Step away from the panic button! I repeat, step away from the panic button! The Express have won a hockey game again.
They snapped their 6 game losing streak (all on the road) with a 9-5 home ice victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters Wednesday night.
Burnaby was looking for a little pay back on Trail after they knocked off Burnaby 5-4 in overtime in Trail on October 3rd.
The Express were hoping that they would get back on the winning track once they returned to the comfortable confines of home ice. The Express didn't have much time to dwell on their previous outing, just 2 days after falling 4-3 in Powell River Sunday afternoon in a game that saw Burnaby let a 3-1 third period lead slip away.
Heading into the game, the Express needed a few things to start to go their way to get back into the win column. The first was to get off to a good start. Most notably score the first goal. The Express had allowed the games first goal in 5 of the 6 games during their losing streak.
They got that all important first goal from Jon Puskar just 3 minutes into the game as he dangled through a Trail defender then fired it through the legs of Kiefer Smiley.
Hear Puskar's 1-0 goal here.
The lead only lasted just 6 minutes as the Smoke Eaters responded with a powerplay goal by Tye Lewis to tie the game. That was followed less than 4 minutes later by a goal from Nick Sandor who knocked the puck out of the air and into the net to give Trail a 2-1 lead they took into the 2nd period.
Burnaby's Sander had a response for the Express as Konrad hacked and whacked home his first goal of the season 2:32 into the period to tie the game.
The game didn't remain tied for long as the Smokies re-stored their lead less than 2 minutes later as Nick Sandor scored his 2nd of the game beating Harrison May with a wrist shot from the right boards.
Trail then took a two goal advantage midway through the 2nd period as Steve Koshey skated around the Burnaby net and come out front untouched and beat Harrison May to give the Smoke Eaters a 4-2 lead.
Now the Express needed to provide a response if they were going to snap their losing skid.
The Express pulled back within one moments after Koshey's goal by scoring a powerplay goal by Dylan Herold with Koshey sitting in the penalty box. Herold knocked the puck out of the air and past Smiley to pull the Express back within one.
Hear Herold's first goal here.
The goal for the captain was his first point in 6 games.
Moments after Herold's goal came the games turning point. Luke Challier was called for roughing and Burnaby couldn't allow the Smoke Eaters to score their third powerplay goal of the game at this point if they were to attempt a comeback. The Express got the big kill they needed and got some momentum from it.
Challier got involved in the play right after he served his penalty as he put a pass into the slot for Herold who quickly snapped home his 2nd of the period to pull the Express even.
Hear Herold's 2nd of the game here.
From that on, the Express 2nd period magic continued to roll. The Express added late period goals by Jon Puskar his 2nd of the game and Matt Ius to give the Express a 6-4 lead heading to the third period.
Hear Ius' 6-4 goal here.
In total the Express scored 5 goals in the 2nd period. They have now outscored their opposition 26-8 in the 2nd period this season.
Now with a 2 goal lead the Express needed to finish the job in the third period. All they had to do was think back to Sunday with the knowledge that a 2 goal lead can slip away and they can't stop working. They have to keep pressing forward.
Burnaby did just that. Midway through the third the Express iced it as Konrad Sander took advantage of a falling Graeme Strukoff to cut to the net, his shot hit the post, but Brodie Jamieson banged home the rebound for his first BCHL goal.
Jamieson then added his 2nd of the game 4 minutes later when Challier cut down the left wing, put the puck to the net and Jamieson poked a loose puck home that was lying in the crease.
Hear Jamieson's 2nd goal of the game here.
Burnaby's 3rd line finished their strong night when Challier scored on the powerplay for Burnaby's 7th straight goal and a 9-4 lead.
Trail rounded out the scoring in the final minute when Travis St. Denis fed a pass cross ice to Strukoff who roofed it on Harrison May to round out the scoring. The goal was Trail's 3rd powerplay goal of the game.
Express 9 Smoke Eaters 5.
3. Luke Challier - 1 goal and 4 assists to lead the Express offensive attack.
2. Jon Puskar - 2 goals and 1 assist for the Express.
1. Dylan Herold - Scored 2 big goals in the 2nd period to erase a 4-2 Express deficit in the 2nd period.
The win for Burnaby snapped their 6 game losing streak. Meanwhile Trail is still in search of their first road win of the season. It was the third straight road game for Trail in which they have allowed at least 8 goals.
The win for Burnaby was much needed on so many levels. First off all, to give the team a boost by finding that winning feeling again. Plus, they needed a full team effort and they got just that from all 18 skaters on this night. Every single player on the roster stepped up and played to their potential.
Burnaby need their top 6 group of Manley, Puskar, Reid, Herold, Ius and Perry to all find the scoresheet again and be the Express best players. And they all did just that with 5 of those 6 players hitting the scoresheet. If Perry had some puck luck on this night he would have hit the sheet as well.
The top 6 forward group combined for 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points. Burnaby's third line of Luke Challier, Brodie Jamieson and Konrad Sander all broke out with Challier leading the offensive attack for the Express with a 5 point night. 1 goal and 4 assists. That line combined for 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points.
Burnaby's 4th line of Sean Dinsmore, Clay Wilson and Paul De Jersey also played well providing energy all night.
The first crucial games of the season for the Express. A home and home with the Surrey Eagles. The win for Burnaby pulled them into a tie for 3rd place in the Coastal Conference with 14 points. The Express head into this home and home series with Surrey 5 points back of the Eagles for 2nd place in the conference. This series is crucial for Burnaby to stay within striking distance of the Eagles.