The Burnaby Express were looking for the sweep of their home and home with the Langley Chiefs Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre, but it wasn't meant to be as the home team got their revenge by knocking off the Express 3-1.
Burnaby played hard for the 3rd straight outing, but wasn't rewarded for their hard work.
The Express and Chiefs played a tight checking hard fought battle for the full 60 minutes with out either team giving an inch.
The shots were 34-32 in favour of Burnaby, and the message was to get as many shots sent towards the net as possible, and that's exactly what the Express did all night long.
Burnaby didn't pass up any opportunities to get shots towards Chiefs goaltender Mark Friesen.
The game was scoreless after 20 minutes.
The second period saw the Express generate some quality chances, most notably Konrad Sander had a point blank chance in front of the Langley net, but Friesen made a pair of spectacular saves to deny the former Chief.
Seconds later Langley opened the scoring. The goal came on a broken play, Brandon Thompson's pass from the right boards hit a skate and came right to Colton Beck who fired it over the shoulder of Harrison May for his 33rd goal of the season.
Darcy Rota and the rest of his coaches really tried to have Chris Van Duynhoven on the ice whenever Colton Beck and his line of Mac Roy and Brandon Thompson were on the ice.
On the Beck goal however, Harvey Smyl was able to take advantage of the last change on home ice and get his top sniper and company on the ice when Van Duynhoven was on the bench.
Langley took their lead to the dressing room after 2 periods.
The third period started with a bang for the Express. Rich Manley was having a heated verbal exchange with Colton Hayes who was on the bench for the start of the third period.
Smyl then pulled Ryan Hankin off the ice and allowed Hayes to line up with Manley for the start of the third period and the two dropped the mitts as soon as the puck was dropped.
Manley won the fight by getting a number of shots in that saw Hayes go down to the ice.
Burnaby used the energy from the fight to generate the momentum that led to the game tying goal in the opening minute of the third period.
Simon Denis led the Express rush from his own zone, and carried the puck into the Chiefs end of the ice, fired off a shot that Friesen stopped, but the rebound bounced in off Dylan Herold who was going hard to the net.
The game didn't stay tied for long however. With Malcom McKninney sitting in the penalty box for tripping, the Chiefs re-stored their lead on the powerplay.
Brandon Thompson and Josh Meyers played give and go in the Express zone. Myers took the puck behind the Burnaby net and got the puck past Harrison May on the wrap around.
The goal came just 1:54 after Herold's game tying tally.
Then with 6:3O remaining in the third period, A Rich Manley roughing penalty proved to be costly.
Meyers scored his second powerplay goal of the period banging home a rebound. Colton Beck took his time then put the puck to the net, Harrison May stopped the re-direction by Thompson but the rebound came right to Myers who buried it.
That goal took the wind out of the sails of the Express and the Chiefs held on for the win.
Nothing to nit pick about this Express performance. They played hard all game long. Rolled all 4 lines who all had their moments of strong play.
Harrison May did take the loss, but played very steady in the Express crease.
Burnaby did lose ground in their pursuit of a playoff spot as Cowichan Valley did pick up a point in their 1-0 OT loss to Victoria. The Express are now 4 points back of Cowichan Valley for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference.
Both Burnaby and Cowichan have 11 games left in their season.
The Express are back in action Sunday afternoon when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.