The result may have been the same, but the effort was much better for the Express in a 1-0 set back to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
It's been a difficult 24 hours for the Express following the dismissal of Dave Mclellan as Head Coach following the 8-2 loss to the Surrey Eagles Friday night.
Heading into Saturday's game, the prospects for a better outcome the next night on paper didn't look promising with the Coastal Conference leading Bulldogs and their 12 game winning streak rolling into the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
The only thing Darcy Rota wanted to see in his first game behind the Express bench as Head Coach was an effort put forth that everyone that can be proud of.
That's exactly what he got, the Express played a disciplined hard working game for a full 60 minutes that went down to the wire and allowed the Express to remain within striking distance of the Bulldogs.
Alberni Valley scored the games only goal late in the first period with Sam Mitchell scoring a power play goal that pin balled past Harrison May.
The game wasn't the most entertaining to watch, the Express slowed the pace down. And the chances against were few and far between.
Alberni Valley's top line of Mitch McMillan (47 goals), his brother Mark and David Dziurzynski was kept in check most of the night and were limited to very few high quality scoring chances.
That strong play kept the Express close all night.
Scott Lewan posted the shutout for the Bulldogs stopping all 26 shots sent his way.
The win for the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to 13 games.
Burnaby still remains 3 points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. Burnaby has 13 games left in the season.
Cowichan Valley will play host to the Vernon Vipers Sunday night.
The Express are back in action with a home and home with Langley starting Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.