Rich Manley had a night he'll never forget Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. The Buffalo native scored all 4 Express goals in regulation including the game tying goal with 3:27 remaining in the third period.
Then Brad Reid the former Victoria Grizzly played overtime hero scoring the game winning goal on a breakaway.
Victoria got off to a quick start by opening the scoring on their first shot of the game by Alex Allan just 16 seconds into the game.
By the time the second period was a minute old Victoria had built up a 3-0 advantage. Then Rich Manley went to work chipping away at the Victoria lead. He cut the lead down to two with his first of the game at 3:21.
Victoria restored their three goal lead moments later when Alex Allan set up Dustin Mowrey who blasted home the feed to give Victoria a 4-1 lead.
The Grizzlies top line of Alex Allan, Dustin Mowrey and Madison Dias was putting on quite a show of their own in the first half of the game combining for 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points leading the Victoria attack.
Manley again cut Victoria's lead down to 2 before the 2nd period was done with his second of the game.
The Express went to the third trailing by 2 and the numbers indicated that a comeback was unlikely as the Express went into the third period Friday night with a record of 0-17 when trailing after 2 periods.
Manley completed his first BCHL hat-trick at 6:28 with a powerplay goal to cut the Victoria lead to one.
The momentum that Burnaby was building at that point could have been easily squashed seconds after Manley's third goal with Luke Challier being called for Unsportsmanlike conduct. The Express penalty killers bailed out their aggitator by killing off the penalty allowing themselves to stay withing striking distance of Victoria.
Manley continued his career night scoring his 4th of the game on a delayed penalty to Victoria to complete the Express comeback.
Hear Manley's 4th of the game here.
Manley joined some prestigous company in the Express 4 goal game club. Kyle Turris 4x, & Tyler McNeely are the only other players I have under my records who have scored 4 goals in a game. (My records go back only as far as the 04-05 season.)
The Grizzlies had one last chance to win the game before regulation was done when rookie defenceman Stefan Gonzales was called for tripping at 18:32. The Grizzlies had their chances before the third was done including Dustin Mowrey snapping a shot off the crossbar.
The Express held off at least until the end of regulation to pick up one point. They then killed off the remaining seconds of the Gonzales penalty in overtime at 4 on 3.
With a second life, the Express took advantage of the big kill and finished off the Grizzlies as Brodie Jamieson put a perfect stretch pass on the tape of Brad Reid who made no mistake on the breakaway deking to the forehand and sliding it past Ryan Holfield to give the Express their first OT win of the season.
Hear Reid's OT winner here.
The win allowed the Express to keep pace with the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference as Cowichan Valley knocked off Quesnel 5-4 in Quesnel Friday.
Burnaby's attack generated a season high 49 shots on the Victoria goal Friday night.
The Express will return to action Saturday night when they play host to the Surrey Eagles.