Schmalz Cup Chase Begins

The playoffs open in the Provincial Junior Hockey League Tuesday night.

Essex is top-seed in the Stobbs Division and hosts eighth-place Petrolia.

"They're a hard-working club, they're a physical kind of team," says Essex Head Coach Gil Langlois. "They don't take any shortcuts. You've got to be ready when you're playing them and expect a physical game. I think special teams will be a big factor in this series." 

He says for the first time in several weeks the 73's are healthy.

"Mike Vieira is coming back off of a knee injury (Michael) Ruttinger is back off a knee injury. (Jack) Sanko (Tuesday) will be his first game in a couple, two-and-a-half weeks from a high ankle sprain.  One of our goalies (Connor Meyerink) will back up tonight for the first time in two, two-and-a-half weeks."

Essex won four of five against Petrolia in the regular season but lost 3-2 at home to the Flyers in their last meeting.

Game time Tuesday is 7pm.