisson got the visitors on the board first late in the third cashing in his 13th of the playoffs from the side of the net. Spencer Higginbottom tied the game midway through the third.
The last minute of play in the game was a frenzy. Bryce Scarlett was streaking through the slot and handcuffed Essex goalie Adrian McBride with a wrister through a defenders legs.
With McBride on the bench for the extra attacker the puck landed on Luke Sherk's stick and he made no mistake blasting home the tying goal with 12.5 seconds left from the high slot. The 73's created a frantic ending in front of Lakeshore goalie Nick Bolton before the game went to overtime.
A fast paced 4th period did not produce a result but the 2nd overtime did. Braydin Metcalfe took a backdoor pass from Matthew Herniman and found the back of the net for the winner.
"Getting the OT winner in my hometown felt amazing. Can't wait to celebrate this big win." while being drenched with water by Kyle Walker.
73's head coach Jamie McDermott was proud of his team after finishing first overall in the PJHL this season despite a steady string of injuries. "I think we had 155 man games lost in a 42 game season so you're looking at basically four guys a game out." McDermott pointed out. "When you're trying to get chemistry and stuff it's tough when you got guys in and out of the lineup. all the time. There's no quit in this team. They battled hard through it. Unfortunately we come up on the short end of the stick."